As you age, the stresses of everyday life can become difficult to manage. For example, planning a move, waiting for medical test results, worrying about the health of a loved one, and watching the news can all cause you to worry. To help you cope with the strain, here are some stress-relieving activities you may want to try.
1. Being outdoors
A great way to boost your spirits and get a bit of exercise is to garden. You could try planting herbs on your balcony or vegetables in your backyard. In addition, walking, biking and photography are all relaxing hobbies you can do outdoors.
2. Making art
Creating works of art can be both comforting and rewarding. Needlework, such as knitting, crocheting, sewing, and embroidery, will keep your hands and mind busy. Alternatively, you may want to draw, color, paint, or do crafts. These activities can be done alone or with someone else.
3. Practicing meditation
Meditating is a great way to relax and clear your mind. You may want to try a simple breathing exercise or guided meditation. Alternatively, you could listen to melodies accompanied by nature sounds such as running water and singing birds. Just close your eyes and imagine yourself in a beautiful oasis.
Though stress-relieving activities can be beneficial, if you’re dealing with crippling anxiety, it’s best to consult a healthcare professional.
4 symptoms you shouldn’t ignore
As you age, you may notice minor changes in your overall health. While some symptoms are a normal part of aging, others require immediate attention. Here are four changes in your health you should never ignore.
1. A wound that won’t heal
Do you have a wound that’s slow to heal? If so, it may be a good idea to see your doctor. If you have a low-grade fever or the injury becomes red and increasingly painful, seek immediate help.
2. An abnormal presence of blood
Unless you have a known medical condition, you must alert your doctor if you notice blood in your stool, urine, or spit. If the bleeding is new or recurring and accompanied by other symptoms, go to the emergency room right away.
3. Unusual stomach pain
Abdominal pain that increases gradually lasts a long time or appears suddenly should be taken seriously. If this is happening to you, visit your doctor. They may refer you to a gastroenterologist for further testing.
4. Increasing shortness of breath
Shortness of breath that prevents you from doing everyday activities like climbing stairs and going on walks should be investigated. This could be a sign of a serious health problem, especially if accompanied by a fever or chest pain.
If you have any doubts, don’t hesitate to consult a health care professional.
Nutrition tips for seniors
Eating healthy, nutritious foods gives you the energy you need to go about your daily life and stay in good shape. For seniors, it’s essential to have a varied diet to help maintain independence and quality of life. Here are some healthy eating tips to follow as you age.
50 to 59 years old
At this age, women should focus on eating foods that help reduce the unpleasant symptoms associated with menopause. For example, they should reduce their sugar intake and consume foods like soy and flaxseed, which are good sources of phytoestrogens.
On the other hand, men should reduce their consumption of red meat and saturated fats to help prevent prostate cancer. They should also include plenty of vegetables, lean proteins, and fish in their diet.
Both aging men and women can benefit from eating more protein to help prevent their muscle mass from deteriorating.
60 to 69 years old
As you age, your metabolism gradually slows down. Therefore, you don’t need to consume as many calories as you used to. However, you must ensure you’re still getting enough calcium, vitamins, and nutrients by eating the appropriate foods. If you lack the necessary appetite, you may need to supplement your diet with quality meal-replacement bars or drinks. Consult a health care professional for advice.
70 years and older
Hunger is less of an issue at this age. Therefore, the goal is to consume enough protein to meet your nutritional needs while still eating plenty of healthy fruits, vegetables, and starches. You may also need to take vitamin and mineral supplements to strengthen your immune system.
On top of maintaining a healthy weight, fuelling your body with healthy foods can help prevent muscle and bone loss and the onset of disease. Consult your doctor or a dietitian-nutritionist to help you adopt healthy eating habits.
What you need to know about compression stockings
Have you heard about the benefits of using compression stockings? These therapeutic devices exert pressure on the veins in your legs to improve circulation and reduce discomfort and swelling. They’re tightest at the ankle and gradually loosen towards the top of the leg.
