Tips for Seniors Improving their Wellness
(Another article contributed by a free-lance writer, Kelly Coleman)
As a senior, you know to make health a priority in your life. Between power walking, prescriptions, and doctor’s visits, you might think you have it covered. However, there is more you should be doing — looking at improving your wellness.
This means focusing on both your body’s and mind’s well-being by adding a healthy habits checklist to your everyday routine. You cannot ignore one for the other, because they are interconnected. That’s why you need to do some exercises for your physical and mental health. Before you can do that, however, it helps to understand how one impacts the other.
Mental & Physical Health Are Connected
Improving your wellness might sound overwhelming. But as the Mental Health Foundation explains, it can be easier than you think because your body and mind are interconnected.
On the downside, that means when one suffers, the other does as well. For example, being depressed leads to higher rates of cancer and heart disease. Part of that is your immune system not working well due to stress, but when you’re sad or anxious, you’re also more likely to eat poorly and skip much-needed exercise.
But on the upside, improving one can help improve the other. If you can improve your mood and feel more relaxed, your body will run more efficiently and help you heal faster after injury or sickness. And if your body is running well, your mind feels less stress and anxiety.
Safe Home Exercises For Seniors
If your body and mind are interconnected, where should you start with improving your wellness? That’s up to you, but consider starting an exercise program first. Your physical health needs plenty of attention in your golden years, and Health Line lists several low-impact exercises perfect for seniors. Some of these include wall pushups, pelvic shifts, shoulder blade squeezes, and heel raises. Some of these can even be done while sitting.
You don’t necessarily need to join a gym because you can keep some simple exercise equipment at home. Your gear can include dumbbells, resistance bands, and fitness tools like a Fitbit. You can also look into yoga, which is a low-impact exercise that’s great at stretching your muscles and increasing strength and flexibility that seniors often need.
Meet Your Mental Health Needs
As you improve your physical health, you’ll start to notice your mood is improved as well. Although that interconnectivity is the cause, there are also things you can do to address your mental health needs. Besides, doing so will help improve your physical health as well.
A fun way to meet your needs is through socialization. Whether this is spending time with family or hanging out of friends, seniors need to stay active socially and talk to people. It might not sound like much, but engaging in conversation with others can really improve your stress levels and mood. This can be a conversation on the phone, but meeting face-to-face is even better.
Another reason staying social helps is that you have the chance to speak about your feelings. While it might not be appropriate to overshare with a complete stranger, bottling up your anxiety or depression will only hurt your wellness. Along the same lines, try meditation. This has been repeatedly shown to help seniors deal with the unique stressors that come with age.
Improve Your Wellness Today
Retirement is much more fun when you are truly well. That means getting your body healthy through exercise, but it also means socializing to meet your mental health needs. And because your mind and body are interconnected, helping just a little can improve both for you.
by Kelly Coleman