New research shows that 30 minutes of low-intensity physical activity a day can help older adults live longer. Low-intensity exercise can also improve flexibility, balance, muscle strength and depression, while reducing the risk of injuries. Low-intensity, low-impact activities like walking, tai chi, yoga, aquatics and dancing offer multiple health benefits, and are safe, accessible and sustainable for seniors.
Older adults are more likely to get dehydrated due to a decreased sense of thirst, kidneys that no longer work as well or medications that cause fluid loss. Dehydration can lead to falls and dangerous complications, such as a rapid or irregular heart rate, or fainting. You can prevent dehydration by sipping water regularly, drinking before you feel thirsty, and consuming extra fluids in warm weather and during physical activity.
Over half of Canadian seniors have hypertension and five of the top 10 drugs used by older adults are for treating high blood pressure. Healthy lifestyle changes can reduce the risk of developing hypertension or help lower high blood pressure and the amount of medication needed. Losing extra weight, being physically active, eating lots of fruits and vegetables, and reducing stress all help keep blood pressure down.
t turns out that eating alone isn’t always the best for our health. A long-term British study led by a Canadian researcher found that participants aged 50+ who lived and dined alone ate a smaller variety of fruits and vegetables (i.e., a less healthy diet) than those who lived with a partner. Those who didn’t enjoy a fulsome social life and had little contact with friends also suffered from a poorer diet than their more socially-engaged counterparts.