While numerous studies suggest that active living is essential for our mental and physical health, as older adults, we sometimes struggle to adopt an active lifestyle. We might fear pushing our bodies too far, not enjoying physical activity, or simply have trouble motivating ourselves. Let’s look at a few ways how older adults can live an active life.
#1 Better Diet
Our diet can have a significant impact on our energy levels as we age. For example, older adults who consume processed or fast food excessively may feel sluggish after meals.
Healthy meals should feature lean protein, fresh fruit, leafy greens, and nutritious vegetables. Diets should be devoid of processed food, sugary drinks, and other unhealthy items. Instead of fruit drinks and acidic soft drinks, meal plans should include water.
Meals should also be cooked carefully. For example, older adults who have difficulty chewing and digesting should consume easy-to-consume food such as rice, soups, soft vegetables, and fish. After all, a tummy or toothache can make it hard for anyone to hit the gym or the swimming pool.
#2 Manage Ailments
Health conditions can negatively impact our active lifestyle. For example, diabetes can induce fatigue and depression can cause demotivation. Work with a qualified medical professional to manage your ailments. By keeping your health conditions in check, you may have more energy to live an active life.
#3 Vibrant Community
Residents of communities that promote active living tend to live healthier lifestyles. If you’re interested in moving to a retirement home, consider picking a community that offers multiple ways to be physically active.
For example, the best senior living centres encourage active living by regularly organizing games and events. They may also offer gyms, pools, and access to physical trainers for older adults on site.
The best retirement communities typically have high walkability scores. They’re typically a walking distance from local attractions such as parks, restaurants, and shopping centres.
#4 Family& Friends
Some activities are often more enjoyable in groups. Organize light activities with friends or family, such as walking, golfing, bowling, or croquet. You can also try moderate exercises with a partner, like swimming, cycling, or weight training to stay motivated.
You can always expand your social circle for activities by joining clubs for older adults.
#5 Video Games
Video games have a bad reputation for promoting sedentary lifestyles. However, newer technologies are encouraging people to stay active. For example, you can play a dancing, aerobics, or boxing game in your living room with a modern PlayStation or Xbox. Even an older console like a Nintendo Wii allows you to play tennis or golf on the screen by tracking your movements through the controller.
For more immersive games that encourage physical activity, try a virtual reality headset. For example, with an Oculus Quest, you can row a boat with a team of Vikings, box with boxing legends, or use a bat to hit cricket balls. Remember, VR can help older adults socialize too!
While overcoming the barriers to active living can be challenging, you can motivate yourself to bypass any obstacles. Embrace a positive community, take care of your physical and emotional health, and try innovative activities to be more active.