Must-Know Tips That Help Seniors Living a Healthy Lifestyle

Can you believe a healthy diet is more effective than exercise?

Now, this doesn’t take anything away from the value of exercise but, in fact, suggests what needs to be done.

A longer life can be better with health and vitality, but achieving that requires applying some changes. The biggest challenge we face in this regard is not to add more years to our lifespan; instead, it is the increase in the number of years that we can be fully active, independent, and happy. We want to travel, dance, learn, laugh, and enjoy our lives. This article will discuss ways to achieve a healthy lifestyle for seniors.

Healthy Lifestyle for Seniors

Research has shown that specific strategies for a proper diet, sleep, exercise, relationships, and preventative care can dramatically create a healthy lifestyle for seniors. They can prevent the occurrence of chronic diseases and guarantee a longer and healthier life.

Aging is fraught with many challenges to your health. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, about one in four Americans suffer from chronic diseases such as arthritis, asthma, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and chronic respiratory conditions in old age.

These chronic diseases can cause many disorders to maintain independence and carry out daily activities in old age. Such chronic conditions can create a lot of problems for the elderly, but they can also lead to many costs such as medical treatment, intensive care, and the high cost of prescription drugs.

The good news is that you can take positive steps to reduce the risk of various diseases and illnesses in old age. Doing these steps will make your body stronger, your mind clearer, and your immune system a more robust defense mechanism, so you will be less prone to various diseases.

Basic Principles of Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle for Seniors

Healthy Nutrition and Diet

Choosing healthy foods is very important to have a healthy lifestyle for seniors, and it prevents various diseases. Your body experiences significant changes between the ages of 60, 70, and 80. Your diet at this age should be such that it provides the energy and nutrients with your body needs. It has been scientifically proven that following these tips will improve your health at every stage of life, especially in old age.

A senior making a healthy food

Healthy foods include:

  • Protein-rich foods (chicken, lean meats, seafood, eggs, legumes)
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Low-fat dairy products

In addition, try to eat high vitamin D foods, high in fibre and low in fat and sodium, especially as you get older. It is also essential to drink plenty of water every day.

Pay Attention to the Amount of Food You Consume

Dietary guidelines show that people over the age of 50 choose their foods from the following recipes. It is a great starting point to help you feel how much and what kind of food you should eat:

  • Fruits: 1.5 to 2.5 cups
  • Vegetables: 2 to 3.5 cups
  • Beans: 5 to 10 ounce 
  • Protein foods: 5 to 7 ounces
  • Dairy products: 3 glasses of skim or low-fat milk
  • Oil: 5 to 8 teaspoons 

Reduce your intake of solid fats and excess sugars, and sodium (salt) as much as possible.

It is better to eat fresh foods and foods, especially in old age, but if you use packaged or canned foods, be sure to read the labels. Avoid foods high in saturated sugar and sodium.

Try not to consume more than 6-9 teaspoons of sugar per day (25-36 grams).

Besides, people over the age of 50 should limit their sodium intake to a maximum of 1,500 mg of sodium per day.

The elderly should also reduce the intake of saturated fat to 18 and 25 grams per day, and also, they should not get more than 10% of their daily calories from saturated fat.

Sleep and Healthy Lifestyle for Seniors

According to the US National Sleep Foundation, older people between the ages of 50 and 65 should get 7 to 9 hours of rest a night, and those over 65 should get 8 to 9 hours of sleep a night. However, getting a good night’s sleep is a big challenge for many seniors.

a senior suffering from sleep disturbance

With age, people suddenly wake up more during the night, and they will face sleep disturbance. Older people suffer from sleep apnea, arthritis, acid reflux, heart failure, suffocation, and depression. Other people experience Restless Legs Syndrome or periodic foot movements that make it difficult to sleep at night.

The good news is that treating these diseases often improves a person’s ability to sleep and ascertains a healthy lifestyle for seniors. Poor sleep can negatively affect your physical and mental health. A significant number of studies have linked sleep deprivation to poorer memory, illness, and shorter life expectancy.

