It seems like we, as humans, are always chasing down the “secret.” The secret to a more fulfilled, happy life. The secret to achieving wealth. The secret to eternal youth – or, at the very least, the secret to staying healthy and well as we age. As you know, the secret is there’s no quick-and-easy secret to any of these goals. However, with regards to aging well, there are steps you can take and all of them do stem from one singular factor.
According to Doris Lea, Executive Director of Hidden Springs of McKinney, staying healthy and well as you age is based on one simple philosophy: Successfully dealing with challenges and growing from the experience.
“Staying healthy is really a state of mind, although the things you do have very real and significant physical effects,” she says. “There’s no reason your health has to decline in your later years, because there are always steps you can take to improve your health. However, as we get older, we experience more and more life changes and challenges.”
Some of those challenges are expected: retiring from a career, having children leave home and the loss of loved ones. Other challenges can be unexpected and beyond our control: a significant health issue, an accident or a financial setback.
Doris says that the way we approach these challenges and move beyond them is the key to aging well. “There is significant research that shows how positive thinking and having an optimistic outlook can actually improve our physical health,” she says. “When you start from a place of positivity, it’s easier to remain engaged and dedicated to managing your physical, emotional and mental health in order to live life to the fullest, no matter how old you are or what your circumstances are.”
Healthy aging, according to Doris, means finding ways to reinvent yourself and your approach to life as you move through your senior years. It means adapting to change, finding new passions and interests and staying as active as possible – socially, physically and mentally. This positive outlook translates to flexibility and adaptability, which is needed when life changes necessitate a change in your routine, such as no longer being able to run a marathon or having heart issues. “Flexibility makes you more likely and willing to follow doctor’s orders and take steps to control your health,” she says.
Here are some of the steps you can take to stay healthy and well during your senior years:
- Eat well.
Don’t think of it as dieting – think of it as a whole new approach to eating. Reinvent the way you eat by eliminating or limiting processed and packaged foods, and instead load up your plate and your life with whole foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, low-fat dairy, whole grains, lean proteins and healthy fats. Eating more of those and ingesting less sugar, salt, butter and fatty meats will help you feel better and maintain a healthy weight – but that’s not all. Research suggests that this way of eating can actually protect you against chronic illnesses such as cancer, heart disease and even dementia.
- Get moving.
Our bodies were simply not designed to sit for long periods of time – although our modern lifestyle is designed for us to do just that. So, take steps – literally – to get your body moving, your blood pumping and your health improving. Thirty minutes a day is the minimum recommended amount of exercise, but here’s some good news: you don’t have to do it all at once. Even as little as five minutes a day can allow you to reap huge health benefits. Regular exercise helps you control your weight, improve your cardiovascular system, lessen your risk of many diseases, boosts your mood and basically has zero side effects. Look for an activity that you enjoy so that it feels like fun, not like work. Exercising with a friend will add to the experience!
- Stay connected.
Being lonely hurts more than our figurative heart. It hurts our real heart – and our entire bodies – too. Lonely people are more apt to develop depression and even dementia, and tend to have shorter lifespans than those with an active social life. On the other hand, staying linked to family and friends reduces your stress, improves your immune system, keeps you more physically active and allows you to keep a more positive outlook. Any activity that gets you interacting with others can help – one of the reasons why many retirees choose to pick up a part-time job or volunteer during their senior years.
- Curb your vices.
Now is the perfect time to finally quit smoking, cut back on the amount of alcohol you drink or curb your sweet tooth. Reframe it as gaining something (better health) rather than giving up something, since these habits can harm every aspect of your body. If you need help quitting a bad habit, talk to your doctor for tips, tricks and maybe even medications that can help you cut back for good.
- Get a good night’s sleep.
Tossing and turning all night leaves us sleepy, cranky and stresses out our immune systems. Insomnia becomes more common as we age, so it’s even more important to focus on ways to get your sleep cycle in check. Make sure your bedroom is set up for sleep (that means removing the TV and making sure everything is dark and quiet), and avoid drinking alcohol or caffeine late in the evening. Being rested boosts our mood, lowers our stress response and gives us the energy we need to do all the things that spell good health (eating right, getting exercise, etc.).
A Focus on Wellness for Healthy Aging
“At Hidden Springs of McKinney, we believe that wellness is a lifestyle, not a destination,” says Doris. “We’ve woven that philosophy throughout all aspects of life at our independent living, assisted living and memory care community. From healthy dining options to countless wellness programs, from engaging activities to social events, you’ll find ways to stay healthy and well everywhere you look.”
For more information on the wellness focus at Hidden Springs of McKinney, or for more information about our new community in North Dallas, please contact us at 972.445.9844.
Luxury Living in North Dallas
At Hidden Springs of McKinney, we understand how important location is to North Dallas seniors who are looking for an engaging, enriching retirement lifestyle. Located in McKinney, Texas, we are close to medical centers, arts and entertainment, outdoor opportunities and everything else you love about this area. Seniors who choose to make us their home can enjoy a range of trips, opportunities and activities while living their very best life thanks to our innovative focus on wellness.
Active Retirement Living for a Healthy Tomorrow
The secret to a life well-lived awaits you at Hidden Springs of McKinney. Envisioned and developed by Madison Marquette, a company with a 25-year track record of investing in vibrant communities and a stellar reputation for developing luxury residences, you’ll discover all the possibilities your retirement brings … as well as the confidence of knowing your future is secure.
Our beautifully appointed, active retirement living community is created for those who expect more out of life. Luxury living, gracious services, resort-quality amenities, engaging programs and stunning apartments in 15 floor plans are just a few of the benefits awaiting you. And with assisted living and memory care services offered on campus, you can retire with complete peace of mind, knowing that if needs change, the care you deserve is right at home.
To learn more about Hidden Springs of McKinney and discover The Secret to a Life Well Lived, call or visit us today. We’d be happy to schedule a tour and show you just how much our location can make your retirement experience exceptional. Call us today at 972.445.9844.