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The Secret to Holistic Health for Seniors? Friends, Fitness, and Fun!

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The term “holistic” is a bit of a buzzword these days. You see it in everything from practices like yoga becoming mainstream to more people choosing whole foods instead of processed convenience foods. The popularity of holistic living is a trend we hope is here to stay because it is the key to complete health. However, taking charge of your health is about so much more than just eating right and exercising — it’s also about caring for your mind, body, and spirit. This goal is even more important for older adults. A holistic approach to your health is the best way to prevent injury and illness while increasing your energy, happiness, and overall quality of life.

Prevent Injury

Being active in your senior years keeps your bones stronger and fights muscle loss, which decreases your risk of falling. At the same time, you want to be careful about the type of activity you do so you don’t put a strain on yourself that leads to injury.

Below are some ideas and general guidelines for finding that balance.

Hire Help for the Hard Stuff
Being a senior doesn’t mean you have to sit on the sidelines, but it’s smart to choose where (and how) to focus your energy. Everyday household projects and chores can be hard on older adults, especially if you have arthritis. One way to protect your health is to hire help with those activities that can be hard on your body like landscaping, mowing, and cleaning. The average cost to hire a maid service to clean your house interior in Burbank is between $113 and $209.

Follow the Right Exercise “Rules”
The first thing you should do before starting an exercise regimen later in life is to check with your doctor. Marketwatch explains how the “rules” for senior exercise have changed some as doctors have learned more about what your body needs most. For example, doctors used to mainly recommend aerobic activities for seniors, but we now know that resistance training is crucial to maintaining bone density and muscle mass. One of the safest ways to do resistance training is to start slow with exercises that use your own bodyweight, like squats. There are also many safe and comfortable exercises that seniors can do indoors if they don’t feel comfortable heading to the gym or going outside, and these include following along with simple fitness videos online or using exercise games on consoles such as the Nintendo Wii.

Mind Your Mental Health

The topic of healthy living is often centered around caring for your physical health. These strategies for protecting your physical health are crucial, but maintaining a good quality of life depends just as much on caring for your mental health too. Consider the following ideas for making the most of your senior years with a balanced mental and spiritual life.

Build Strong Friendships
According to AARP, research has shown that having meaningful friendships has a major impact on your health and well-being. To reap this benefit and help your friends in return, prioritize spending time with old friends and finding ways to make new ones. Even more than family, having these friends by your side can be a major boost to your overall happiness.

Try Something New
You’ve probably heard the stereotype that older folks are set in their ways, so make it a goal to prove that stereotype wrong. Consider taking a class at a community college, volunteering, or trying online brain games. Learning something new does more than make life fun. Learning new skills is also a primary way that seniors can prevent cognitive decline.

Nourish Your Spiritual Self
Regardless of whether you are religious, we all have spiritual needs. Some people feel spiritual being outside in nature or listening to music, while others feel most spiritual from religious practice. Even if you aren’t active in a religious community, take time to explore ways you can nurture your spirituality that are meaningful to you.

Holistic living is all about finding balance. That means making as much time for your spiritual and emotional needs as you do for your physical health. You will find that working toward this balance is the true secret to optimum health and happiness — no matter your age.

About the Author: Jason has first-hand experience as a senior caregiver, in addition to his background in personal training. He’s passionate about helping seniors stay healthy and injury-free.

References

energy - http://sixtyandme.com/6-completely-natural-ways-to-improve-your-energy-level-after-60/
$113 and $209 - https://www.homeadvisor.com/tloc/Burbank-CA/Maid-Service/
senior exercise - https://www.marketwatch.com/story/new-rules-for-exercising-if-youre-over-50-2017-07-03
resistance training - https://www.silversneakers.com/blog/strength-training-for-seniors/
can do indoors - https://www.medicare.org/articles/easy-exercises-seniors-can-do-indoors/
mental health - https://health.usnews.com/health-care/patient-advice/articles/2018-06-15/why-mental-illness-is-so-hard-to-spot-in-seniors
friendship - https://www.aarp.org/home-family/friends-family/info-2017/friendships-improve-health-older-adults-fd.html
brain games - https://www.vitalityseniorliving.com/resources-for-seniors/senior-resources-for-staying-active-healthy-happy
cognitive decline - http://time.com/4682031/how-to-prevent-dementia/
spiritual - https://www.goldencarers.com/10-spiritual-activities-for-people-with-alzheimers-disease/4271/
Pixabay - https://pixabay.com/photos/tea-party-where-is-the-cake-grandma-1335722/

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