Tips to Improve Sleep Quality

Although it may be challenging to get a good night’s sleep in old age, it is not impossible, and there are many things we can do to improve the quality of our night’s sleep. Some of those are as follows:

  • Avoid caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, and other stimulants at night.
  • Eat a light dinner or snack before bed – avoid heavy meals late in the day.
  • Avoid drinking large amounts of beverages before bedtime that increase nocturnal urination, and drink only water or other drinks to quench your thirst at night.
  • Do not take a nap until noon because you will miss your nap after lunch if you take a nap all day. 
  • Be sure to exercise in the morning, but do not do it after dinner. Morning exercise will really help you sleep better at night. However, never postpone your workouts too late as they irritate your body and deprive you of sleep.
  • Maintain a proper sleep schedule for going to bed and waking up the following day to make it easier for your body to get used to your sleep-wake rhythm. Waking up on time causes your body to force you to go to bed and rest at a specific time and wake you up at a specific time. Do not constantly check your cell phone while sleeping, as this will cause you to fall asleep later. If you cannot resist, try to place your laptop or smartphone away from the bed.

Exercise and Healthy Lifestyle for Seniors

Everyone knows that daily exercise with a healthy diet acts as an energizing medicine for the body in today’s world.

Seniors exercising to have a healthy lifestyle

Exercise helps the elderly be active and independent, and while helping to prevent a variety of diseases, it will also increase their life expectancy. But most importantly, such seniors will have better levels of preparation, better decision-making, critical thinking, and more careful planning skills than their peers while reducing cognition, memory loss, and dementia. The following are the best guidelines for the elderly to exercise:

  • At least 150 minutes of walking or another aerobic exercise per week.
  • Strength training 2-3 times a week, but never two days in a row.
  • Practice stretching and balance every day.

Daily Habits

There are many tips on what is good or bad for older people that change every year. One day wine is good for you; another day, it is no longer good. One day an egg is bad for you; the next, it can be great. So here is a list of 5 habits that will benefit you in any situation to use. These habits will make a big difference in your life, so try to practice them:

Be Sure to Exercise Daily

The more you move, the better. Walking, swimming, tennis, etc., are among the best choices. Research shows that sustained physical activity increases the chances of improving health seven-fold, especially in old age.

Smile as Much as You Can

Smile as much as you can. People who smile will live longer, happier, and healthier lives than people who smile less and are gloomy. Forcing a smile will not make any difference in your life, but do things that bring a smile to your face.

Turn Off the TV

Studies show that watching TV for an hour reduces life expectancy by about 22 minutes! So if you sit in front of the TV for six hours every day, you will live five years less, according to a University of Queensland study. Spend time with your friends, cooking, gardening, walking, painting, writing and reading, and many other fun activities, and try to limit watching TV.

Spend Time with Friends and Family

A study found that having a robust social network of friends is essential to have a healthy lifestyle for seniors. In fact, according to a study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a broad social network, like exercise and diet, will help keep the elderly healthy.

A group seniors playing chess

Meditation for Healthy Lifestyle of Seniors

It may seem trivial to you, but meditation is the key to a healthy lifestyle for seniors. Researchers at Harvard University have even emphasized the benefits of meditation for the elderly. Just 15 minutes of meditation a day can keep your mind healthy and protect your health while reducing your stress, pain, and depression.

two senior are practicing meditation for healthy lifestyle for seniors

The bottom line is

Staying healthy in old age does not happen by chance. Of course, genetic luck is significant, but there are many things we can do to improve our chances of having a healthy lifestyle. Having a diet, getting enough sleep, exercising, social interaction habits, and disease prevention will help us live longer and healthier lives during our senior years.

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Carlos
Carlos
11 months ago

As a senior, a healthy lifestyle is an essential factor for our life quality. I really agree with this article; nutrition is too critical for us. We should choose suitable food materials for consumption. We can’t eat fatty foods like fast foods like young people! Also, we should never forget sports activities. I advise my same-age friends to change their habits and live healthier if they want to live longer and better. 

