3 Ways Seniors Can Improve Their Health, Heart, and Soul
by Guest Blogger Jason Lewis
Looking for more reasons to smile during your golden years? Improving quality of life is a common aspiration for seniors and older adults. You may already be eating healthier and exercising more to take better care of yourself, but do you know how to make even more of an impact on your physical and mental health? The keys to doing so may be easier than you think, but there are steps many seniors tend to miss. So, here are three ways you can make the most of your life and take more control of your health.
Get Those Regular Check-Ups at the Dentist
If you have more reasons to smile as a senior, you want to be sure that smile is clean and healthy. Beyond aesthetics, your oral health influences processes throughout your body that may surprise you. Poor dental health has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease as well as digestive disorders. There is even a cyclical connection to depression
If you are feeling depressed, you may not feel like taking proper care of your teeth and gums. On the other hand, when you let your oral health slide, you may end up feeling self-conscious. So, for your oral, mental, and physical health, be sure to check in with your dentist on a regular basis.
Worried about the costs? If your Medicare Advantage plan covers dental, you should use those benefits. If not, look into alternate plans, like Aetna’s Medicare Advantage plans, that will offer coverage for dental exams, as well as vision screenings. Think having dentures means skipping the dentist? According to dental experts, that could leave you vulnerable to gum disease and even oral cancers, so you should still schedule regular exams.
Add Exercises for Balance to Your Workout Routine
When you work out, you may be thinking of your heart health and weight. But should you be thinking about reducing your risk of being injured by a fall too? The answer is a resounding yes! Falls account for millions of injuries each year, and some falls can even be fatal. Whether serious or not, you don’t want to put yourself at the risk of experiencing a fall in your senior years. So, how can exercise help? Your workouts can help keep you from falling, but only if you add enough strength training and balance to your fitness routine. Something as simple as a leg raise can help steady your body while building up the muscles needed to keep your legs sturdy. Want to decrease your fall risks and increase your mood in the process? If so, you should consider adding more yoga or tai chi to your fitness plans. Both will work to boost your balance and mood, but the slow pace of tai chi may be a better fit for some seniors.
Go Volunteer with Your Favorite Local Charity or Cause
Taking more time to care for your oral health and balance can be good for your body and brain. However, if you want a boost for your soul, you should think about giving back to your community. When you give a part of yourself to a cause, you are not only helping to enrich the lives of people in need, but you are also giving yourself the gift of knowing you made a difference. Volunteering is the perfect way for seniors to leave a positive legacy, but it can also provide a much-needed social connection. Not only do those social connections help prevent loneliness and depression, but they may also help improve your memory. Wondering where to start when looking for opportunities to give back? While you’re reading this article, you can also check out volunteer match sites that will help you figure out what kind of work will be right for you, whether it’s helping people learn to read or building homes for the homeless.
There are a million ways to keep yourself healthy and thrive as a senior. Hopefully, this short list gives you a better idea of the not-so-common steps you can take to improve your quality of life and to nourish your mind, body, and soul.
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