HEALTHY HABITS FOR LIFE
Habits change as you get older, and so do the little things you need to do on a daily basis to stay healthy. Maintaining a healthy weight greatly reduces the risk of serious illnesses like diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer, which makes it more important than ever to stay fit as you get older. For seniors who incorporate healthy habits into their daily routine, maintaining an optimal weight is a reachable goal.
TAKE A DAILY WALK
Taking a walk every day is an easy way to improve your life for free. Not only does it provide low-impact exercise, it can be a quiet time for the mind to relax and unwind. Walking just a mile each day keeps your muscles and joints engaged so they maintain and improve their strength.
GET ACTIVE WITH A NEW HOBBY
To stay busy in retirement, take up a physical hobby like dancing, yoga, or water aerobics instead of, or in addition to, something sedentary like bingo or bridge. The physical activity will help you keep the mobility you have and may even increase your flexibility and range of movement.
PARTICIPATE IN 'MEATLESS MONDAY'
Meat is a concentrated form of calories that can pack on the pounds if not eaten in the right portions. Choosing one or more days a week to go vegetarian can help lower the caloric load for the day, giving your body a chance to burn off excess fat. When going vegetarian, don't just substitute meat with cheese, which is equally rich in fat. Instead, opt for meals with low-calorie veggies like mushrooms or soy-based tofu.
DRINK PLENTY OF WATER
Drinking water may be an obvious health tip, but many people of all ages drink less than they should and are dehydrated on a regular basis. Older people are at especially high risk of being hospitalized due to dehydration. Carrying a water bottle wherever you go and knowing how many full bottles you should drink per day is a good way to start paying attention to your water intake. Many foods can help you hydrate too.
Oatmeal is a heart-healthy, filling, and satisfying breakfast. In addition to lowering "bad" cholesterol, it's packed full of fiber, which keeps your bathroom schedule regular and promotes weight loss. Jazz up a basic bowl of oatmeal by adding different fruits, nuts, and spices throughout the week for variety.
SNACK ON FRUIT
Fruit is a delicious source of natural sugars, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Keeping fruit on hand as a go-to snack and dessert is a healthy and low-calorie way to satisfy a sweet tooth. If you're taking medication, be sure to ask your doctor if any fruits may interact with it.
HAVE A SALAD EVERY DAY
Eating a daily salad ensures that you get at least a few servings of vegetables in your diet. There are so many variations on salads that use both cooked and raw vegetables that it's easy to have a different salad every day of the week. Be careful when adding dressings, since they are often full of salt and calories from fat.
GET A DOG
Dogs are not only a source of loving companionship, they are also a key to getting daily exercise. Dogs need to be walked at least a few times a day and also love to play outside. Just by taking good care of your dog, you will be more active, which can help trim off those extra pounds.
A few minutes of stretching during the day can help keep muscles long and lean. Building muscle mass is good for cardiovascular health and also helps the body burn excess fat. Start with a simple routine and gradually build on it to keep up the challenge. Be sure to talk to your doctor before starting a new exercise routine.
STEER CLEAR OF ALCOHOL
Alcohol is full of empty calories that cause weight gain. This doesn't mean you can't enjoy an occasional drink or a glass of wine with dinner. But keeping your alcohol intake low will help you avoid going overboard on empty calories.
PLAN MEALS AHEAD OF TIME
Planning meals in advance ensures that meals are portioned correctly and include a balanced nutritional load. If you wait until you're hungry to figure out what to eat, you're more likely to give in to temptation or opt for comfort food that may not be healthy.
TAKE A FIBER SUPPLEMENT
Fiber keeps things moving in your digestive tract, helping eliminate unused and harmful substances. It promotes weight loss and may even reduce inflammation. Including plenty of fruits and vegetables in your diet is the best way to get fiber, but adding a gentle fiber supplement can help.
PLANT A GARDEN
Growing a garden is a relaxing and fun hobby that provides low-impact exercise. If you include herbs and vegetables, you'll be able to enjoy the fruits of your own labor, which will become a healthy part of your routine and save you money on produce.
DITCH THE SODA (AND JUICE)
Soda, juice, and other sweet beverages are full of sugar — in other words, empty calories. Eliminating these from your diet is one simple step toward losing a few pounds. In addition to promoting weight loss, cutting out as much refined sugar as possible is a healthy choice for people of all ages.