The Importance of Holistic Health and Wellness for Seniors

Health + Wellness   |   By HumanGood

man smiling and stretching outside in yard

People are living longer and healthier lives than ever before. They’re skydiving well into their 70s, taking up new hobbies such as snorkeling, and starting businesses as part of second and third acts in their retirement years. Eighty-two percent of adults ages 65-74 rate their health as excellent, very good or good. 

But health and wellness for seniors isn’t only about how you feel today. The decisions you make today will affect how you feel in the future. In fact, lifestyle choices are a major predictor of how long you will live. One study, for example, found that the absence of major lifestyle risk factors could prolong men's lives by 12 years and women’s lives by 14 years. 

Whether you’re in peak condition right now or might need a few health tune-ups, it’s never too late to prioritize your health and wellness. Many people find that aging brings a renewed focus on well-being. You may find that you’re more concerned about how you’ll feel over the next few decades or that the effects of aging are catching up with you. You may also find that you have more time to focus on your well-being — especially if you’re no longer working or raising children.

Health is about more than taking the right medicine, going to the doctor and lifting weights. A holistic approach looks at the whole person: your needs, goals and how you feel about your health. No matter who you are or how you feel now, you can embrace a wellness approach that helps you get to know your body and empowers you to take your health into your own hands. 

Life Plan Communities make it easy, integrating health and wellness into daily life without making fitness feel like a slog. 

Senior living options have come a long way. Learn why seniors love the  independent lifestyle and total well-being support that Life Plan Communities  have to offer.

Here’s why holistic health and wellness for seniors is so important and how you can embrace a lifetime of good health with a few simple lifestyle changes. 


The Importance of Holistic Health and Wellness for Seniors

Lifestyle is one of the most important predictors of how long you live. You probably already know this. What you might not know is that it’s never too late to start living better. And you don’t have to make major sacrifices in the service of a healthier life either. Even just 11 minutes of exercise a day can help you live longer, according to one study

The pillars of holistic health and wellness include: 

  • Eating healthy, nourishing food. 

  • Maintaining a rich variety of social connections. 

  • Becoming or staying physically active. 

  • Maintaining or attaining a healthy body weight. 

  • Controlling stress. 

  • Finding new ways to enjoy your life since happiness matters for your health (and can make it easier to stick with healthy lifestyle choices). 

  • Nurturing meaningful social connections. 


Even if you have chronic health conditions or a disability, you can still find new ways to embrace holistic wellness. Some of the benefits of doing so include: 

  • A reduction in symptoms such as pain, insomnia and stress. 

  • Better mental health (which may improve physical health too). 

  • A chance to live longer. 

  • A lower risk of developing health conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. 


But let’s be honest: Getting up and exercising can feel tough on a cold day, and sometimes, we all just want to dive into a box of cookies. Holistic health and wellness for seniors is about finding opportunities to optimize health — not giving up everything you like doing. You’re not making sacrifices just for the future. Holistic wellness can help you feel better right now. 

How do you feel after a good workout? Whether you hate every second or love feeling the burn, you’ve probably noticed that you feel better after exercise. That’s because exercise helps increase the production of feel-good chemicals called endorphins. So you don’t have to wait weeks or months to reap the benefits of exercise. Becoming more active can help you feel better right away. This is especially true as you age, when the effects of an unhealthy lifestyle may become more apparent — and more immediate. 

Senior living is designed to put your wellness at the forefront. Learn about  all of the benefits with this guide. >>


Holistic Health and Wellness Strategies for Seniors 

Living healthier doesn’t have to mean developing a long and complicated plan and an equally unwieldy daily to-do list. Instead, it’s all about integrating healthy decisions into daily life, working to form better habits, and doing the things that feel good to your body and mind. Some tips that may help include: 

  • Eliminate unhealthy habits, such as smoking. It’s never too late to quit. Quitting may be easier if you replace it with a healthy habit, such as jogging; a new hobby, such as knitting; or something you love, such as a warm cup of tea. 

  • Cultivate a feeling of safety and security. A Life Plan Community offers the assurance that you’ll always have help and support if you need it. 

  • Make a balanced diet part of your daily life. This doesn’t mean giving up all the foods you love! Instead of removing things, try adding them. Can you eat five vegetables a day? Replace a daily sweet snack with fruits? Challenge yourself to discover more healthy proteins? It’s all about the small victories that can add up to big changes. 

  • Find ways to enjoy your food, such as eating with a friend or relishing a premade meal at a restaurant. When you take time to eat intentionally, you may find it easier to make healthy choices. 

  • Stay socially engaged and active. Our loving relationships make life worth living. They help ease stress, and provide a safe space to discuss stressors. They also challenge us to continuously improve, becoming better and more empathetic people. These challenges can help keep your brain young and active. Your closest relationships may also inspire you to become more active and enjoy a healthier lifestyle. 

  • Keep your mind active by doing things you enjoy — whether that’s curling up with a good book, debating politics with your neighbor or learning something new. 

  • Give back to your community. Giving to others can help you cultivate gratitude, invest in the future, and enjoy a sense of purpose and meaning. 

  • Don’t back away from a challenge. Whether it’s finally ditching that bad habit you’ve always carried, going to therapy, or finding ways to communicate better with your spouse, continuously improving yourself and your relationships will help you continue to improve your life. 

  • Get stress under control. Mindfulness, meditation, exercise, therapy and support from loved ones can all help. 

  • Get moving. Exercise improves mental and physical health, can help you feel better about your body, and may help you stay mobile and limber over the next few decades. 


Life Plan Communities: A Joyful Approach to Wellness

Healthy living doesn’t have to be unpleasant. In fact, the entire purpose of wellness is to live a better, more enjoyable life. But fitness and health marketing — ”no pain, no gain,” for example — has created the illusion that living healthy has to mean being miserable, exhausted and hungry. 

That’s absolutely untrue. Fitness can be fun. Healthy food doesn’t have to be bland, and a wellness-oriented lifestyle doesn’t have to be boring. In fact, they shouldn’t be. Enjoying your life is good for your mental and physical health and can inspire you to continue making healthy choices.

Life Plan Communities make healthy living fun and more attainable. We integrate movement, social events, lifelong learning, and fresh, heathy foods into everything we do. Some of the many amenities our residents enjoy include:

  • Fitness classes.

  • Pools.

  • Nourishing meals.

  • Walkable greenspaces.

  • Inviting gathering places.

  • Resident-led interest groups such as book clubs, travel groups, choral groups, and more. 

  • Regular social events.

  • A chance to nurture your mind and spirit with classes, celebrations and more. 

  • Massage.

  • Meditation.

  • Aromatherapy. 

  • Pet-friendly communities. 

We believe health isn’t about living perfectly. It’s about making good choices and finding new ways to get moving. By alleviating the stress of home maintenance, cleaning, finding things to do, preparing meals and more, Life Plan Communities support your healthy living goals — whatever they may be. 

The right community integrates wellness into everything you do, making it easy to live better and healthier. Learn how a Life Plan Community can enrich your life and improve your health

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