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8 daily activities seniors should do to stay healthy

The key to staying healthy during your older years is to give your body what it needs. Your body’s needs change over time, so you need to alter your routines and diet to feel your best. Daily activities you do as a senior will look a lot different than those you did when you were a teenager or younger adult.

These eight Es are a great start to a healthier you.

1. Exercise

Although this E is one everyone knows he should do to stay healthy, it’s one of the most easily neglected. Only a few people admit to staying physically active after 65 years old, and even fewer people admit to being physically active after turning 75.

Find a daily exercise routine you can do without putting too much stress on your body. Even a daily walk around a park can give your health a boost.

2. Eat Right

Your nutritional needs change as you get older. You probably don’t need as many calories as you used to, and your doctor may recommend limiting unhealthy fats and starches. If you’re a woman, your doctor may ask you to eat calcium-rich foods to maintain your bone strength. Most people can’t go wrong with lean proteins, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats.

3. Evaluate Your Levels

Keep on top of your cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar, and other health indicators that may point to a potential problem. Early detection is the best way to keep serious and chronic health conditions under control.

4. End Your Smoking Habit

If you’re a Medicare beneficiary, your Part B will cover up to eight counseling visits a year to help you quit smoking and/or using other tobacco products. Take advantage of this 100% covered service so you can get back to being healthy. Your Medicare Part D plan may also cover nicotine substitutes such as patches or gum to help you stay smoke-free.

5. Eliminate Stress

Stress is sometimes inevitable. However, if you can lower the amount of stress in your life or even eliminate it altogether, you could actually improve your health. Exercise helps lower stress—and so does the next activity in this list.

6. Engage in Social Activity

Social activity helps reduce the risk of depression and may even reduce stress. Seniors sometimes get isolated; it’s harder to get out and about, friends may have moved away. Commit to getting out of the house on a regular basis—join a walking group, take a class at the local community college, get some friends over to play board games or cards. Just make time to interact with others at least once a week.

7. Educate Yourself on Common Conditions

Know the warning signs and symptoms of common health conditions associated with aging. Diabetes, heart disease, and arthritis are all conditions that are best managed when diagnosed early. Know when to see your doctor before a minor problem turns into something major.

8. Eliminate Sleeplessness

Seniors are often plagued by insomnia, and when you don’t get enough sleep, it’s easy to give in to stress and depression. You don’t function at your best when you’re short on sleep. If you fall asleep easily but wake feeling unrested, you may have sleep apnea. Talk to your doctor if insomnia or chronic fatigue is a problem in your life.

Be sure to visit your doctor at least once a year for an annual check up to make sure your body is getting exactly what it needs to stay healthy.

Danielle K Roberts is the co-founder of Boomer Benefits where she and her team help baby boomers navigate their Medicare insurance options. She is a member of the Forbes Finance Council and writes frequently about Medicare, retirement and personal finance. You cans ee more articles on her site daniellekroberts.com

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