Diet and exercise are keys to both mental and physical well-being. Experts recommend seniors get at least 30 minutes of exercise each day. Diet should include plenty of fresh vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, and whole grains. Processed, high-sugar, and high-fat foods can impact overall health and lead to fluctuations in blood sugar levels that impact overall mood.
Immunities Start With Diet.
The foods you eat can help your body fight infections and illnesses. Foods that are rich in antioxidants and that protect against inflammation are essential. Berries, leafy greens, and tomatoes are all beneficial. Grains that are high in fiber are also important. Some of the best grains are quinoa, farro, bulgur, and barley.
For protein, avoid fatty meats. Chicken and turkey breast and fresh fish are great choices. Your mom and dad need to limit beef, pork, and organ meats like liver.
Smaller meals multiple times a day help keep blood sugar levels steady throughout the day and night. It also may be easier on your parents who find their appetite isn’t the same as it used to be. Instead of a full meal, they could have six snacks spread out every few hours.
Exercise Doesn’t Have to Be Boring.
Your parent may think of exercise as being boring and difficult. First, they should talk to a doctor. They may need to work with a specialist to gradually increase activity. Second, they need to learn that exercise can be fun. Activities they love, such as birdwatching, can become exercise. Take them to a nature park with walking trails and walk while trying to find birds. As long as they’re not sitting, it’s exercise.
Try to vary their exercise each day. One day, they can walk around a wildlife refuge. The next day they can play Frisbee golf with the grandchildren. Swimming, tai chi, and bicycling are other exercise forms that seniors often enjoy.
If they participate in fitness programs at area senior centers, they’ll gain socialization while getting exercise. Many senior centers offer programs like yoga, walking clubs, and Wii bowling. You might not think of video games as offering a workout, but they can. Wii bowling works out the waist, upper legs, arms, and shoulders. Dance games cover even more of the body.
Your parents may need someone to cheer them on when they’re trying to eat healthily and exercise. On days you can’t be there, caregivers can offer companionship and support. Find out more about this and other services offered by caregivers by calling us today.