Spring is officially here, even if it doesn’t feel like it in Pennsylvania today! Pretty soon, we will turn our attention from shoveling snow and remembering our gloves, to whose barbecue we’ll be at this weekend and which pair of shorts to wear!
With a new season comes a new opportunity for you to make better decisions about your life and your health. Luckily, there are small changes that you can make in order to be healthier by summer!
Get Enough Sleep
You aren’t your best when you’re tired or groggy. You are irritable and have trouble focusing on everyday tasks. The bad news is that insomnia is very common for people at retirement age. The good news is that senior citizens need less sleep than younger adults (around 7 hours), according to a 2008 study.
If you’re having trouble getting to or staying asleep at night, try to avoid coffee, tea, and alcohol before bed. Also try to avoid working on the computer or watching television, as well as exercise. All of these things can stimulate your brain and keep you awake much longer. Try setting a goal bed time and aiming to get the correct, customized amount of sleep so that you feel perfectly rested!
Drink Enough Water
You’ve probably heard that it’s good to aim to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day. Well, that recommendation remains the same when you reach retirement age. Drinking the recommended amount of water per day has many health benefits, from weight control to healthier skin. But if you don’t love the boring taste of water, here are a few other ways to stay hydrated:
- Eat fruit
- Add fruit to your water for flavor
- Eat certain vegetables, such as cucumbers
- Drink Milk
Kick a Bad Habit
We’ve all got them. From sneaking our favorite cookies to smoking, there are plenty of habits that we develop that can have a negative effect on your health. But what do you gain by giving them up? It turns out that you get a lot. According to a 2012 study, “… A vibrant social life and quitting smoking can add five years to women’s lives and six years to men’s.”
That is five to six more years of growing your garden, celebrating birthdays with best friends, and watching grandchildren grow up. These are all things worth kicking your habits for! Whatever your vice, start small when removing it from your life. If necessary, consult the help of a doctor or a nutritionist who can help you make the right decisions for your health.
Add Super Foods to Your Diet
AARP recently came out with an article on “super foods.” These are foods that have an exceptional amount of nutrients and health benefits. The five foods that AARP highlighted were artichokes, asparagus, fava beans, arugula, and green peas. Explore your favorite recipes for ways to incorporate these super foods. And if this small list doesn’t sound very delicious, here is a list of 50 super foods that you can pile on your plate!
Protect Yourself From the Sun
The sun is a warm welcome after a winter filled with snowy days, but that doesn’t mean that the sun is always your friend. Seniors still need to protect their skin from harmful UV rays by choosing a broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection sunscreen with at least 15 SPF, but more is better! Check out this handy information from Bayhealth Medical Center on senior skin.
The small choices that you make each day can effect your health in big ways. Make the right choices and let this be the healthiest spring yet!