Active Lifestyles and Aging: Planning For the Unknown Eating a well-balanced diet and staying physically active are the keys to a healthy lifestyle it’s easy to take your health for granted when you’re young and don’t have many ailments, for adults over 65 eating well and staying active is extremely important and can have a remarkable impact on quality of life and life expectancy. There is a common misconception in the senior community that as you age, you need to “slow down,” but too much rest can lead to health issues and a decrease in mobility. Research shows that for seniors to retain mobility, independence, and keep heart disease, diabetes, and types of cancer at bay, they must eat nutrient-rich foods and maintain regular exercise. Your sixties is the exact time when making and maintaining healthy lifestyle choices has the most significant impact on your quality of life as you age, but some older adults and seniors face physical disabilities that keep them from being active or they might not have access to healthy foods due to income and shortage of accessible grocery stores in their area. For seniors who are wheelchair-bound or have other physical disabilities that prevent them from being active, there is a myth that they should remain inactive to protect themselves. That myth is dangerous because, as the body ages, it will naturally lose muscle mass. Without muscle mass, a person will be more susceptible to falls and when they do fall, they won’t be able to lift themselves. No matter the physical capabilities of seniors and older adults, there are many ways to stay physically active, even if you are wheelchair-bound. For example, gyms offer active older adult classes, and there are wheelchair aerobics and yoga classes. Not only do active older adult programs help seniors stay physically active, but it’s also an opportunity for socializing. It’s not just the physical health that you should pay attention to, maintaining the health of your brain and nervous system is extremely important, too. As the brain ages, it will lose cells, as brain cells decrease memory loss will occur. The brain will compensate for the loss of brain cells by increasing the number of connections between cells to preserve brain function. As a result, distraction will increase, reflexes begin to slow, and coordination suffers. To preserve and maintain brain function, take up activities that engage the brain like reading, word puzzles, and socializing. Also, the foods we eat can have a big impact on the health of our brains, by incorporating brain-healthy foods into your diet, like omega-3s (fatty fish), berries, whole grains, avocados, peanuts, and other fatty nuts and seeds you’ll have a healthy mind and body. If you or a loved one begins to notice signs of a slipping mind or a decrease in physical abilities, please reach out to Oasis Senior Advisors for assistance. We offer resources for seniors and their families, as well as support and guidance every step of the way so that you can feel confident in your loved ones’ future.
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