Aging Well: Here’s How to Keep Fit and Healthy in Your Golden Years

The foundations of our youth often contain the strongest building blocks of health. But as you may know, it’s not easy to always stay fit and healthy. However, as you age, taking your health and fitness seriously becomes a major priority. 

No matter how old you are, there’s always time to stall the clock and begin a health regimen. And even after retirement there are activities that you can engage in that will support healthy living and allow you greater health and comfort as you age. But the key is consistency.

For example, you may know many people who have attempted to implement a balanced diet. But these attempts only end up in vain unless they’re adhered to strictly. Ther same is true for health and fitness no matter what type of regimen you engage in. After all, you’re only allowed so many “cheat days.” 

If you’re approaching retirement age, or you have a loved one already living it, the following will offer a few suggestions for keeping fit and healthy in your golden years.

The Connection Between Mind and Body

Keeping healthy doesn’t only include a balanced diet, or going to the gym once or twice a week. The act of being truly healthy requires forging a strong mind and body connection. And this is often done in a holistic fashion.

For example, many nursing home residents are plagued with declining mental health. And the reason why they must be cared for is because many times they can no longer care for themselves, even if they have no serious physical problems. As such, mental health needs to be taken seriously, otherwise a nursing home may be the only option for care for you or for your loved one. With the frequency of serious nursing home injuries and abuse cases, that isn’t an ideal outcome.

Developing a mind and body connection begins with the foods that you eat and the lifestyle you choose to live. This is also dependent upon your understanding of health in general, who you associate with, how you spend your time, and your general attitude toward healthy living. 

At the end of the day, treating your health shouldn’t focus on one part of the body, it should focus on the entire body, the mind included. 

Daily Exercise 

Engaging in daily exercise is the best way to keep your body fit. But once you enter your golden years, you may not be able to go full throttle in the gym and do 10 sets of 20 reps on a leg press. 

When you enter old age, you have to pay attention to the signals your body is sending you. And if you know that you can no longer press weight with your shoulders without being in pain, it’s time to move on to a more moderate exercise regimen. 

A few moderate exercises to consider are:

  • Light aerobics 
  • Walking or hiking
  • Resistance bands instead of weights 
  • Swimming
  • Biking
  • Rowing 
  • Jumping rope

Daily exercise should also be incorporated alongside a balanced diet as well. This is simply because the energy you use while exercising has to come from food sources. And if you’re not eating the right foods, you won’t be able to capitalize on the benefits of any exercise regimen. 

Keeping Mentally Fit

Not only is your body important to take care of, as mentioned, so is your mind. And thankfully there are many mental health exercises that you can engage in as well. 

Believe it or not, but daily reading can be a great stimulant to the mind. And not only are you exercising your mind, with reading you’re obtaining new knowledge that you can use.

In addition to reading, problem solving activities such as word games, crossword puzzles, jigsaw puzzles and the like can also be quite metnally stimulating. And if you want to really keep your mind in shape, daily meditation has been shown to help improve concentration, focus, and mental clarity.

Daily meditation has also been shown to reduce blood pressure, alleviate anxiety, and keep the brain in a younger state. In fact, in an autopsy of the brain, those who have meditated regularly show the signs of having a younger brain and healthier brain cells, even in people of retirement age. 

Keeping healthy is a personal responsibility. And if you or a loved one are entering retirement age, this becomes even more important in order to continue living a full and comfortable life. The great part is, even in old age you can begin implementing a health and fitness routine that can offer you many benefits.