Everyone views aging differently. To some, the idea of getting older is scary. Others embrace it with a youthful ferocity! At the end of the day, your mindset is more important than you think. It plays a large part in the quality of life experienced throughout your Golden Years.
Seniors Helping Seniors® Chicago Metro is committed to inspiring others to age gracefully and independently. One of the ways we encourage our care recipients to make the most of their senior years is by promoting “positive aging” techniques.
What Is Positive Aging?
Positive aging is all about mindset. It refers to the idea that if you maintain an optimistic outlook in your senior years -- coupled with healthy habits, social engagement, and mental stimulation -- you will feel good about yourself, remain physically active, and continue to engage fully in all aspects of life!
Incorporating positive aging techniques into your daily routine might sound difficult, but it is easier than you think. Of course, our Seniors Helping Seniors® caregivers will stand by your side, ready to help you create and practice a program that will do your mind and body good!
Now that you know why positive aging is important, let us discuss five simple ways Seniors Helping Seniors® care receivers can work the power of positivity into everyday life!
Embrace Your Age!
Age is just a number. Maintaining a youthful outlook and adapting to your changing abilities can help you accept that growing older is a normal part of life – one that every person (including your Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver) is attempting to navigate.
The first step in discovering the power of positive aging is to accept the aging process by working with it and not against it. This makes it easier to cope with the challenges this stage of life presents, and instead, start looking forward to the possibilities!
Make Fitness A Priority!
Just thirty minutes of daily exercise can revolutionize your health. It can help you look and feel younger, complete tasks more easily, and prevent accidents and falls – all of which are essential for maintaining a positive outlook. Try the following Seniors Helping Seniors® suggestions to jumpstart your fitness routine:
- Go for a walk! Walking is an excellent way to get the blood pumping while improving heart health, boosting mental clarity, and lowering blood pressure. Commit to a daily walk with a friend, family member, or your Seniors Helping Seniors® companion!
- Explore senior fitness classes. There are plenty of exercise options for active seniors! Look into what classes your local senior center, gym, or fitness studio offers. Activities like water aerobics, chair yoga, and bodyweight workouts are popular among seniors and provide minimal impact workouts that will still make you feel the burn!
- Do not get discouraged if it is tough to keep up at first. Your workouts will become easier as you build strength. Be consistent and you will soon look forward to your daily exercise regimen!
Building and maintaining close relationships is also essential to a positive aging plan. Doing so can combat loneliness, improve self-esteem, and foster a sense of belonging. Not sure where to begin? Try one of the following to make new friends or reconnect with old friends:
- Organize a monthly dinner with friends or family where everyone brings a different dish
- Join a social group, like a birdwatching or book club, pickleball league, or volunteer service
- Make it a point to attend your grandkids’ sporting games and performances – they will love having you there to cheer them on!
- As always, remember to lean on your Seniors Helping Seniors® caregivers. They are available to get you to and from social events or to accompany you on a new adventure, so let us go!
Nurture Healthy Habits!
Maintaining a balanced diet is critical to the aging process. Eating right helps keep your weight at an appropriate level and supports heart health. These simple diet rules can help you stay on track:
Incorporate lean proteins, plenty of vegetables (especially those that are orange, red, and green), substitute whole grains whenever possible, and stick to low-fat dairy products.
- Drink lots of (the right) fluids – water, tea, and coffee – and stay away from beverages that are high in sugar
- Look for foods that are high in fiber and vitamin D as these are both vital for aging individuals
- There are also certain habits you should avoid continuing to function at the highest level. First, do not skimp on sleep – a restful night’s slumber is essential in keeping the body functioning properly. Also, avoid smoking and excessive alcohol intake. Both can cause serious health issues in people of all ages.
Sharpen Your Brain!
Your mind, like your body, thrives when you push it to the limit. A strong brain keeps you sharp and is a key ingredient for your positive aging recipe. Add games like Sudoku and crossword puzzles to your daily routine so your brain gets the exercise it needs.
Learning a new skill can improve intellect as well. Check local resources, like a university or community center, to see if they offer any skill-building classes that pique your interest. Gaining a new ability cultivates positive thoughts and builds confidence. Not to mention, it is fun and will leave you with an activity you will look forward to!
We told you it was easy to practice positive aging! In fact, you are doing many of these things already. Do not be afraid to ask your Seniors Helping Seniors® companion for ideas on how to keep a positive mindset as you mature – remember, they are going through the same stage of life as you are.
Incorporate the above Seniors Helping Seniors® tips into your daily routine and you are bound to feel great, stay active, and retain your youthful exuberance for life! If you need a caregiver to help you stay healthy and independent in your home, call or text us at 312-526-3666.