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While we all know how crucial what we eat and balanced nutrition is for healthy aging, there are other lifestyle factors that can contribute to optimizing a healthy aging process. Our guest blog post this week by Kevin Wells of , provides some of these great, simple tips to promote healthy aging!

Being a senior doesn’t have to slow you down. In fact, these can be the golden years of your life if you take the right steps to improve your health and wellness. For seniors looking for the keys to healthy aging, the following tips can make the coming years of your life the best years of your life.

Stay Active to Stay Healthy     

If you want to take care of your physical and mental health, you need to make sure you get enough exercise. The benefits of regular exercise include improved flexibility, more energy, and decreased feelings of pain and stress. Exercise can even help keep you from falling. If you haven’t been working out lately, check in with your doctor to make sure you are up for physical activity. Then, start slow with simple exercise to improve your health. You can get out and go for some morning hikes on local trails, or try riding your bike around your neighborhood. Spending time outside has also been shown to enhance your health and happiness. Be sure to include a little strength training as well, and think about adding yoga to further enhance your flexibility and stress relief.

Protect Your Physical Health

Insurance like Medicare is another invaluable tool for ensuring your physical health, but Medicare Advantage Plans can take that protection one step further for seniors. While Medicare will cover your basic healthcare needs, such as doctor’s visits, Medicare Advantage Plans can be a helpful tool in covering other aspects of your health. Medicare Advantage Plans provide Medicare Part A and Part B benefits, and also may provide coverage for dental, vision, and prescription drug care. That can mean big savings and some peace of mind for seniors who have a variety of health concerns. The open enrollment period for Medicare is October 15 to December 7 of every year, so you have plenty of time to do your homework. Search online and review Medicare Advantage Plans so that you will be able to make an informed decision, and choose the best option to take more control of your health.

Keep Your Mind Sharp

Taking care of your physical health is only a small portion of taking care of your overall wellness. You also need to take steps to take care of your mind. Mental stimulation is important as we age, and it helps our minds stay focused, but there are also other ways to keep your brain young. Puzzles and games are a great way to stimulate different processes in your brain, so make sure you take time to have fun with these activities. Creative hobbies, such as painting, drawing and crafting can also help boost your brain power, while reducing feelings of anxiety as well. If memory management is a primary concern for you, there are also activities that can help with that. Certain hobbies, such as traveling and playing an instrument, can improve your memory and lead to better overall mental health too.

Stay Connected to Others

Humans of all ages thrive on social connection. Spending time with family, friends or even new people, is essential for our mental health. Strong social connections can also be important in helping seniors to age in place safely. But as we age, it can be a little harder to keep these connections going. With family moved away and busy, you may need to put a little more effort into staying social. Try organizing a regular lunch or dinner date with nearby friends. Need to get to know more people? You can meet new friends, and stay active, by signing up for local dance classes, painting nights or even through volunteer work. Volunteer work has an added benefit of helping seniors connect to other generations and build a positive legacy in their community.

When you take care of your body and mind, you take back control of your life. These are your golden years for a reason, so make them the best of your life by taking steps to keep yourself healthy, keep your mind sharp, and keep yourself connected to all that makes you happy.

Wishing you a week of health and wellness,

Ricci-Lee Hotz, MS, RDN

Denver’s Dancing Dietitian

A Taste of Health, LLC

“Improving Quality of life one bite at a time”

**Photo Credit: Pixabay **