Optimizing senior health

Retirement can mark a significant change in lifestyle. Most people slow down, enjoy the break from careers or raising families, and look for their sense of purpose in the next phase of their lives. While the change is well-deserved, retirement can also mean seniors aren’t as physically, mentally, or socially active, which can lead to conditions like decreased immune systems, cognitive decline, obesity, loss of strength, and bone loss, to name a few. That’s why it’s important for retirees to have a personal wellness plan in order to age healthy. According to Frank Wilhelmi, publisher of the website seniorfitness.com, there are six pillars of fitness that work together to optimize the physical and mental health of seniors as they age: anti-aging, exercise, nutrition, sleep, supplements, and thinking and attitude.

Anti-aging

Is it really possible to slow down the aging process? Of course it is. Certain lifestyle changes can help us lead longer, fuller, and healthier lives. Preventative, alternative, and complementary fields are growing in popularity and specializing in anti-aging medicine. All seniors owe it to themselves to understand the causes of aging and how biology as well as their own behaviors can slow down the process.

Exercise

Perhaps there is no single anti-aging regimen better than exercise. Staying frequently active and mobile is paramount to the longevity of a healthy and properly functioning body. Yoga, running or jogging, golfing, martial arts; these are all great physical activities. And don’t skip the weight training. Strenuous movement is necessary for optimal aging.

Nutrition

Digestion and absorption of nutrients slows down as we age, so it’s important that seniors eat the appropriate foods for maximum nutrition. Seniors should eat real foods in the right proportions that are grown, raised, or caught—not packaged in a box—for maximum health and wellness.

Sleep

Our body is in self-repair mode while we sleep, and if we don’t wake rested and ready to take on the world, not only will we age faster, but we won’t have the energy or focus to be productive the rest of the day. As we age, lack of quality sleep may contribute to degenerative conditions. In addition to exercise, try herbal teas and sleep supplements to help your body relax at night.

Supplements

If you look at the aging process from the cellular level, we lose the ability to produce energy as we age. Supplements can help combat that energy loss, and help improve our digestion, muscle growth, stamina, hormones, sleep, and nutrition.

Thinking & Attitude

Your mental attitude directly effects your physical health. If you have a pessimistic take on life you may actually decrease your life span, become depressed, compromise your immune systems, become more susceptible to cardiovascular disease, and have less coping skills for stress. If you tend to lean toward the pessimistic way of thinking, challenge yourself to change the negative patterns of behavior that are no longer serving you and get excited about all of the good things happening in your world.

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