As people age their bodies unavoidably begin to show the effects of this aging. Thus, because their health and bodies just aren’t what they used to be, it’s important for senior citizens to take extra steps to remain healthy in both mind and body. However, this does not mean that older people need to give up on having a high quality of life. Here at the Golden Triangle Emergency Center, we want to offer a helpful guide on what seniors can do to remain on their feet and feeling great no matter their age.
Understanding What Happens to an Aging Body
The best place to start with improving senior health is to understand just what happens when the human body ages. The reason older individuals bruise more easily is because their skin is thinner and not as flexible as it used to be. Bones become thinner and easily breakable while shifts in the body’s nervous system can often result in compromised mobility and balance. Fat tends to sink to the buttocks and abdominals, which often makes it harder for older individuals to maintain a healthy body weight.
In regards to mental health, senior citizens commonly experience problems with their memories. Some memory loss is an unavoidable part of the aging process, while more serious problems could indicate the presence of dementia or Alzheimer’s. Finally, it is also common for elderly people to begin to suffer sleep disturbances as they age.
While getting plenty of exercise is important at any age, it’s especially vital for seniors. Exercise allows seniors to remain mobile, improves their moods, strengthens muscles and bones, and can go a long way in preventing a number of health issues. Senior citizens should exercise for at least 30 minutes anywhere three to five times a week. The best exercises are those that increase the heart rate to at least 75 percent. Exercises recommended by the Golden Triangle Emergency Center include swimming, yoga, walking, and using exercise machines.
Improving Mental Health
Exercises for the mind are just as important as those of the body. Older individuals should think about taking classes at a local community college or online to keep their minds engaged and their neurons firing. Solving crossword puzzles, word games, Sudoku, and jigsaw puzzles also help with mental health and can double as social activities to beat depression. Finally, social engagement with friends and family helps to stave off much of the mental decline otherwise seen with advancing age.
Another crucial component of senior health is eating right. It’s best to focus on healthy fats, proteins, carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins as well as drink plenty of water. Proper sources of food include fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Seniors should be mindful of the portions they eat, as large portions of healthy food can still result in a high intake of calories. It’s important to realize that metabolisms tend to slow as people age and if portion sizes and overall calorie intake do not similarly decrease it can easily lead to unwanted weight gain.
Foods that should be avoided at any age include those high in saturated fats, sugary options and any that contain empty calories. It’s also best for senior citizens to cut back on alcohol consumption. As always it is important for elderly people to consult their doctors’ before making any dietary changes.
Regardless of the age of our patients, Golden Triangle Emergency Center is here to help all people be their best and healthiest. We provide high quality emergency care 24/7 in a comfortable, state-of-the-art environment that is aimed at improving patient well-being.