Intro by Katie Vella

We are excited to have another installment of an informative blog by Marie Villeza of Elder Impact. This month she discusses healthy lifestyle activities for seniors. Each of Marie’s blogs are designed to empower seniors against ageism. Check back each month for more helpful information, or even better check out Elder Impact and talk with their staff directly.

Growing older doesn’t have to mean living a dull life.  Making the most of your golden years means staying healthy and active.  Add some spice to your lifestyle with these fun and safe pastimes selected especially for seniors.

Health First
It’s vital to protect your physical health so you can continue to enjoy all life has to offer. Staying active as you get older starts with taking good care of yourself, which means having a balanced diet and seeing your doctor regularly to make sure your health is monitored.

Enjoy Exercise
Staying fit is a key to good health at any age.  One of the easiest ways for seniors to jump into a new workout routine is with walking.  Health24 recommends choosing comfortable walking shoes and trying to stick with softer ground for your route, such as in a park or on a hiking trail.  Another suggestion is to engage in a gentle yoga program.  Yoga is believed to be an asset to seniors in many ways, such as improving coordination, strength, and balance.  Don’t worry, you don’t need to be able to bend yourself into a pretzel in order to participate!  In fact, you can even enjoy chair yoga if you have limited mobility.  There are chair yoga DVDs available, or you can follow along with YouTube videos.  If you’re new to exercising or have a medical condition, talk with your doctor before beginning your new regimen.

Gather A Group
Are you looking for fun activities for you and your friends?  There are plenty of great ideas for groups!  The Art of Manliness suggests thinking in terms of activities everyone can enjoy, regardless of age, economic status, or mobility.  By thinking all-inclusive, you avoid a lot of hassles and restrictions, and keep recreation open and engaging.  For example, you can plan a picnic at a park, attend a museum during admission-free time slots, play board games, do puzzles, or start a book club.  You can also go for a driving tour, visit local farmers markets, have a potluck meal, or do some stargazing.  The sky’s the limit on all you can do together.  And there are many benefits from social engagement to both your physical and mental well-being, such as increased self-confidence, a more positive outlook on life, and generally increased activity levels.  So try to make group activities a priority.

Go Outside And Play
Spending time in the great outdoors is important to your overall wellness. As LiveStrong points out, being outside improves energy levels, helps you focus, and lowers stress and anxiety.  Taking in vitamin D helps to maintain teeth and bones, support your immune system, and regulate insulin levels.  Another idea is to take up gardening, which boosts your heart rate, improves strength, and helps joint mobility.  Or, you can take your dog for a walk or play a game of croquet.

If lounging quietly in nature is more your thing, try journaling, sketch scenery, or bird watching.  To make the most of the sunshine, try to plan to be exposed to the sun for 5 to 10 minutes two or three times per week.  Keep in mind vitamin D breaks down quickly, which means you may need to be more diligent when planning a program for sun exposure during winter months.

Enriching your lifestyle can be easy with fun and healthful activities.  Getting some exercise, doing things with friends, and spending time outside can all contribute to your overall happiness.  Your golden years will be anything but dull when you add some spice to your life.

Leave a comment