5 Achievable Health Goals for Seniors
Looking to stay healthy as you age? One of the best ways to take control of your health is to set achievable, sustainable goals. Coming up with specific plans allows you to approach health as a project, rather than an obligation. This subtle mental shift makes you more likely to stick with and reach your goals, making you healthier and happier in the long run. Here are a few ideas for goals you can set for yourself.
1. Ask For Help
Your first goal should be allowing yourself to ask for help. Too many of us let pride and ego get in the way of living our best lives. However, we benefit others and ourselves when we allow ourselves to ask for help. Our friends, family, and community are all happy to help, and by relying on them, we strengthen those bonds and get the assistance we need.
It’s also worth considering whether a retirement home might make your life easier. If you struggle with day-to-day self-care and responsibilities, retirement homes and assisted living facilities can allow you to thrive. Do plenty of research to find the facility that’s right for you, taking into account what you’ll need in the future, what kind of amenities they offer, and what level of independence you’re looking for. Taking the time to thoroughly investigate your options can make the transition less intimidating.
2. Eat Right
A balanced diet is vital for senior wellness. Nutritional needs change as you age, so check in with a doctor or nutritionist to make sure you’re getting all the vitamins and nutrients you need. A deficiency can cause or exacerbate senior health problems, so supplementing your diet with a daily multivitamin may be wise.
People of any age should cut back on junk food, but (unless your doctor says you must) you don’t need to avoid snacks altogether. Find healthy versions of the treats you love, and give yourself permission to indulge on occasion, as well.
3. Move More
Nearly everyone in the U.S. needs more exercise. Very few people hit the recommended thirty minutes of exercise a day. If you do reach that goal, however, you reduce your odds of developing or worsening health issues such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and more.
If you don’t currently work out, start small with gradual walks or other gentle movements, then gradually increase intensity with time. It’s always a good idea to consult a doctor before starting a new exercise routine, and working alongside a trainer can keep you safe as you advance. Listen to your body and don’t go overboard – an injury can halt your progress entirely.
4. Stay Sharp
Many seniors worry about declining cognitive function. It’s a valid concern; decreased memory is a very common part of aging. However, exercising your mind has a proven impact on mental sharpness. Find ways to flex your mental muscles every day.
Creative pursuits, such as visual arts or learning an instrument, are great forms of mental exercise. Consider joining a class or taking lessons, and work on your craft every day. This kind of regular practice allows you to keep your synapses firing, improving brain health and keeping you at your best.
5. Foster Relationships
Finally, make sure you’re putting time into your relationships. A good social network is one of the most powerful health tools seniors can have. By staying in touch with others, you’ll be more likely to recognize – and more able to address – small health problems before they become big ones. Mental health issues in particular are hard to see for yourself; friends and family can help spot depression or anxiety in time to turn them around.
Taking a proactive approach to your own health will help you thrive during your golden years. Set goals, work towards them every day, and recognize signs of progress. You’ll thank yourself tomorrow for the things you do today.
By Karen Weeks - Elderwellness.net
Photo Credit: Pixabay