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Three Essential Healthy Habits for Older Adults

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Health should always be the priority no matter what age. It may not seem appealing to eat a lot of vegetables with every meal or to exercise for a couple of hours every week. But it’s necessary for your body to function to the best of its abilities. It all begins with the right habits. As you get used to the right diet and routine, it will easier to follow. Whether you’re in 24-hour care or not, there’s no better time to start developing healthy habits. Here are 3 routines fit for older adults:

Give Gardening a Try

There’s always a reason to start gardening. One, just being close to plants can help you. According to a study in the UK, two hours spent in nature every week can boost a person’s mental and physical health. Two, the act itself provides several benefits because it’s a great form of exercise. The CDC recommends 150 minutes of aerobic activity. But it may be difficult for some adults to try brisk walking every day. Gardening is an ideal alternative. It may not seem like a workout but the act of walking around and bending down is good for you. Three, if you choose to grow fruits and vegetables, there are even more health benefits. Because you pick the pesticides and fertilizer, you know that it’s safe and nutritious. Vegetables grown in your backyard are actually healthier than the ones you can buy in the market. It’s because they’re freshly picked unlike the ones commercially sold which have to be harvested early.

One of the best things about gardening is that you can even do it no matter how big or small your house is. If you have a yard, plants are the best way to increase your home’s curb appeal. On the other hand, if you have limited room, you can get smaller plants to decorate the interior. There are various types of plants that can survive with minimal exposure to sunlight. You don’t even have to leave your house to get the right materials. Shop online and have everything you need delivered to your doorstep.

Make Your Meals Colorful

Physical activity is only one part of the equation to live healthy. It will be just a waste of time if you eat a lot of added sugars and processed foods. You also have to eat the right type and amount of food every day for your well-being. One way to do that is by incorporating different hues in your plate.

Remember that not all vegetables are created equal. Some are good for your eyes while others can help reduce inflammation. Their colors are actually good indicators of their benefits. Purple foods are ideal to fight off the effects of aging while greens are great to stave off cancer. So if you want to get different benefits, make your dishes colorful. You’ll enjoy the variety in flavors and textures plus the nutrients.

Once you’ve chosen the ingredients, you also have to eat the right amount. The Department of Health recommends 2.5 cups of vegetables and 2 cups of fruits every day. While it may seem overwhelming, you can divide it throughout the day. For example, have a cup of fruit during breakfast and another cup for snacks in the middle of the day. As for the vegetables, you can eat just under a cup for every meal and you’re all set. When preparing your meals, you can use Harvard Health’s Healthy Eating Plate as a guide. It contains useful information about the portions, drinks, and even the cooking oil you should cook with.

Get Enough Sleep

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It’s not just your waking hours that you have to consider for the sake of your health. Your sleep is also extremely important. Figures show that over 50% of older adults experience insomnia. This is a problem because getting enough sleep is essential for a person’s well-being. It benefits your physical health by aiding your immune system and other parts of the body. Lack of sleep also has serious consequences for a person’s mental health as well. A study found a relationship between sleep deprivation and symptoms of depression.

A great way to improve your quality sleep is to follow a routine. Keep your room dark, go to bed at a fixed time, and avoid napping for long periods of time. Your body will get used to the pattern, so you won’t have trouble falling asleep.

As a person ages, their body functions slow down. To compensate, you should be active, eat right, and get enough rest. The best way to do that is by developing the right habits. This can prevent you from getting serious diseases and illnesses.

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