Despite the strong evidence that physical activity is positively associated with healthy aging, many older adults remain inactive. According to the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control, nearly 31 million adults over the age of 50 are sedentary. The CDC also shares that four in five of the most costly chronic health conditions among adults over the age of 50 can be prevented or managed by living an active lifestyle.
Spring’s arrival provides the perfect opportunity for seniors to rejuvenate their health and wellness. Longer days mean more opportunities to get outdoors and harness the energy a new season brings. If you’re an older adult in need of a spring tune-up, here are five spring health tips just for you.
Slowly Rebuild Endurance
Studies show that sitting is linked to multiple chronic health conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, depression, dementia, cancer, and obesity. However, older adults who exercise regularly decrease their risk for developing certain chronic health conditions. If your daily routine involves sitting for long periods of time, use the spring season to slowly rebuild your endurance. Go for a short walk around your neighborhood each day. Slowly increase how far and how long your walk, giving your body time to adjust to your new routine. Talk with your doctor before starting any new exercise program.
Drink More Water
Older adults should also increase their water intake as they welcome spring. Seniors are at risk for dehydration due to a diminished thirst sensation caused by age. This means that many seniors aren’t aware that they are thirsty and need to be more proactive about staying hydrated. As you slowly rebuild your endurance and add more activity to your day, remember to include water. Drink plenty of water before, during, and after exercising. Carry a water bottle with you around your home and take small sips throughout the day.
Take Care of Seasonal Allergies
Spring is the worst season for seasonal allergies. Tree pollen, grass pollen, and flower pollen begin to appear in March and continue through summer. It can be enough to keep some seniors indoors, especially if they’ve suffered from seasonal allergies in the past. If seasonal allergies affect you and limit your ability to head outdoors, talk with your doctor about which allergy medication is best for you. Discuss possible side effects and drug interactions. If your seasonal allergies continue to limit your outdoor activity, stay indoors until mid-afternoon or early evening, when the pollen count usually drops.
Schedule Routine Appointments
Another spring health tip for seniors is to schedule those routine health appointments that you’ve been delaying. Start by scheduling your annual physical exam and verify that you are up-to-date on all vaccinations. Use this opportunity to discuss your diet and exercise plan with your doctor. Also, ask your doctor about preventative screenings that you should schedule. Other routine health appointments older adults should schedule include dental, vision, and hearing.
Spring Clean Forgotten Areas
Finally, spend time spring cleaning forgotten areas of your home, so that your home environment remains safe. Clean out your pantry and discard expired foods. Sort through your medications, including over-the-counter and supplements. Set aside prescription medications you no longer take, as well as expired medications, and safely discard them at your community’s next drug take-back date. Clear clutter and remove throw rugs or other items that may cause a fall. Check your smoke detector to ensure it’s working properly and disinfection commonly touched items in your home.
Spring not only provides the perfect opportunity for seniors to rejuvenate their health and wellness, but it’s also a great season to move. If you are a senior who is considering a move to a senior living community, Senior Living Solutions is here to help. Our goal is to save you time, money, and the stress of finding your next home. We’ve already toured, interviewed, and vetted senior living facilities in our local communities and can help you determine which places best meet your needs. We do this all for free. If you’re ready to lean on professionals with experience navigating senior living options, please contact us today by calling 501-650-3013.