Healthy living leads to longer, fuller lives. So we’ve compiled a list of five healthy habits for Senior Citizens living at home. But, even if we know what’s good for us, it can be hard to change our behaviors. Often inertia keeps us in our routine. On average, it takes 66 days to form a new habit.
Five Healthy Habits for Seniors Living at Home
Home-cooked meals are healthier and less expensive than take-out. When you prepare healthy meals at home, you eat fewer calories. Also, you are mindful of what goes into your food. In addition, the right combination of vegetables and lean protein reduces risks for medical problems such as high blood pressure and diabetes.
2. Staying Active
The best way to stay active is doing something you enjoy, such as walking, gardening, and low-impact workouts. In addition, you’re more likely to stick to your commitment if you have someone to help keep you accountable. So make plans to walk with a neighbor!
Spending time with others strengthens us both mentally and physically. Socializing reduces loneliness and depression. It also helps sharpen cognitive abilities and lowers the risk of dementia. Plus, connecting with others is associated with a stronger immune system. Socialization takes many forms, such as visiting with family and friends, joining a club, or video chatting with the grandkids.
Lifelong learning keeps the mind sharp and boosts self-confidence. Our brains need to be challenged, and education is like exercise for the brain. You can work on hobbies or learn a new language by taking classes at the senior center or online.
Mindfulness means paying attention to your thoughts, feelings, and sensations around you. Focusing on what you see, hear, smell, taste, and feel around you keeps you grounded in the present moment. Practicing mindfulness decreases depression, anxiety, and stress. It also strengthens relationships and improves memory and cognitive ability. Mindfulness can look like meditation, or it can be going for a walk and focusing on what the ground feels like under your feet.
How Do You Develop Healthy Habits?
Start small by choosing one behavior to change at a time. Then, pair the habit with something you are already doing, such as going for a walk every evening after dinner. In addition, reward yourself with something you like. Rewards give you something to look forward to after you complete your habit.
The best day to start a new habit is today! Set yourself up for success. If you want to eat healthier, fill your fridge with fresh fruits and vegetables and avoid temptation such as sugary foods. With determination and motivation, you can build habits that stick.
Anita’s Angels, Inc. is here to help maintain healthy habits for Senior Citizens living at home. Our caring Companion Aides and CHHHAs visit with our clients and assist with cooking, shopping, transportation, etc. We are Families Helping Families. Give us a call at 908-788-9390.