News

Health and Wellness Tips for Seniors Looking to Stay on the Go

active seniors riding bikes

 

“Retirement community” doesn’t always feel like the most accurate term for Ovation by Avamere due to the vibrant, active lifestyles of our residents. Many people currently retiring or recently retired still feel young and healthy enough to continue their favorite activities, whether that’s mountain biking and hiking or swimming laps and golfing.

Ovation is a different kind of retirement community, which is why we’ve designed and built all our communities to make it easy for residents to maintain their activity level, or even increase it with all their newfound free time.

Eating Healthful Foods Is Key to a Long, Productive Retirement

You’ve probably known for a while that you can’t eat like you did in your teens or 20s, or even your 30s and 40s. Metabolism slows down as you age and your body goes through changes that make it less efficient at holding on to valuable nutrients you get from your food.

The natural reduction in stomach acid, for example, reduces the body’s ability to absorb vital nutrients, such as Vitamin B12, magnesium, iron and calcium. That’s why it’s important to closely adhere to healthy eating habits:

  • Eat lots of fruits and vegetables
  • Stick to whole grain wheat bread, oatmeal and brown rice
  • Avoid sugar sweetened drinks and deserts
  • Try to avoid refined grains and processed sugars
  • Eat seafood, poultry, eggs and lean meats instead of red meats or particularly fatty cuts
  • Get plenty of beans, nuts and seeds in your diet

Moderation and quality of life are key. You’re never going to stick to a diet if you don’t enjoy the food you’re eating. Find healthy recipes and foods you actually enjoy eating. You don’t have to cut out sweets entirely, you just need to limit them and more frequently substitute cake and pie with fruits for dessert, or at least substitute unhealthy toppings with healthful ones.

Stay Active with a Variety of Activities

Failing to get enough exercise certainly isn’t a senior-exclusive problem. Many have trouble sticking with an exercise routine because they get bored or they simply don’t enjoy what they’re doing.

If you are not a fan of spin class don’t try to force yourself to use a stationary bike to work out. Instead of being in a group class consider trying it by yourself while listening to an audiobook or watching the news.

Exercising can be a group activity or a solitary one, and there’s no right or wrong way to do it. If you’re worried there’s no form of physical activity you’ll ever enjoy, consider talking to a physical trainer. They may have some ideas for things you can try, whether that’s water aerobics, yoga, speed walking, playing tennis or going on hikes. You may be surprised at which activities resonate with you when you’ve started trying a lot of them out.

Try to find exercises that strengthen all parts of your body:

  • Aerobics (running, walking, hiking) – improves cardiovascular health and promotes weight loss
  • Strength training (lifting free weights) – helps improve strength, promotes independence and can help with balance
  • Flexibility (yoga) – helps you maintain your range of motion, prevents stiffness and reduces stress

You should also make sure you’re exercising safely by:

  • Speaking with your doctor before starting a new exercise routine or increasing your level of physical activity
  • Watching out for warning signs of overexertion, such as pain, dizziness or shortness of breath
  • Wearing the right clothes and footwear for whatever activity you’re doing
  • Staying hydrated is important for all athletes, but especially older ones
  • Stretching beforehand and taking time to cooldown
  • Not jumping right into maximum intensity, work your way up gradually

Not Every Workout Opportunity Is in the Gym

You may be surprised at just how many activities require enough physicality to make them count as exercise. Do you enjoy gardening? Digging in the garden, pushing a lawnmower and raking are all activities that fit into the strength training category.

Messing around in the park, taking a water aerobics class with friends, doing housework and even shopping can all be considered aerobic activities. Doctors suggest everyone get approximately 150 minutes of “workout” type activity each week, and there may be some things you already do on a weekly basis that could count towards those minutes.

Enjoy a Healthy, Active Lifestyle at Ovation by Avamere

Your parents’ retirement may have been about relaxing and cutting back on activities – and movement in general – but that doesn’t have to be your retirement experience. The modern cohort of retiring Baby Boomers still have a lot of things they want to see, do and accomplish during their active retirement, and many of those things require continued good health.

Ovation by Avamere was designed with that in mind. Our services, activities and communities were built around the idea that active retirement lifestyles are in and here to stay.

Schedule a visit to Ovation Sienna Hills in St. George, Utah by calling 435.429.0000 or Ovation Heartwood Preserve in Omaha, Nebraska by calling 402.999.7900.