By Dylan Foster
Changing habits can be challenging at any age, but it’s never too late to take charge of your health. The trick is to find ways to make healthy living easier. You’re more likely to stick with a healthier lifestyle when it’s easy and fun. Most importantly, once you get started, you will notice the improvements to your health and quality of life.
Health Starts With Healthcare
The topic of healthcare isn’t fun to think about, and it can get confusing trying to understand your options. But you don’t want to risk not being able to get the care you need, whether that’s going to the doctor when you’re sick or getting eye exams to keep your vision sharp. Also, the National Library of Medicine recommends specific health screenings for women and men over age 65.
This is why it’s important to take the worry out of healthcare by making sure you have the coverage you need. All seniors should explore their options, including Medicare Advantage plans, many of which provide coverage for things like dental and vision care — both of which aren’t covered by Medicare. Online tools can help you learn about plans that are available through providers like Aetna, providing information to determine what best suits your needs.
Remove Obstacles to Exercise
Being active is one of the best things you can do for your overall health. Physical activity helps fight off disease, strengthens muscles and bones, and gives you more energy. On top of the physical benefits, exercise also boosts mental health by releasing endorphins, the “feel-good” chemicals in your brain.
If you want to incorporate more exercise into your life but aren’t sure what to do on days when the weather is uncooperative, try implementing a home gym. Look for a space in your home that could easily accommodate a few pieces of small equipment to give you an alternative when it’s raining or cold outside. If you need to move things out of the way, this could be an instance when self-storage can be helpful, especially if there are items you aren’t using but can’t give away.
Another option is to join a gym, which lacks the convenience of exercising at home, but it may add variety. More seniors are jumping on the popular trend of dance inspired aerobics classes like Zumba and hip hop. Finding the fun in activity (and joining a group) is a great solution for people who haven’t been thrilled about fitness in the past. Just be sure to do your research on the costs and find a gym that fits what you’re looking for. According to Money Crashers, the average cost of nationwide gym chains is $30 to $55 per month.
Of course, you shouldn’t push yourself too hard when it comes to physical activity. Since limited mobility is a common issue among seniors, you should only focus on workouts that benefit your health and not cause injury. If that means letting go of certain household chores, have a professional do these. Cleaning the house can also be dangerous, especially for seniors with arthritis. Look to a maid service for help, which costs $116 – $227 in New York, New York.
Discover Convenient Nutrition
You know that good nutrition is fuel for your body, but for many people, the hard part about eating right is the amount of time and effort it takes. To remove that barrier, considering trying a home meal delivery service. For an average cost of about $30 – $70 per week, you get a box full of nutritious ingredients along with recipes delivered right to your door.
Another idea for spicing up your diet is to bring back the supper club. Get a group of friends or neighbors together and swap nights for hosting a meal in each home. This is a great way to try out new foods and connect with friends at the same time. According to Live Science, being involved in social groups may even help older adults live longer.
The reality of healthy aging is that doing just one of these things doesn’t cut it. You don’t need a drastic life overhaul, but you do need activities that promote both your physical and mental health. You just have to be willing to try something new and eliminate those barriers that seem to stand in the way.
Dylan Foster is a health blogger and can be reached through healthwellwise.com.
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