Liliane
Liliane
Reply to  Carlos
7 months ago

Yes, you’re right, Carlos. But you know what? Without quality night sleep, you have no energy to do sports the day after, and you will also lose appetite gradually. I’m speaking from experience, so in my idea, deep night sleep is the root of all other factors for a healthy lifestyle; if you have no problems sleeping, lucky you.

J.Bryan
J.Bryan
11 months ago

I spent more than 30 years overeating and smoking till I could feel my lungs burning. Until eight years ago, my doctor told me that I had to stop, or I’d live a painful short life; I had an angioplasty surgery back then, and fortunately, that has been the only surgery I’ve had. I went cold turkey and started walking more, and changed my diet. It wasn’t easy at first. But I had my family’s full support. You have to change your habits someday for those who smoke and have an inactive life, and believe me; the sooner is better.

Kayla
Kayla
10 months ago

One thing that slips people’s minds is mental well-being. Eating healthy is crucial for people of all ages and especially seniors, the same as exercise. But doing things that we like, especially in later life, is also essential—things like painting, reading, talking and watching movies; that way, people will smile more!

Robin
Robin
Reply to  Kayla
6 months ago

I agree with you, Kayla. It is also necessary for anyone to pay attention to what they eat. I am 65 years old, and my friends and I stopped eating foods with empty calories because they have high calories and limited nutritional values. I have to get the nutrition my body needs to lower the risk of chronic diseases at my age. Now I eat foods high in fibre and low in saturated fat. It is never too late to start taking steps to improve your health.

Vanessa
Vanessa
10 months ago

I totally agree with what this article is saying. A good diet and enough sleep are probably the cornerstones of a healthy lifestyle. Without paying attention to the things we eat and the time and quality of our sleep, we can’t lead a healthy life, that’s for sure.

Hannah
Hannah
8 months ago

One of our neighbours is perfect for having a healthy lifestyle! Every morning he goes for a walk for almost 40 minutes. Believe it or not, I have never seen him eat any unhealthy foods and snacks. 

Ethan
Ethan
Reply to  Hannah
7 months ago

I envy their willpower. Personally, I think it’s not that challenging to start a healthy life. You’ve just got to wake up early and have a schedule on what exercises you’ll be doing during the day and have a list of all the nutritious food you’ll be eating at specific times. However, maintaining such a lifestyle is what I’ve always had problems with. The same goes for all the people who regularly go to the gym. I know you don’t have to be a bodybuilder to be considered healthy, but I absolutely respect their undistracted focus and determination.

Declan
Declan
7 months ago

I started yoga three months ago, and unbelievably, I can see the positive results in my life. I sleep better, breathe better, even I smile more!

Adam
Adam
7 months ago

My unhealthy lifestyle included chocolates daily, drinking six days a week, smoking 18 cigarettes a day, having hotel food daily, and no exercise or regard for health.
I had diabetes and blood pressure when I was 57, and my doctor told me I would die within two years, and it has been nine years since he said that.
After my weight loss, I am more confident, self-aware, happy, and content with myself.
I do drink now, but it may be 2 or 4 times a year. I’ve lost interest in drinking but drink just to socialize.

BigOleJohn
BigOleJohn
7 months ago

It’s an unpopular opinion, but the best way to keep healthy is to avoid going to the doctor. Once you’ve received your first prescription pill, you’re on the fast track to being prescribed other medications to counteract the adverse effects of the first. I walk every day but do not engage in strenuous workouts. I have at least two scotches every night, but I don’t smoke. I’m supposed to be retired, but I continue to work approximately 20 hours each week because I enjoy it.

Mason
Mason
7 months ago

I remember my grandpa. He constantly tries to teach me how to choose a healthy lifestyle. He wakes up early in the morning, eats a healthy breakfast, works out and takes a shower. Plus, he has his own strict rules for eating; sugar, salt, and fat are all forbidden.

Jake
Jake
5 months ago

Great information! I’m sending this to my wife…
For me, it’s all about quality food and the right kind of exercise. 
If you have a diet of processed meats packaged and junk foods, you’re going to be more at risk for just about any disease.
I know fish is good for your brain because of vitamin omega 3, as well as leafy greens. I would also recommend a diet with various colours, flavours, textures and temperatures.