It’s easy to fall into unhealthy habits as you age. You may become less active, gain extra weight, or experience feelings of loneliness or anxiety. These unhealthy habits can, in the worst-case scenario, lead to heart attacks or stroke. That said, understand that while these challenges are natural, there are ways to overcome them.
To help you improve your overall well-being and reduce your risk of stroke, we’ve outlined important health and wellness tips below.
Prioritizing nutrition is the first step toward living healthier and reducing your risk of stroke. Instead of eating packaged foods that contain large amounts of fat, sugar, and salt, opt for more nutrient-dense foods. Some examples include:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Nuts, beans, and seeds
- Whole grains like brown rice and wheat bread
- Lean meats, poultry, and seafood
Not only are these foods rich in vitamins and minerals, but they are also lower in calories. In contrast, fast-foods and packaged snacks like chips and soda contain a lot of empty calories, which can promote obesity.
Remember, changing your diet can take time, particularly if you aren’t used to eating healthy. In that case, incorporate these foods into your eating routine little by little
One of the best ways to improve your heart and cardiovascular health is to get your body moving. To this end, experts suggest 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise a week. You may want to split this into 30-minute sessions across five days with two days of rest on the weekend.
When you’re first starting out with physical fitness, make sure to take things slow. You don’t want to overexert yourself and burn out. Instead, take things at your own pace to establish a consistent habit.
Some easy exercises you can do include: Swimming, pilates, walking, yoga, or cycling. If you want, you could even get a workout buddy to help hold you accountable. That way you can socialize and take care of your mental and physical health at the same time.
As you experience new stressors related to aging, it’s important to learn how to relax. After all, too much stress can lead to high cholesterol and blood pressure levels, which make you more at risk for heart attacks and strokes.
To help manage stress, however, we’ve outlined some essential relaxation techniques:
- Meditation: Practice mindfulness meditation, even if only for a couple of minutes a day. By sitting still and examining your breath, you can learn to let go of intrusive and negative thoughts, thereby reducing stress.
- Social activities: Sometimes the best way to let practice self-care is to sit down and have a conversation with a friend. Even if you’re just talking over the phone, connecting with another human can be a fantastic way to boost your mood.
- Reading: When it comes to relieving stress, reading often does the trick. Whether you read at a park or listen to audiobooks while on a walk, getting lost in a good book is a great way to loosen up your mind.
Must-Know Medicare Facts
For seniors aged 65 and older and Americans with qualifying disabilities or medical conditions, Medicare benefits can be a lifesaver. To keep you informed about your eligibility and the benefits of Medicare, we’ve outlined some must-know Medicare facts below.
For senior beneficiaries to be eligible for Medicare, they must:
- Be a permanent U.S. resident of five or more years,
- Be eligible for social security benefits
- Have paid Medicare taxes for a minimum of 10 years.
For U.S. residents who don’t reach all of these qualifications, you may still be eligible for Medicare benefits, but at a higher premium. Even if you are under the age of 65, it’s sometimes still possible to receive Medicare benefits.
For more information about your Medicare enrollment and possible benefits, reference the Social Security Administration’s website.
As you age, it’s natural for health issues to arise. That said, there are measures you can take to prevent disease, illness, and possible stroke. By eating nutritious foods, staying physically active, practicing stress management techniques, and taking advantage of your Medicare benefits, you can take steps toward living a healthier, happier life.