Smart and Healthy Tips for Older Adults
October is a family - healthy - home month at the YMCA of the Suncoast. Staying healthy is a life-long pursuit that takes an ongoing commitment. Exercising, socializing and eating right all play key roles in defining one’s health. This is especially true for older adults who often face unique challenges in maintaining vitality and fitness. YMCA of the Suncoast offers these tips and programs designed to help our members feel good at any age.
Be Active: As we get older, regular exercise to promote strength and healthy bones is essential. Activities such as walking, bike riding or joining a gym with programs such as SilverSneakers can help older adults stay fit and healthy. But before you tackle a new exercise regime, check with your physician to find out the best type of exercise for you.
Be Smart: Keeping both mind and body fit is a key component to longevity. Jumpstart the brain’s synapses in the morning with a crossword puzzle or Sudoku to wake the gray matter and keep it healthy. Reading, playing games such as Jeopardy and taking classes can help your mind continue to hum along.
Be Balanced: September is Falls Prevention month, and with that is the reminder that maintaining good balance is critical as we age. Simple precautions include moving electrical cords, keeping clear pathways through the home, avoiding area rugs, reducing clutter and wearing good support shoes. There are also exercise programs that focus on strengthening and maintaining balance.
Be Diligent: Stay on top of doctor appointments, screenings and immunizations (think flu shots) to help manage your health. Simple screenings for cancer and other diseases could save your life. Remember to keep your appointments on a calendar, digital or hard copy, and make sure they’re handy so you can check them regularly.
Be In Touch: Staying in touch with friends and neighbors can stave off psychological issues that affect many senior citizens. Loneliness, depression and anxiety often can result from not being connected enough with others. To avoid this, stay active with social or exercise groups. Take classes and volunteer for events— do anything that puts you in touch with other people who can support and connect with you.