This is How to Improve Your Quality of Life Well Into Your Golden Years
Wouldn’t it be nice if reaching 65 not only meant becoming Medicare eligible, but also that your physical and mental health reached their prime – and stayed there? Unfortunately, age isn’t a pass for neglecting your health, and instead brings age-related concerns such as arthritis, diabetes, osteoporosis, and dementia.
Your quality of life has a direct correlation to your overall wellness. Check out the following tips to help you boost your health, improve your quality of life and enabling you to truly enjoy your golden years.
Don’t Neglect Doctor’s Visits
It doesn’t matter how old you are, doctor’s visits are one of those things that are easy to put off. This cycle becomes easier when your health isn’t suffering. However, regular doctor’s visits and preventative screenings can give you a health baseline and enable your doctor to check you for any health concerns that are common for those in your age category. Blood pressure is one area that needs to be monitored regularly, as a consistently high one puts you at a greater risk for heart attack and stroke. Get a regular bone density scan, dental check up, vision and hearing test, and stay on top of vaccinations. All these health visits can be costly, so it is important that you have adequate health coverage. Now might be a good time to review your Medicare coverage and even look into a Medicare Advantage plan, as Part C plans cover things such as dental and vision that might not be covered under Original Medicare. Check out the plans available through Aetna to see if you and your health could benefit.
Find Fun Ways to Exercise
There are many different exercise options, but some are a little more fun than others. One such example is a childhood favorite – swimming. Whether you take a water aerobics class or swim a few laps in your own pool, swimming is very low impact since you’re buoyant in water, giving you full range of motion without stress on your joints. You’ll also get stronger and reduce your osteoporosis risk, as well as improve balance, flexibility, mood, and quality of life.
Another tried and true exercise method, and one that is popular with seniors due to being low impact, is walking. Simply walking makes it easy to shed excess weight, and touts crucial benefits such as improved cognitive function, lower blood pressure, and less stress. Many hobbies such as gardening or senior sports leagues offer physical health benefits too, so it’s up to you to find what you enjoy.
Keep Your Brain Active
Mental health is important too, and you need to actively engage and exercise your brain to avoid decline in cognitive function. Luckily, there are plenty of fun brain exercises out there. One such example is jigsaw puzzles. Putting a puzzle together works both the left and right side of your brain, thereby activating and exercising the brain cells while increasing their productivity. While searching for those pieces, your brain increases the production of dopamine, the chemical associated with learning and memory, which can be helpful in decreasing your chances of developing dementia. A good puzzle can relax you too, leaving you with a beautiful completed puzzle you can frame or work again.
Some of the games you played as a child are beneficial to your brain health too. Childhood favorites like cards, chess, checkers and other board games are all great options for keeping your brain engaged. As a plus, this is something fun you can enjoy with the grandkids or as part of a game night. If you have a smartphone, tablet, or computer, you can download brain games to play anytime, anywhere including sudoku, solitaire, jigsaw puzzles, word puzzles, and brain training games.
Taking care of your health starts with staying on top of preventative health, so go ahead and schedule those appointments if you don’t have them on your calendar already. Start incorporating some sort of physical activity into your week whether it is tending your vegetable garden or taking a water aerobics class. Pair physical activity with some brain games, and you are well on your way to improving your quality of life.