6 – Budget Friendly Ways For Seniors To Stay Fit In Mind And Body
Another article contributed by Kelly Coleman of Consumer Health Labs
Being health-conscious your whole life is a great way to set yourself up for strength of mind and body in your golden years, but it’s not the only way. It’s never too late to make lifestyle changes that will boost your health now and down the road.
If you’re approaching seniorhood — or have already dipped your toe in the retirement waters — it’s important to make sure you are focused on healthy choices. It may seem hard to expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are six practical and affordable (and some are even fun!) ways seniors can stay fit in both mind and body.
Meditation doesn’t mean you have to sit on a cushion in silence for hours a day (though studies do show that finding some silent time in our noisy world can boost your health). So, take a quiet walk down a hiking trail, pray, or focus your thoughts on a mantra or intention. Even just small daily doses of mediation — even 10 to 20 minutes — can help improve a senior’s mind and body. Of course, the best part is that meditation is completely free!
Use Your Health Insurance
Some seniors avoid going to the doctor for preventive care because they are too anxious to receive bad news. You can eliminate those fears by making sure to have a Medicare Advantage Plan that includes wellness programs. For example, UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage allows seniors to visit fitness centers and classes and provides nutritional programs that help them find the right balance in your diet.
Load Up on Fruits and Vegetables
The food pyramid is now a MyPlate, a simplified way to make sure you’re eating the right foods and the right quantity. Start by filling at least half your plate with vegetables. Some seniors, especially those with limited transportation, often shy away from fresh vegetables because they are worried they will go bad. Many grocery store chains offer same-day delivery and Amazon Prime members can get groceries right to their door from Whole Foods. You can also sign up for a CSA or, for those looking to eat healthfully and be active, start a vegetable garden.
Switch to Whole Grains
MyPlate also says that at least half of your daily intake from grains should consist of whole grains. Rich in B vitamins, antioxidants, and iron, choosing whole grains over refined has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and even a few kinds of cancer. Look for the word “whole grains” and not just multigrain or whole wheat to make sure you’re getting the right kind of nutrients for your diet.
Drink More Water
Hydration is the foundation of a healthy mind and body. Being dehydrated leads to health concerns like low blood pressure, kidney stones, and blood clotting issues. This is especially important for seniors who take medications the cause dehydration. Chronic dehydration can also be a sign of a more serious illness or disease, like adrenal crisis or kidney disease.
Use Less Salt
Eating salt can lead to high blood pressure, which may, in turn, lead to heart disease, stroke, congestive heart failure, and kidney damage. To reduce the amount of salt or sodium in your diet, seniors should eat less processed food and use less salt while cooking and at the table. If you use a lot of salt, you can cut back bit by bit to allow your body time to adjust to the change. It’s important to make these changes as quickly as your doctor recommends, but also in a way that creates sustainable, lasting change.
When it comes to your overall health, few things are as important. Getting the right nutrients, selecting effective health insurance plans, and taking some time for silence every day can impact your well-being right away.
Complimentary photo from Pixabay