For seniors, leading a healthy lifestyle is non-negotiable as they try to lead a long life free from illnesses and complications. In order to achieve this, it means breaking habits which may be working adversely towards healthy living. If you are a senior looking to improve the quality of your life, here are some unhealthy habits you need to quit:
Use of cigarettes and tobacco products is generally harmful but it is especially detrimental to seniors. This is because it increases the risk of contracting lung disease, heart attacks, cancer, and strokes. However, it might not be easy especially if you’ve been at it for long. In this case, seek support from family members, caregivers, doctors, and support groups.
- Excessive drinking
It doesn’t mean that you have to become a teetotaler. It won’t harm you to have a glass of red wine occasionally as it benefits your cardiovascular health. However, you should steer off excessive drinking. Excessive drinking will have adverse effects on your health by harming your heart, liver, and brain. For this reason, try to reduce your alcohol intake.
- Ditch a sedentary lifestyle
While it’s common knowledge that exercise is key to leading a long and healthy life, sadly, many seniors rarely hit the gym. Instead, they spend much of their time on the sofa. A sedentary lifestyle opens doors to various health risks that include high blood sugar and accumulating body fat. To ditch this sedentary lifestyle doesn’t involve much. Taking a walk or light jogging around the block or setting aside some time for movement will help get over this lifestyle. Just get your body moving.
- Overusing painkillers
Seniors suffering from arthritis or chronic conditions may be forced to rely on prescribed pain medication such as opioids to help alleviate their pain. However, when taken habitually, they can lead to ulcers, high blood pressure among other health conditions. Over-the-counter painkillers are no exception and the supervision of doctors is highly advised.
- Bad sleep habits
It’s paramount for seniors to clock in eight hours of quality sleep every night. While in sleep, the brain engages in the consolidation of memories. For this reason, seniors who may be experiencing memory loss should embark on a constant sleep pattern. Additionally, if they find it difficult to sleep at night, they should see a doctor.
To be a healthy senior leading a healthy lifestyle, you need to make some important life changes and these include quitting unhealthy habits and adopting a few healthier ones.
Here’s to your health!
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Dr. Kevin Crawford