As you grow older, you may find yourself looking for ways to feel younger, healthier and happier. You might have a few wrinkles on your face and a couple gray hairs, but that shouldn’t stop you from living life to the fullest.
Our goal is to keep you healthy, and if you do get sick, to heal you quickly. Below you will find several tips and resources to help you age gracefully so you can enjoy your lifestyle for years to come.
7 Tricks for Eating Well
The Fundamentals of Nutrition
One of the best ways to age with grace is to maintain a healthy diet in your later years. “You are what you eat.” This means the food you put in your mouth directly impacts how you feel, and subsequently how well you live! Feeling great is the best way to enjoy your active lifestyle for as long as possible.
Below you will find tips and tricks to eat well and maintain a heart-healthy diet.
- Increase your consumption of non-starchy vegetables: You should eat 3-5 servings of vegetables per day. Some non-starchy vegetables include asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and tomatoes.
- Limit your sodium intake: The American Heart Association recommends no more than 1,500 mg of sodium per day for most adults.
- Limit processed foods and foods high in fat and sugar: You should avoid foods that are pre-packaged. In the grocery store, do not walk down the center aisles. Instead, shop the perimeter to buy whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, meats and dairy products.
- Choose whole grain products: A few examples of whole grains include brown rice, quinoa and oats.
- Use unsaturated fats, reduce saturated fats and eliminate trans-fats: Healthy fats include coconut oil, avocado, eggs and nuts.
- Increase water intake: The Mayo Clinic recommends 124 ounces (15.5 cups) of fluid for men and 92 ounces (11.5 cups) of fluid for women.
- Prepare foods baked, broiled and grilled: Avoid frying your food.
To learn more about nutrition and how you can age with grace with a heart healthy diet, visit https://TheVillagesHealth.com/Learning-Center. You don’t have to be a patient or resident of The Villages to attend, so bring your friends!
6 Ways to Get a Good Night’s Rest
Wake Up with Zest & Energy
Wouldn’t it be nice to wake up feeling rested and energized every morning? Well, it’s certainly possible – especially if you get a good night’s rest. We all know that sleep plays an important role in our overall health and well-being – but it’s not always easy to fall asleep and stay asleep.
It is recommended to get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep every night so you can be at your best during the day. But how do you ensure a good night’s rest? Keep reading for a few tips, and try to stay awake!
- Create a Sleep Schedule: Go to bed and wake-up at the same time every day, including the weekends. Doing this will help your body get in a consistent routine. It will help you fall asleep and stay asleep through the night.
- Exercise Daily: Exercise uses your bodies energy, which will help you fall asleep faster. The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend that adults:
- Aim for 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week, like walking fast, dancing or swimming.
- Do muscle-strengthening activities, like lifting weights or using exercise bands – at least 2 days per week.
- Avoid Naps: If you have trouble falling asleep, avoid napping. Do not take naps in the afternoon. Even short catnaps can cause some people to experience difficulty falling asleep.
- Evaluate Mattress and Pillows: Dust, moisture and debris cause mattresses and pillows to wear out. The life expectancy of a mattress is 8-10 years. The lifespan of a pillow is 2 years. If your pillows and mattress are no longer comfortable and supportive, it may be time to replace them.
- Beware of Bright Lights: Sometimes watching television and using your smartphone or laptop right before bed can cause a disruption in your ability to fall asleep because it activates your brain. Avoid bright lights one hour prior to bedtime.
- Establish a Bed Time Ritual: Relax before bedtime with activities such as reading a book, listening to soothing music or soaking in a warm bath.
Sleep plays a vital role in your health and well-being. Getting enough quality sleep at the right times can help protect your physical and mental health.
To learn more healthy sleep tips, register now for our free Getting a Good Night’s Sleep class. You don’t have to be a patient or resident of The Villages to attend, so bring your friends!
How to Age with Grace & Dignity
Seven Dimensions of Wellness to Live a Happier, Healthier Life
As you age, you may notice several changes in your health and wellness. You might struggle to hear your children speak on the phone. Seeing the television might be hard. You might move slower than you used to in your younger years.
These changes are inevitable, but there are ways you can continue to enjoy the later years of your life. The key is healthy mindset across seven dimensions of wellness.
Wellness is an active process where you decide to make choices towards a happier, healthier life in the following areas:
- Maintain a healthy body weight.
- Eat clean, healthy foods.
- Engage in exercise regularly.
- Get a good night’s sleep.
- Believe in a greater purpose.
- Appreciate life.
- Practice mindfulness. Live in the present.
- Be consistent in your beliefs, values and behaviors.
- Be aware of your current financial situation.
- Update your estate plan and living will.
- Review your credit report.
- Live within your means.
- Protect and care for the environment.
- Clean up litter.
- Recycle and conserve resources.
- Choose environmentally-friendly products.
- Nurture relationships with people who are respectful, positive and supportive.
- Give back and contribute to your community.
- Sustain a strong support network.
- Be conscious of the effects of your behaviors on others. Honor your commitments.
- Be positive and have a friendly attitude.
- Learn how to handle stress and anxiety.
- Remember gratitude is a great attitude.
- Avoid criticism, judgment and blame.
- Open your mind to new ideas and experiences.
- Listen more.
- Learn new (or improve) skills and knowledge.
- Seek challenges daily.
“We’re the oldest ones in our neighborhood and as my neighbor pointed out, we are inspirations for how to grow old gracefully. The Villages Health encourages us to be healthy.”
John & Jane Munger, 90 and 92 years young, Patients at Creekside & Specialty Care Center
If you can conquer the seven dimensions of wellness, then you are sure to age with grace and dignity!
To learn more healthy aging tips, register now for The Art of Aging class. You don’t have to be a patient or resident of The Villages to attend, so bring your friends!