As we get older, it might be easier to sink into old routines than pick up new habits and hobbies. But when it comes to your health, trying something new, be it exercise, games or puzzles might have positive effects on your overall well being. Taking advantage of the benefits certain activities provide can lead to a measurable increase in your quality of life.
When approaching your health, it’s never enough to just focus on one area. Exercise is great for your physical fitness, but how about your emotional well being and mental sharpness? When looking for activities that offer health benefits, it’s important to approach it holistically and ensure each area of your wellbeing is accounted for.
If improving your quality of life and maintaining all-around wellbeing well into your senior years is important to you, here are a few activities you should consider trying out:
For Your Mind
One concern many seniors share is keeping their mental sharpness as they get older. In some ways your mind is like a muscle -- if you don’t use it, it can grow weaker. That’s why these activities are a good idea to try to keep you brain trained.
Puzzles and Word Games: An easily accessible and effective way at stimulating your mind is trying to solve problems and engage in some creative thinking. An excellent example is the daily crosswords published in newspapers and their online counterparts. And if you’re not into word games and prefer a bit of light math, Sudoku puzzles are equally stimulating and easily found. Even that old jigsaw collecting dust in your closet is a good way to put your mind to work and help keep it sharp.
Playing Music: Whether or not you’ve ever had training in music before, there’s no time like the present to give it a whirl. The stereotype of “old dogs and new tricks” is just that -- a stereotype. There are plenty of amazing stories about people discovering their musical talent well into their golden years, and you could be among them. The best part is, learning something new and practicing it has noted benefits on preserving your memory and keeping your mental sharpness.
Keep a Journal: Writing down what has happened in your day is a great memory exercise. It can also be a tool to help you practice -- at the end of your week, try and recall certain details of each day, and then use your journal to check your accuracy. Practice like this can actually help improve and preserve your memory. And you don’t just need to write down chores list, your journal can be an excellent way to express your creativity and train your brain.
For Your Body
Making sure you take care of your physical health might be the single most important thing you can do for your quality of life in your later years. Being able to stay mobile and independent will have positive effects on both your mood and your mind.
Low Impact Exercises: When we get older, it’s often wise to set aside the high-intensity activities we may have enjoyed in our youth. With injuries more common and recovery more difficult, risking our health while exercising is just simply not worth it. That said, there are plenty of low impact exercises to safely get your heart rate up, with lower risk of injury. Consider stationary cycling, swimming, simple yoga, and brisk walks. Always make sure to check with your doctor before trying a new routine to make sure it’s right for you.
Have a Meal Plan: Eating healthy is a major part of staying healthy. Especially when there’s so many supplements and shakes to reach for, it can be all too easy to skimp on real food in favour of convenience. But there’s no proper substitute for a real meal, with the delicate blend of nutrients working together food provides. Making a meal plan in advance means you won’t have to brainstorm every time you need to make food. Not much of a cook? Heart to Home Meals can have premade meals delivered right to your door, with your nutritional needs in mind.
Consider Light Stretching: Flexibility is something we often take for granted until it’s limited. But maintaining some flexibility is extremely important to mobility, independence and quality of life. With a light stretching routine that prioritizes your legs, shoulders and back, you will be able to keep up and about, and will even be less prone to injury. Just make sure the stretches you pursue are comfortable for your body and doctor-approved.
For Your Mood
Keeping well involves maintaining your emotional state too. An essential part of your wellness is your happiness and emotional wellbeing. Finding activities that promote and benefit this is a great pursuit in your senior years.
Take Opportunities to Socialize: It can be difficult to be a social butterfly, especially these days. But even casual moments to have a conversation, either with a neighbour, a family member a friend, or even your Heart to Home Meals delivery person is a great way to boost your mood. Humans are social creatures by nature and this doesn't change as we age. When its safe to do so, finding opportunities to go for walks with companions is a good way to combine socializing and exercising.
Focus on Fun: Falling into a routine where you’re just going through the motions each day is something many of us experience. With chores, responsibilities and routines ever present, it’s not difficult to see why. That said, when it comes to our emotional well being, it’s important to take some time for yourself. Explore a new hobby or pick up an old one. Maybe plan for a game night with family or friends (there are lots of digital options for physical distancing these days.) And find ways to look forward to your food -- a good meal can go a long way to feeling good.
Try Meditation: Meditation might seem like a lot of hocus pocus to some, but there is growing scientific evidence to suggest it has genuinely positive impacts on your mood and well being. Meditation doesn’t have to involve incense and gongs, simply taking a moment to pause for reflection, and allow your mind to wander can give you the necessary time to process what’s going on around you. Many people describe feeling refreshed, less anxious and happier with daily meditation. Consider taking five or ten minutes out of your day for some quiet reflection, and see if it has a positive impact on your mood!
Specific activities can have really positive impacts on your overall well being. From exercise that will keep you mobile, to memory exercises to keep you sharp, there are lots of opportunities out there to improve your overall wellness.
One common theme with wellbeing is how important the role of food is. If you’re looking for delicious, nutritious meal options delivered right to your door, consider contacting us at Heart to Home Meals.
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