Compression stockings are suitable for various individuals, including people who spend hours on their feet, frequent flyers, and pregnant women. Compression stockings are also often recommended for seniors with venous insufficiency. This condition is often caused by a lack of physical activity or a poor cardiorespiratory system.
Compression stockings are available in several lengths and can help with swollen legs, varicose veins, and calf pain.
Care and use
Compression stockings aren’t like ordinary socks. For example, they must be washed by hand and air-dried. Additionally, you must follow specific instructions to put them on without damaging them. Fortunately, you can purchase accessories to help make this task easier.
Visit your local pharmacy to find a pair of compression stockings that meet your needs.
Compression stockings aren’t suitable for everyone. Ask your doctor or pharmacist before buying a pair.
Photography: more than a hobby
Photography is a fun and rewarding activity that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. Did you know that this creative hobby is particularly beneficial for seniors?
Like many other artistic activities, photography can improve your self-confidence and reduce feelings of anxiety and sadness. Landscape and wildlife photography also allows you to get some exercise and fresh air. Additionally, you can meet new people while taking pictures in beautiful locations.
How to get started in photography
First, purchase a high-quality camera or a smartphone with a built-in camera. Make sure you buy equipment that suits your needs and current knowledge of photography. Then, join a group of amateur or professional photographers or sign up for a workshop to learn the basics.
Let yourself be inspired by your environment and other photographers during your picture-taking sessions. Don’t hesitate to try different themes, contexts, and lighting to discover the style that suits you best. Finally, practice makes perfect. The more you practice, the more you’ll learn and the more likely you are to get the results you want.
Visit a photography store to get your best shots printed and find the equipment you need.
How seniors can deter thieves and prevent muggings
Some criminals target seniors. Even if your reflexes aren’t as sharp as they used to be, the following tips can help limit your risk of being mugged.
1. Maintain good posture
When you’re running errands, make sure you exude self-confidence. Stand up straight, look forward and try to walk at the same pace as other people.
2. Remain aware of your surroundings
To help you spot potential threats and avoid them, it’s important to be mindful of your surroundings. It’s a good idea to make eye contact with the people you pass briefly. This will prevent potential attackers from catching you off guard. Additionally, stick to well-lit and busy areas.
3. Ensure your valuables are hidden
Keep your bags, purse, and wallet close to your body, and avoid wearing jewelry, expensive watches, and high-end clothing. This will make you a less attractive target for thieves.
4. Keep your distance
If someone makes an aggressive move and demands that you give them your money, don’t try to resist. If possible, throw the thief the requested object and stay far away to protect yourself.
If a physical confrontation is unavoidable, use whatever you can to defend yourself, like your car keys, purse, or cane. Aim for weak points such as the eyes, nose, and knees. Moreover, make as much noise as possible by shouting or screaming.
Are you interested in learning self-defense techniques? If so, look for senior-friendly courses in your area.
Bikes are right for the big kid in all of us
It probably won’t be like the thrill of learning to ride your new Schwinn around the neighborhood. You were eight — it was pure freedom.
But bike riding is still fun and perfect for people of all ages. With the many new styles, it can also be perfect for seniors.
There are many kinds to choose from:
Recumbent bikes are great for people with knee, neck, or back problems. They even come with safety flags, which you need since their profiles are so low. They can be equipped with hand cycles instead of foot pedals too. They are good for roads and trails and can be folded and transported to preferred locations. Drawback: They are heavy.
Three-wheelers: Trikes aren’t just for kids. These adult-sized three-wheelers can be perfect for even those new to bike riding. They are safe, require less balance than the two-wheeled version and they usually come equipped with a basket. Ride down to the store for the milk and set the gears to go uphill.
E-bikes: Add some electric power to your pedal bike with an electric assist motor that can help you uphill or give your legs a break when you get tired. Although you won’t get the same exercise as a regular bike, you will get some. These are great for people with good balance and adequate strength, but they do go pretty fast: up to 28 miles per hour. They can be very heavy.
Researchers say that older adults get many benefits from riding: Improved brain function, preserved balance, decreased bone loss, improved mood, and relief from joint pain. Seniors who ride also keep their waist size down.