It’s a New Year, and a great opportunity to start incorporating healthy habits into your daily lifestyle. In a previous blog, Pennsylvania Agency of Nurses discussed four of the most common New Year resolutions, especially for seniors. Even if you’re not the resolution-making type, there are plenty of simple changes you can make that will benefit your overall health and wellness. Let’s start with the easiest change first!
- Drink more water. This small step might be the easiest thing you can do...and might make the biggest difference! Drinking water is important for so many reasons: staying hydrated at the cellular level, avoiding headaches and cramps, curbing an appetite that might mean you’re thirsty instead of hungry, etc. The typical recommendation is to drink about 64 ounces a day for adults. While it might sound like a lot, consider how much liquid you might be losing through urine and sweat every day. One easy tip to incorporate into your daily routine is to always have a glass or bottle of water nearby...if it’s out of sight, it’s generally out of mind. Certified home care workers can be a big help for senior citizens in helping incorporate this tip.
- Spend time outside. Getting out into the sunshine (even overcast weather) can work wonders for general health and wellness. A recent Stanford study found that walking outside improves creativity, but that’s not the only reason to enjoy the outdoors! Exposure to the sun, a breath of fresh air, and interaction with nature can all be refreshing and break up an otherwise monotonous day. Especially in the wintertime, getting outside can help prevent seasonal affective disorder. Getting out and walking might be difficult for seniors who are immobile or homebound, but even spending 10 minutes outside in a chair can be therapeutic.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables. We discussed healthy eating in a blog about the Mediterranean diet, but the truth is that there are a lot of easy ways to change your diet to improve overall health. Adding fresh fruits and vegetables benefits senior health in many ways: from adding essential vitamins and minerals to decreasing preservatives and more. It can be as simple as swapping an apple for potato chips, or celery sticks for other snack foods that are not nutritionally-dense. And here is some great news: seniors in home care will definitely benefit from the meal preparation that often comes as part of home care services.
- Volunteer time or sign up for a class. Depending on your mobility and ability to get around town, this might be the most difficult of the four tips we’ve presented here in the blog. But helping others will have mental, physical, and physiological benefits for seniors who may be bored, lonely, or just looking to use their time well. Here are some great volunteer opportunities in the Philadelphia area:
So there you have it - four easy tips to incorporate into your daily or weekly routine that have multiple benefits for seniors (everyone, really). To learn more about how to best optimize senior health, please visit our blog, or contact Pennsylvania Agency of Nurses to see how we can help your family today!