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A Well-Rounded Lifestyle is Key to Sustaining Quality of Life for Seniors


Jason Lewis

According to the International Council on Active Aging (ICAA), the key to enjoying a satisfying quality of life and maintaining independence is to live broadly, to go beyond exercise programs and physical therapy. Taking control of your health means embracing a lifestyle that keeps you active physically, socially, and spiritually while observing good health maintenance habits, like eating healthy foods and getting plenty of sleep. Adopt a wellness routine that includes experiences that appeal to every aspect of your personality. It’s a relatively simple approach, which boils down to basic exercise, staying connected to others, perhaps volunteering to help others, attending a religious group, and pursuing a hobby.

Knowing your Healthcare options

Maintaining quality of life first and foremost means keeping your health in check by taking advantage of health resources available to you, such as caregivers and insurance options. Regular doctor visits and vision and dental checkups can help you stay on top of your health. These resources can be invaluable should a major health issue arise. If you’re not sure how to fill gaps in Medicare coverage, find out about a Medicare Advantage plan (or other supplemental aid) available in your area. And be sure to check back regularly – Medicare coverage options change frequently.

Exercise in moderation

Image result for senior wellnessUse moderation when exercising. There’s no sense in overdoing it in the swimming pool or the tennis court if it’s going to cause joint pain and take you past the point of exhaustion. Exercise should be as much about enjoyment as it is about staying in shape. It can be helpful to exercise with friends, who can provide moral support while keeping a watchful eye on each other. Friends can help make sure that no one overdoes in yoga class or water aerobics. Simple physical challenges can be productive but should be approached realistically, and within the limits of what your body can handle, so consult a coach or doctor before beginning a new form of exercise.

A blend of activity

Socially and personally rewarding activities are as important as exercise for maintaining overall health that includes a positive attitude about life. After all, you could succeed in meeting exercise objectives every day and still feel unfulfilled. Simple physical activities, like walking the dog, can have tremendous value for an elder, especially when combined with religious group attendance and spiritual activities. These lead to and provide important social interactions. A well-rounded senior lifestyle should also include personal pursuits (i.e. hobbies or helping others) that cause you to feel joy while engaging both mind and body.

An ideal group activity

Golf is, in many ways, an ideal physical activity for seniors. It combines physical, mental and social aspects and can be played at a leisurely, relaxing pace. It’s also more than physical exercise. Golf is a game of mental calculations that draw on your ability to assess wind velocity, slope, green speeds, ball location, and other factors that must be taken into account, making it a highly beneficial cognitive activity.

It’s also good for developing core muscle strength and bolstering cardiovascular health, and it’s always an excellent way to shed some calories. According to Golf Digest Magazine, the average person burns about 1,400 calories playing a round of golf. It’s a fun game to learn, but it’s important to buy the right equipment to get you off on the right foot. If you’re a beginner, get some advice from friends and spend time investigating purchasing guides online before you invest in a set.

Novel sensory recreation

There is a new genre in interactive healthcare ideal for seniors and retirement communities. The Solfeggio Healing Frequencies Eclectica album and music video therapy package was produced by Harvard-trained public health expert, Dr. Leonard G. Horowitz. The activity uses special light and sound frequencies found in nature. Videos in the series combine behavioral therapies with spiritual renewal ideas, prayers and positive affirmations. “Bio-energizing” music videos and a rehab CD album are used at home or by groups. Sunshine and rainbow colors complement nature’s music, like the buzz of honey bees that grace this novel activity. The music is also used during alternative therapies. It is designed to help balance energy centers in the body, called ‘chakras’.  This can be very helpful for seniors enhancing wellness.

Summary and conclusion

If you’re an elder, sustaining good mental and physical health and enjoying your senior years means following a healthy lifestyle that meets all of your needs. Engaging in physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual activities will keep you motivated and mentally sharp. Just be sure to accentuate the fun in everything you do rather than focusing solely on measurable outcomes.