WHAT IS HEALTHY AGING FOR OLDER ADULTS?
Ah, the golden question: what’s the secret to aging gracefully? It’s a blend of good nutrition, staying active, catching enough sleep, keeping stress at bay, and spending quality time with loved ones. It involves continuous commitment to mental and creative stimulation, a thirst for lifelong learning and a dedication to personal growth.
10 HEALTHY HABITS FOR AGING GRACEFULLY
1. STAY PHYSICALLY ACTIVE.
Physical activity is the foundation of healthy aging. Health benefits from strength, flexibility and endurance exercises help reduce risks of developing chronic diseases. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), adults age 65 and older need at least 150 minutes a week (for example, 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week) of moderate-intensity activity such as brisk walking to stay in optimal shape.
Whether it’s yoga, aerobics, a game of pickleball, a dip in the pool, a round of golf, or a dance lesson — go for activities that you enjoy and keep you on the move.
At John Knox Village, we have a diverse activity calendar offering a multitude of choices for residents to keep as active as they desire. Here, you’ll be sure to find something that resonates with your interests and passions.
2. MAINTAIN A HEALTHY WEIGHT.
Keeping active will help you maintain a healthy weight and a vibrant lifestyle. As you age, it’s natural for muscle mass to decline. This can lead to less independence and a decrease in energy, but don’t fret — there are ways to keep your energy levels up and your independence intact.
When you stay in that healthy range of weight, you’re not just looking after your heart but also giving chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes a run for their money.
3. CHOOSE HEALTHY, NUTRITIOUS FOODS.
Crafting a healthy and balanced diet helps keep that ideal weight and nurture your well-being. Try to make savvy choices — think loads of colorful fruits, veggies, wholesome grains, lean meats and those oh-so-good fats.
Speaking of green leafy veggies, they’re like superheroes for your immune system and your cognitive prowess. They’ll help keep you sharp as a tack as you age.
Here’s a tasty tip: plan your meals ahead of time for a stress-free dining experience. And while we’re on the subject, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on those desserts and indulgences — moderation is key.
At John Knox Village, we’ve got dining spots that’ll make your taste buds dance with joy. Imagine the luxury of having a chef whipping up delicious, nutritious meals for you.
4. GET SOCIAL AND TRY SOMETHING NEW.
Staying in the loop with your family, loved ones, and younger people can do wonders for your overall well-being. It’s like a dose of happiness medicine, helping you dial down the stress, lift your spirits and keep your brain in prime shape. It’s important to make time for those who light up your world and give your social health a boost.
At John Knox Village, you can try something new and lend a hand to a cause of your choice, pick up a cool new hobby, or dive headfirst into an intriguing class. It’s not just about flexing your brainpower, but also a fantastic way to make new friends along the way. Joining a book club, attending church or getting involved in community groups are all fantastic ways to up your social game.
There are a variety of activities and classes for you to try. We invite you to come take a tour and see what might catch your attention.
5. SCHEDULE REGULAR DOCTOR VISITS.
It’s important to see your doctor for regular checkups, even if you’re feeling well. This will help you stay on top of any health conditions and detect problems early. Preventive care and preventive medicine can help reduce the risk for diseases and disabilities and can even lower your health care costs. Preventive care is so important that experts warn about postponing these appointments as they can prevent disease or help you detect it early when treatment may be more effective.
6. MANAGE STRESS.
Life has stress that is unavoidable, but controlling it is essential for healthy aging. Integrate practices such as meditation, deep breathing exercises or yoga into your schedule every day. These are guaranteed to perk up your mood, help reduce depression and support healthy aging.
7. CATCH YOUR ZZZ’s.
Just like our younger counterparts, older adults need our fair share of quality sleep, which is a solid seven to nine hours. But sometimes life throws a curveball, making sleep goals somewhat challenging to accomplish. Feeling under the weather or dealing with aches and pains can play tricks on your sleep patterns, and some medications might give you unexpected sleepless nights.
Here’s the kicker: when you don’t get enough sleep, it can turn you a bit grumpy, or even lead to the blues, forgetfulness and increase the chances of a fall or other mishaps.
8. GET CREATIVE.
Engaging in creative activities can help improve cognitive function and reduce the risk of dementia. Think painting, writing, strumming a guitar, or whatever delights your senses. Studies even suggest that older people who participate in hobbies and social and leisure activities may be at lower risk for some health problems. Let your creative spirit soar and paint a brighter, more vibrant path ahead.
9. EXERCISE YOUR BRAIN.
Let’s give our brains a little workout. It’s important to keep the mind engaged to maintain cognitive health, and it’s not just about slogging through brain-busting tasks; it’s about having fun while you’re at it.
Dive into a good book, tackle some brain-teasing puzzles, or pick up a new skill. Experts recommend keeping that mental engine revved up, and you’ll be on the road to optimal wellness.
10. KEEP IT POSITIVE.
The healthiest people tend to radiate positivity, seize the reins of their health, and do what they love to stay spry as they age. Wrap yourself in a positive attitude, and remember, it’s perfectly fine to ask for a hand when you need it.
HOW TO ACHIEVE HEALTHY AGING
We all have the power to shape our own aging experience, and to make it a healthy and fulfilling one. Here are ways to get started:
Make gradual changes. Slow and steady wins the race. Don’t feel like you need to flip your whole life upside down in one go. Start small, with changes that you can stick to.
Find a support system. Here’s where your squad comes in handy. Having your trusty support crew by your side will be a game-changer. They’re your cheerleaders, ready to boost you up on this journey.
Don’t give up. There will be setbacks along the way but try not to throw in the towel. If you keep moving forward, one step at a time, you’ll get to those healthy aging goals.
HEALTHY AGING IS A LIFELONG JOURNEY
It’s not about being perfect … it’s about making healthy choices that you can stick with for the long term. By following the tips above, you can increase your chances of living a long, healthy, and happy life.
HOW INDEPENDENT LIVING PROVIDES A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE FOR SENIORS
Studies have shown that lifestyle has more of an impact on aging than genetics. When you take a holistic approach to retirement at a community like John Knox Village, it can make it much easier to maintain your independence and have more control over your well-being.
A LIFE PLAN COMMUNITY WITH HEALTHY AGING IN MIND
John Knox Village is a not-for-profit Life Plan Community in Kansas City, MO, that offers a variety of services, amenities and programs designed to promote overall health. We often consider eight vital dimensions of wellness — emotional, intellectual, financial, spiritual, vocational, environmental, social, and physical health. Our health professionals believe that a holistic approach to wellness is essential for healthy aging.
We have multiple dining venues on-site, each with a full-time chef and culinary staff and delicious menu options.
Ready to dive into a lifestyle that’s all about you? Contact us today. We’re always happy to answer any questions you have and show you why John Knox Village is a great place to live and thrive as you age.