How Long Does It Really Take To Create A New Senior Health Habit?
They say it takes 21 days to create a new senior health habit. That’s kind of a weird idea though, isn’t it? It doesn’t take that long to form a bad habit. And sometimes no matter how hard we try it takes us a lot longer to form a new habit. At Laurel Springs, living long and happy means to cultivate the right senior health habits to ensure the best in ‘Golden Years’ living!
Develop Senior Healthy Habits for Life and Enjoy the Benefits!
So how long does it really take to create a new habit? The answer is that it depends. It depends on your mindset and it depends on how big of a change it is from what you are doing now. If it is your habit to eat a bowl of ice cream at night and you switch from regular ice cream to a low sugar frozen yogurt version, it’s probably not going to take you very long to make that new habit. Giving up ice cream altogether though or cutting out all sugar, on the other hand, might take a lot longer.
When we ask that question, what we really want to know is how long do we have to tough it out before it gets easier. Is there a light at the end of the tunnel where we don’t have to try so hard anymore? In other words, when will this new behavior become automatic? Will the effort to develop strong senior healthy habits for life really pay off?
While it will be different from one person to the next and even from one senior health habit to the next, there are a few things to keep in mind.
It’s easier to make new senior health habits than getting rid of an old one. Be prepared to work a lot harder to give up checking your email every 2 minutes or snacking late at night. Whenever possible, try to replace an old habit with a new one. For example, if you’re wanting to give up coffee, brew a cup of herbal tea in the morning and throughout the day when you would usually reach for your cup of Joe.
Senior Healthy Habits for Life will form faster if you stick to the same time and environment each day. Instead of going for a walk whenever, keep your sneakers next to the door and schedule your walk every day at 6 pm, right after dinner for example.
A constant reminder of why you’re trying to change your behavior is also helpful. Remind yourself every day that you’re exercising so your body stays strong and you can go play with the kids or grandkids in the yard. Or put up a picture to remind you that you’re making frugal habits so you can one day purchase your dream home. Keep your reason why you’re changing front and center and then be prepared to stick it out. Yes, it will take some time to make new habits and replace old ones. But it will be well worth it in the end.
Consider these 10 tips for keeping up with your senior health needs:
1. Eat healthily and focus on nutrition.
The digestive system slows down with age, so high-fiber fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are as important as ever. Because seniors are prone to dehydration, they should drink plenty of water to stay energized and sharp.
2. Focus on prevention.
Preventative care visits, including health screenings for cholesterol levels, colon cancer, heart problems and more, qualify for Medicare coverage. Seniors also need to get vaccinations that can help prevent influenza and pneumonia.
3. Get information on medication management.
Ask about and review the senior’s medications with their physician on a regular basis. Consider possible drug interactions and take note of any new symptoms (allergic reactions, drowsiness, loss of appetite and others) the senior shows after changing or starting medications.
Senior Healthy Habits for Life – Laurel Springs Retirement Tips and Resources for Retirement
4. Get some sleep.
Frequent waking and insomnia in the night are common among seniors. Turn the lights down in the evening to spur drowsiness and make sure the senior’s bedroom is comfortable, cool and quiet.
5. Remember mental health.
The Geriatric Mental Health Foundation recommends that seniors do crossword puzzles, read and write and try new hobbies to stimulate their minds and engage with the world around them. Activities like these can ward off a decline in mental health.
6. Screen for vision changes.
Seniors who wear glasses should have their prescription checked every year for changes and have their eyes screened for health issues. Having the right pair of glasses can reduce a senior’s chance of falling.
7. Socialize with other seniors.
Time spent with family and grandchildren helps seniors feel connected, especially if they have mobility issues. Those visits can also make seniors feel more upbeat, which is the best medicine at any age.
8. Stay physically active.
Exercise not only alleviates depression but improves energy and memory. An exercise program approved by a physician, long walks or short strolls can keep seniors healthier longer. Exercise for senior health is imperative!
With their health under control, seniors can do more and stay active, which is important to their overall well-being. Happy, healthy seniors can still present a lot of care challenges, but they can also contribute more to their health, which can give caregivers a little less to worry about.
9. Take advantage of free physicals.
During the first 12 months on Medicare, seniors are offered free physicals. After that first year, they receive free annual wellness visits.
10. Visit the dentist every six months.
Our risk for cavities goes up with age. Plus, many mouth infections can be linked to serious health conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. So seniors should see the dentist regularly.
Senior Healthy Habits for Life – It’s Your Choice to Make the Most of Life!
Laurel Springs Retirement
Senior Healthy Habits for Life Advice
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