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7 Cheap, Simple Ways to Stay Healthy as You Age
If you’re on a budget, it’s easy to feel like staying healthy as a senior just isn’t achievable. However, health is not a matter of spending lots of money on supplements, superfoods, and exercise machines. It’s about simple and accessible choices, most of which can be undertaken without spending any money at all.
Find Your Best Health Plan
Having the right health plan not only prepares you in the event of an emergency or diagnosis, but it can also help you maintain your health on a daily basis. Depending on your needs, you may discover that you need a better plan than your current one to fulfill those needs. For example, if Original Medicare isn’t offering enough benefits, you can choose a Medicare Advantage plan. This plan combines the benefits of Medicare Parts A and B, plus adds in coverage for dental care, fitness programs, and other benefits. You can find such plans through a provider like UnitedHealthcare. Be aware that plans can change each year, so it’s important to stay up-to-date on your plan to keep getting the best care possible.
Walking is one of the most accessible forms of exercise out there, and perhaps one of the best for older adults. Indeed, benefits for seniors include improved heart health, lower blood sugar, better mood, and more chances to meet up and talk to people. Walk as little or as much as you can, but do it regularly (daily if possible).
Take Up At-Home Exercise
Walking is great for your health, but you do need more for a well-rounded exercise routine. Specifically, you need to work out your muscles, flexibility, and balance. Luckily, these areas are very easy to work on at home, either through online yoga videos or simple exercise routines.
Take Care of Your Home
Believe it or not, the air inside your home isn’t nearly as clean as you may believe. If you don’t open your windows and air things out on a regular basis, you’re pretty much recycling the dust, allergens, and irritants that pets, cleaning products, and other things can introduce to our homes. So, throw open those windows once or twice a week (weather permitting) and let the fresh air in, and spend a few bucks every month to change out your HVAC filters. It’s also incredibly important to keep your eyes peeled for signs of mold, as this could signify a major problem. If you allow this issue to continue, the cost of cleaning your home could quickly skyrocket.
Sign Up for Social Activities
Loneliness isn’t just unpleasant, it’s bad for your health. In fact, research seems to indicate that it may be a bigger health riskthan obesity or smoking. As you grow older, opportunities for socializing may not happen as organically, so you need to actively look for them. There is a wide range of free and cheap social activities you could sign up for: book clubs, walking groups, bridge teams, crafty workshops, language classes, etc. Just pick something you’re interested in and go find other people to share that passion with!
Learn to Batch Cook
Cooking for yourself when you are older can be a chore. You are not always going to feel like making a hot, nutritious meal from scratch, and you may sometimes resort to unhealthy and convenient foods or skipping meals altogether. This is one of the common causes of the issue that is senior hunger.
One easy solution is to cook a few times a week, making big batch meals that can be easily chilled or frozen. Soups, stews, casseroles, curries, pasta sauces – the possibilities are varied and exciting. Bon Appetit has an excellent collection of batch-friendly recipes on their website, such as slow-roasted chicken and overnight oats.
The benefits of meditation for seniors are well-proven. A regular meditation practice can boost memory, prevent cognitive decline, improve digestion, reduce stress, and much more. It can also help you manage the unpleasant feelings of growing older by grounding you in the present instead of worrying about the future.
Best of all, it can be totally free – check out the Insight Timerapp if you have a smartphone, or alternatively just look up “guided meditation” online and try a few different videos out.
As you grow older, various factors conspire to make it harder for you to take care of your health. Your body changes, your lifestyle becomes more sedentary, you don’t have kids anymore to set a good example for – the list goes on. But just because it’s challenging to take control of your health doesn’t mean it’s not worth doing. The more you take care of your mind and body as a senior, the more you will be able to enjoy the next few decades as fully as you deserve.