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Contributed by Karen Weeks of Elder Wellness

For many seniors, staying on top of health concerns can be a big job, especially if stress is a factor. It’s important to try and eliminate any negative feelings that might contribute to physical or mental health issues, and that’s not always easy when you’re worrying about yourself as well as your spouse or partner.

Fortunately, there are many ways you can stay on top of your wellbeing and remain healthy, vital, and active for years to come. It takes a bit of planning and an open mind, but in order to stay in good shape, it’s sometimes necessary to move away from the way you’ve always done things. Change up your routine a little and ask for help from friends and family when you need it; having their support may make a world of difference.

Here are a few ways you can improve your mental and physical health and maintain them.

Open up to technology

It’s difficult for people of any age to keep up with all the changes made in the world of technology, but it can be especially hard for seniors who aren’t as “plugged in” as young people. There are many apps for smartphones and tablets these days that are either specially-made or work well for seniors, however, including games that help boost brain health and helpers that assist in finding your car in a large parking lot. Check out this article for more info on all the best apps to keep you sharp.

Daily exercise

Daily exercise is an important part of staying healthy, especially for seniors. Just make sure it’s a routine that keeps your safety in mind; for instance, walking, swimming, and gardening are great ways to stay active, while running and bike-riding may be more difficult for seniors who are dealing with balance or mobility issues.

If you have a dog, be sure to incorporate him into your workouts. You could opt to head out to a nearby dog park or walk the trails (leashed) at a nearby park. If you’re unfamiliar where to find the nearest dog park, start with a website like Rover.com, where you’ll find dog parks listed by city. Here are a few examples: Saint PaulMiamiSan JoseIndianapolisAlbuquerquePortlandKnoxvilleMadisonCalgary, and Raleigh. It’s worth the effort: dogs are wonderful exercise companions because they’ll keep you motivated, and spending time with animals can actually help lower blood pressure and boost your mood.

Get involved

Getting involved in your community can do wonders for your mental and emotional health, so look for ways you can give back, such as volunteering at the local library, gathering warm coats and gloves for underprivileged kids in winter, or organizing a benefit for the arts. Giving back is a great way to boost your self-confidence and stay active and vital. Go here for more ways to get involved.

Join a club

 Do a bit of research to find out what kinds of clubs are available to seniors in your area, such as a dance group, a bowling club, or an art appreciation group that meets once or twice a week. Every city has something different, so hop online to find the best options in your community. If there’s nothing that appeals to you, consider starting your own club! Ask a few friends to join you in gardening every weekend, or get together for coffee once a week to discuss a book or movie. Being a part of something can help you stay active, beat loneliness, and will give you something to look forward to.

These are just a few ideas; you can use some of these or create your own ways to stay healthy. Think of the things you enjoy doing and put an active spin on them; get a friend or relative to join you; remember to plan for safety before starting a new routine. Talk to your doctor about the best ways you can stay on top of your health.


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