Guest article by Jason Lewis.
If you’re a senior, then you have already entered your golden years. You’ve conquered obstacles, worked hard, and earned the right to live your best life — all day, every day.
For each person, quality of life takes on a different look. Nonetheless, whether your best days will be spent traveling, gardening, volunteering, pursuing your passions and hobbies, and/or spending time with loved ones, one thing is certain: You will need to be in your best health. This article will discuss the steps you can take now to improve your quality of life for the long term.
Don’t Forget to Exercise
Regular exercise is a key contributor to a longer, healthier life. It’s never too late to get your body moving and reap the benefits. Set a goal to be physically active for 30 minutes a day. If you’re not used to exercising, start slow and gradually increase your time and exertion. Exercise will not only improve your energy and joint health, but it also:
Your Brain Leads Your Body
While the brain is a mystery, a sure fact is that we use it every day. The brain is the control center for your whole body, and just like every other organ, you need to take care of it and be in tune with its needs. If you make it a regular habit to stimulate your brain with puzzles, classes, experiments, or art and crafts, you will find that your mind remains sharp and even improves through making new connections between nerve cells and generating new cells.
Mind Your Mental Health
Part of caring for your brain is caring for your mental health. Your mood and emotions affect all areas of your life, including your relationships, blood pressure, energy levels, ability to combat diseases, and zest for life. You can invest time in your mental health by doing daily breathing exercises, getting adequate rest, boosting your vitamin D levels with regular exposure to light, and writing out three things you are grateful for each day.
You can also foster your mental health by taking supplements that can help you battle anxiety, mental fogginess, or negativity. Research the best vitamins based on your needs, and consult with your healthcare provider to ensure that the vitamins will not interact negatively with any existing health condition. Then, find the most enjoyable way to take those vitamins (juice, smoothie, shake, or perhaps a delicious homemade granola bar).
Your Body Is Your Temple
More than half the battle in having a healthy body is what you put into it. Take control of your life by controlling your diet. Those who lead a healthy lifestyle not only live longer lives, but they also face less illness. Assess your needs, and from there, investigate the different foods that would help provide you with a balanced diet that wards off health problems. For most people, a diet rich in vitamin-filled fruits and vegetables, foods and drinks filled with calcium to promote bone health, hydration through water, healthy fats, and protein will help you feel 100 percent.
Your golden years can be your best years; it all comes down to taking control of your health. Keep your mind stimulated on a daily basis to stay sharp and improve cognitive function. Foster your mental health each day, and make a nutritious diet part of your routine. Start exercising 30 minutes a day. Not only will you realize immediate benefits by forming these habits, but you will also be adding healthy years to a life well lived.
Photo Credit: Pexels
If you’ve been trying to find ways to get better sleep at night and wanting to get a little more exercise, there’s a simple way to do both. You can reduce your stress, improve your sleep quality, wake up feeling better by incorporating yoga into your bedtime routine.
If you have a firm mattress and no partner, or a partner that goes to bed later than you do, you can even do yoga in bed!
1 - It will help you reduce stress. Even doing yoga twice a week has been found to reduce stress, according to a study in the Journal of Clinical Nursing. In that study, nurses that did yoga for an hour twice a week for six months had lower amounts of work stress than their counterparts in the non-yoga group.
Having lower amounts of stress will help you get to sleep easier, and actually sleep better in the long run. Given that 80 to 90 percent of doctor visits are stress-related, this can also help keep you out of the doctor’s office over time.
2 - It will improve your sleep quality. Yoga has also been found to improve sleep quality. The nurses in the previous study also had higher quality sleep than their control group counterparts. Another long-term study in the 2009 Biological Psychology Journal also found that yoga helped to modulate cortisol in long-term practitioners, which helps to improve sleep quality.
3 - You’ll be less likely to wake up with aches and pains. The act of stretching is incredibly helpful when you’ve been waking up with aches and pains. Doing yoga before bed can help you manage those aches and pains, as well as avoid them by stretching your muscles.
A 2010 study in the Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences found that people with chronic pain were able to reframe their pain, and to make it less bothersome, or less intense, by doing yoga. Some participants found that they could recognize the signals their body was sending and adjust to avoid pain.
Yoga has even been found to have a positive impact on your cognitive ability during menopause, according to a study published in BJOG, an International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
4 - You can improve your mental health through mindfulness. When used as part of a person’s worldview, the mindfulness that yoga encourages you to practice is found to have a large impact on that person’s mental health
Yoga may also be effective in helping people with PTSD manage their symptoms, according to a study published in The Journal of Clinical Psychology in 2017. It’s also been found to be helpful for women with a major depressive disorder, according to a study in Psychiatric Nursing.
The study stated that the data trends suggest that yoga may convey a long-term positive effect on depression, stress, and anxiety.
“Whether an individual continues with yoga practice, simple exposure to a yoga intervention appears to provide sustained benefits to the individual,” the study states.
About the author: Samantha (Sam) Kent is a researcher for SleepHelp.org. Her favorite writing topic is how getting enough sleep can improve your life. Currently residing in Boise, Idaho, she sleeps in a California King bed, often with a cat on her face.