World Health Organization’s World Health Day
Saturday, April 7 marks the World Health Organization’s World Health Day and with events going on in celebration around the globe, Fellowship Square is taking the opportunity to share some health tips to consider on this day — and every day! For general health and wellbeing as seniors age, Fellowship Square offers their “Top Five Health Tips.”
1. Stay (or get!) active — Physical fitness is important at any stage in life. For seniors, it can be a fun way to get exercise while also being social. Whether taking a walk around the neighborhood with friends, joining a group fitness class or playing tennis or basketball, even short segments of physical activity can improve quality of life for seniors. Mood boosts, better sleep, decreased pain and even easing feelings of depression can all be attributed to regular exercise. Seniors should check with their doctors before starting any new exercise or fitness routine.
2. Eat healthfully — Instead of thinking of a healthy eating routine as a “diet” or that “bad foods” are off limits, seniors can make small changes little by little to improve their nutrition. Simple changes like replacing simple white carbs in breads and pastas, etc., with whole grain varieties can make a big difference over time. Instead of chips or crackers as a snack, seniors can switch to hummus and crudité, yogurt with fruit and granola, or a small handful of nuts with an apple or string cheese. Or instead of drinking empty calories in sodas, seniors can enjoy fruit flavored seltzers with a splash of 100 percent fruit juice, for example.
3. Reduce stressful activities — As seniors age and for those that begin to experience dementia and Alzheimer’s, large crowds, new places, activities and travel can now seen overwhelming, confusing and even frightening — even if they once enjoyed these things. It’s important to recognize stress triggers in one’s self or for caregivers to note their loved one’s reactions to these situations as they age, and adjust daily activities accordingly.
4. Avoid unhealthy habits — There is no time like the present to cut back on not-so-healthy habits such as smoking or over indulging in alcohol. Limiting these habits now can only help reduce risk and prevent illness in the future.
5. Get some sleep — The body needs to sleep to rejuvenate and recharge. During sleep, the body repairs blood vessels, improves the body’s immune functions and a good night’s sleep is important for aspects of the brain’s functions including cognition, concentration and productivity. It’s been shown that poor sleep quality can contribute to risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and Type 2 diabetes, and greater risk of stroke.
Whether on World Health Day, or any day, seniors’ health and wellbeing is very important to the staff and caregivers at Fellowship Square. They work hard to ensure that seniors in their communities are not only healthy, but happy, too!