Mental and physical health is of utmost importance as we begin to age, as are the opportunities to preserve these faculties. By partnering with another senior, older people can help each other to hone their minds and keep their bodies fit.
While memory begins to be impacted in your 30s, and as nerves and blood flow begin to decrease, we maintain the ability to adapt and grow new nerve endings. Although aging minds will inevitably experience some change, we maintain our intellect and ability to grow, change and be flexible – especially when we focus on staying sharp through mental and physical activities.
Healthy Mind and Body
A healthy mind contributes to a healthy body and vice versa. It’s important to focus on both when trying to stay in good health, with a few important recommendations.
- The Goal: Physical Activity
Keeping to some kind of exercise strengthens your body and helps ward off illness and bone density loss. It can also help maintain memory, prevent dementia, alleviate depression, and improve energy levels by decreasing heart rate, blood pressure and blood cholesterol.
- The Solution
Senior helpers can attend moderate exercise classes with their partners, or commit to daily walks. Connecting with others who share interest in similar activities means both can enjoy whatever activity you choose, and together pursue a healthy life.
- The Goal: Balanced Nutrition
Beyond just good nutrition, many vegetables contain vitamins that contribute to a healthy heart and brain. Spinach and asparagus, for instance, have folate, which is important to maintaining healthy cells and preventing changes to DNA that could lead to cancer. Other dark, leafy vegetables contain vitamins E and C and antioxidants that reduce cancer and heart disease risks by protecting cells.
- The Solution
Eating and paying attention to food habits alone is never as fun or productive as with someone else. Senior partners can pursue healthy eating habits together by visiting local farmers markets to purchase veggies, brainstorming delicious recipes and cooking and preparing meals together.
- The Goal: Monitor Substances
Smoking significantly increases the chance of serious diseases, and when an older person quits, there is immediate improvement in circulation and lungs. The healthiest seniors drink alcohol very moderately, less than one drink a day, and pay careful attention to prescription usage, taking only what physicians instruct.
- The Solution
In any endeavor, having one individual hold another accountable will increase likelihood of success. Seniors should enlist the aid of a helper if needing to quit smoking or get on track to develop healthier habits. They can also serve as reminders to take special notice of medications.
Seniors Helping Seniors ® in Branford, Connecticut provides a place for seniors to help each other through their later years of life. Thriving seniors can pay it forward by reaching out to those in need of more support. By aiding each other in mental and physical health, both people can age more gracefully, entering into the later years of life successfully.
It’s just like getting a little help from your friends! ®