Guest blog from Jason Lewis. Certified Personal Trainer.
Good health is a practice, not an accomplishment. This is especially true for seniors. Everyone, in general, wins with healthy lifestyle choices, but seniors in particular stand to benefit the most. Why is that? Well, for starters, there are 12 million people in the US over 65 battling type 2 diabetes, with more and more on the rise. In fact, by 2050, the CDC estimates one in five Americans will have the diagnosis. This isn’t the only major health concern facing seniors. One in three seniors in the US manages anxiety or depression, but seniors are often underdiagnosed or misdiagnosed, so there could be a lot more. Seniors are also at a higher risk than other populations for arthritis, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, osteoporosis, and cancer.
That list is enough to inspire anyone to take charge of their mental and physical health. However, a lot of seniors are wary about more trips to the doctor or taking more prescriptions. Too many prescriptions can cause a snowball effect: you take something for inflammation, but that is hard on the liver, so you’re prescribed something for the liver, and on and on and on. It can start to feel like a vicious medication cycle.
But there is a way out.
Mother Nature has given us some powerful natural remedies. If you’re 65 or older and want to take control of your health, here are four tips just for you.
Speaking of inflammation, many seniors deal with chronic illness; it’s unavoidable as overworked bodies start to deal with advanced age. For seniors managing chronic conditions, taking supplements can go a long way to help ease pain, manage cardiovascular health, improve muscle mass and bone density and more. One newcomer to the game is CBD oil. Research continues to show the benefits CBD oil provides for seniors for managing inflammation and boosting mental health. If adding a supplement to your daily regimen sounds worth investigating, be sure to talk to your doctor and research different brands to find a quality product that won’t interfere with other medications.
Meditation has been shown to improve memory, enhance mood and lower blood pressure. While sitting in silence for even just 10 minutes can seem like a challenge, it’s not impossible. Start with an easy few minutes a day and work your way up slowly. If sitting still is too challenging, consider taking a yoga class or trying a walking meditation practice. Even if your practice is new, you want to start cultivating a routine that helps you settle into stillness. You can listen to a relaxing song before you start or use some aromatherapy scents.
Get a gym membership
In the United States alone, over 90 million people are diagnosed as obese. This is especially dangerous for seniors, as almost half of those over the age of 60 struggle with obesity. Purchasing a gym membership, one that gets you moving around and making new friends, can make all the difference. If you need a little motivation, research to find out if Medicare has a Silver Sneakers program or other gym membership discounts for teens. Building strength and improving balance can also help reduce the chance of falling at home, which is where 60 percent of all falls take place. Exercise, combined with some home modifications (grab bars, improved lighting, etc.) can ensure that you stay safe for years to come.
Make healthier food choices
Healthy eating isn’t just about what you put in your body, but also why you are putting it in there. Making healthier food choices is a mixture of awareness and choice. A combination of understanding why you are eating — hunger, sadness, boredom, celebration, commiseration — as well as choosing wholesome foods and meals can make a big impact on your life. A meal seeped in proper nutrition can delay the uncomfortable side effects of aging, reduce the risk of chronic illness, increase focus and energy and even positively influence your mood. When you’ve got an urge to snack, drink a glass of water, take a walk in your backyard or read a chapter. This will give your mind time to let go of the food craving and get ready to make a better, bolder food choice.
Seniors shouldn’t have to spend their golden years dealing with additional mental and physical health concerns. Fortunately, you do have the power to enjoy your golden years. You can take charge of your health by making decisions and exploring opportunities that move you forward.