How to Enjoy Your Golden Years
UPDATED: Saturday, July 11, 2020 - Author: Nancy F.
Growing old is a subject few people want to think about, but living a healthy lifestyle can give seniors more time to enjoy their golden years. The younger people are when they begin following healthy living patterns, the healthier they will be as the years pass. The body you have as you arrive at your senior years is the result of the lifestyle you have lead until then. Proper nutrition is one of the most important influences on your overall health, so it is essential that you develop healthy eating habits early in life.
Are you getting enough essential nutrients?
A balanced diet is essential and it is important that you avoid choosing one particular food type just because you like it. Good nutrition includes fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, protein and dairy products. Avoid overcooking vegetables by steaming them, or enjoy eating them raw whenever possible. Adding condiments such as mayo, butter and sauces to these basic foods is a negative since they greatly increase the amount of fat and calories you will consume. Your body is created to perform at its best possible potential when the foods you eat provide it with the right fuel. Your chance of living a long and healthy life is increased when you make sure your diet contributes to the proper development and maintenance of your body.
Although eating a balanced diet of mostly non-processed foods will provide most of the nutrients your body needs, it is beneficial to also take a vitamin/mineral supplement on a daily basis. There are a wide variety of supplements available, but most nutritionists recommend ones that are made with natural ingredients rather than one that contains chemicals. It is important to get enough Vitamin C since this can help prevent infections and strengthens the immune system. Vitamin C is unlike some other vitamins in that there is no danger of getting too much; any excess is simply flushed out of your body without causing any harm.
Multivitamin Supplements May Help
There are many companies and people promoting various supplements that supposedly increase energy, promote weight loss, increase sexual performance and a multitude of other desirable results. Most of these supplements do not provide what they promise, so it is wise to do some online research and check the reviews before using any of them. It is also best to check with your healthcare provider before taking any supplements since some of them can interfere with prescription medications.
Regular exercise is an essential part of good health for men and women alike. Women are not usually trying to build muscle, but should rather work to increase their strength and energy. Most men include at least some weight lifting as part of their workout plan, but both sexes should also engage in outdoor activities such as walking, running, biking and swimming. These exercises are great for increasing strength and endurance without being too strenuous. Some seniors arrive at retirement without having had the time to devote to regular exercise, and walking is a great activity to help them get started on the path to physical fitness.
Gardening offers many Health Benefits
If you are fortunate enough to have a garden space at your home you can keep physically active while you enjoy planting. The produce from even a small garden can provide healthy vegetables for your family most of the summer and into fall. You may be surprised at the bounty of tomatoes, green beans, carrots, lettuce and a variety of other veggies that a small garden can produce. You can maximize the space by providing supports for climbing vegetables, and this type of planting also makes harvesting easier.
You should take the time to research which plants do the best in your climate, and also decide which vegetables you will use most. If you have never grown a garden before, you will need to educate yourself about the type of soil you have and the best way to improve it. You can buy seed packets and seedling plants at your local garden center, and it is easy to follow the instructions for proper planting and care. You may be surprised at the satisfaction you feel when you are able to use the produce from your garden to create nutritious meals.
Your garden will not only provide healthy, organic vegetables to supplement your diet, but it also provides an effective way to reduce some of the stress you may sometimes experience. In addition to the mild physical exercise required to tend it, your garden gives you a way to connect with nature in a unique and peaceful way. You may feel the worry and hurry of the world slipping into the background as you marvel over a tiny seedling pushing its way up through the soil and maturing into a strong and productive plant.
Maintaining good physical health into your golden years is very important, but staying mentally alert is even more essential. Mental clarity will help you stay focused on your goals as well as keeping you involved with your friends and family on a social level. Alzheimer's disease is devastating, and it can quickly transform a normally active and healthy person into an invalid. New treatments for the disease are promising, but the medical community does not offer a cure at this point. Research shows that seniors who stay involved in mentally challenging activities are less likely to be affected by Alzheimer's than those who are not.
Some seniors continue to work on a part-time basis since their retirement fund may not be stretching as far as they had anticipated. You may want to consider part-time work if a little extra income would help your financial situation, and it can also keep you more active and socially involved. It is always great to have a little extra cash to spend on a vacation, your grandchildren or to give you some additional peace of mind.
The average person lives most of their life working to provide and care for their family, and you probably have been looking forward to retirement if that has been your experience. Perhaps you have plans to travel and visit faraway places, enjoying the life you and your spouse have worked so hard to achieve. How tragic if poor health now prevents you from ever reaching that goal because medical expenses have eaten up the funds you had set aside for this time of your life. The best time to improve your chances for an enjoyable retirement is before you get there, so begin now to make the lifestyle changes needed for your good health and longevity.