Carnegie Village Senior Living resident exercising at the fitness center

How Do You Promote a Healthy Lifestyle for the Elderly?

The widely accepted definition of “healthy” has evolved over time. At one point, it merely meant the absence of disease. Today, most people recognize that a healthy lifestyle is one focused on making positive choices to promote physical, mental and emotional health. As more is understood about the impact each of these three areas of health has on the others, it becomes clearer how valuable each one is to the complete health of each person.

In many cases, a healthy lifestyle at 30 years old looks much the same as a healthy lifestyle at 60 years old. So, what is different for seniors and exactly what does healthy mean to older adults?

Senior Fitness

People of all ages need to remain active to keep their bodies healthy. For senior citizens, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends 30 minutes of aerobic activity, five days a week for seniors with no chronic health conditions. Low-impact forms of exercise, such as water aerobics and chair yoga, are popular among older adults because these activities improve muscle strength and mobility, while putting limited stress on joints and muscles.

For adults with chronic conditions who are unable to perform aerobic activities, there are a variety of therapies that may help to re-introduce exercise into their daily schedule.

Why is Good Nutrition Important for the Elderly?

Most of us understand that – at any age – eating healthy foods can help us maintain a healthy weight. However, what we eat goes beyond simple weight management. Eating healthy can help reduce the risk of some diseases, such as osteoporosis and diabetes, and it provides our bodies with the fuel to remain physically active.

The senior-focused blog Aging.com points out that appetites, sense of smell and our sense of taste all change as we age. For some seniors, this can cause a decreased interest in food. To make sure your loved one is getting the necessary nutrients, Aging.com suggests making sure seniors drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration, and creating opportunities for them to socialize while eating and focusing on high-fiber foods.

Six Daily Tips for Maintaining a HealthY Senior Lifestyle

Creating a healthy lifestyle can be as simple as making small changes to your daily routine. For seniors, the experts at Healthline encourage an approach that takes all aspects of physical, mental, emotional and preventative health into account. Here are six tips for developing a healthy lifestyle as a senior:

  1. Stay active. Senior fitness is important. Not only does physical activity boost your immune system, it keeps your muscles flexible and maintains flexibility, which supports balance and, ultimately, independence.
  2. Take advantage of supplements. Consult a physician before starting a supplement regimen, but it is important to know that supplements are a safe way to ensure seniors receive the nutrients they may be missing out on. Additionally, Healthline has a comprehensive list of the best anti-aging supplements on the market.
  3. Select healthy meals and snacks. Food that is packed with nutrition will serve your body and allow you to feel full for longer periods. This gives you energy to exercise, socialize and supports good sleep habits.
  4. Wash your hands! During the time of COVID-19, correct hand-washing practices became a common conversation. Especially for senior citizens, this conversation should never fade into the background.
  5. Don’t skimp on sleep. Exercise is important, but so is down time. Make sure you are taking time for relaxation and getting the recommended number of hours of sleep per night.
  6. Make regular doctor’s appointments. Building an open, honest relationship with your primary care physician will give you a resource where you can ask questions and receive expert advice.

Making Lifestyle Changes

If you are considering a lifestyle change that includes a move to a new senior living community, either for yourself or a loved one, there are many aspects to consider. The right environment is key to satisfying your comfort level, providing healthy choices for activities and good nutrition. You want to find the ideal level of support needed for your family. Carnegie Village has been helping families make important senior living decisions for years. Our community is appreciated for our adventurous spirit and active environment. To learn more about our healthy living offerings for seniors, visit www.carnegievillagebytutera.com.