5 Tips for Staying Fit and Healthy in a Senior Living Home

Senior practicing yoga at Heidi's Haven Assisted Living Facility

Keeping your body in excellent shape is a fantastic way to increase your longevity and improve your quality of life. But after moving into a senior living home, you might not be sure how to maintain an active and healthy lifestyle.

Fortunately, we’ve got a few tips to help you get your blood pumping and body moving. So, if you’ve been wondering how to stay fit and healthy while living in a senior living home, keep reading to find out.

1. Enjoy Daily Walks

You don’t need a ton of workout equipment to enjoy a healthy body and active lifestyle. If you’re looking to enjoy some exercise, all you need to do is stand up and go for a walk!

Enjoying a daily walk is an excellent way to strengthen your leg muscles and increase blood flow throughout the body. It can also provide a little quiet time for reflection, making it a wonderful habit for your physical and mental health.

And no matter what kind of assisted living or senior living home you’re staying in, you can enjoy a walk! Even enclosed facilities with few outdoor spaces offer plenty of opportunities for residents to enjoy a pleasant stroll.

Benefits of Going for a Walk

Walking is a heart-healthy activity that can reduce blood pressure. Taking 30 minutes each day to walk around your home or enjoy a stroll outdoors is one of the simplest ways to improve your overall health and fitness.

Walking is a relatively low-impact exercise that doesn’t put excess strain on the body. This quality makes it ideal for retirement-aged individuals.

Of course, going for a walk outdoors is almost always better than staying inside. The primary exception to this rule would be rainy days. When you go walking outside, you’re getting fresh air and the opportunity to enjoy some sunshine.

2. Explore Outdoor Activities

Engaging in outdoor activities can help you stay active during your retirement years. So, whether you enjoy gardening or golfing, you’ll want to ensure you’re spending at least a few minutes outside each day.

Spending time outside is also an opportunity to get a little silly. For example, you could burn calories and have a blast by holding an impromptu water balloon fight. Or you could also cut a rug by hosting an outdoor dance party!

Exploring a wide variety of outdoor activities is an excellent way to broaden your horizons, exercise your body, and develop meaningful connections with other senior living residents. Getting some fresh air in your lungs and sunlight on your skin is also crucial to your overall health.

How Outdoor Time Affects Your Health

There are several potential benefits of spending time outdoors, including developing a healthier and stronger body. But outdoor time is also linked to lower stress levels and improved focus.

That’s why it’s essential to choose a senior living home that offers plenty of outdoor recreation areas. Staying cooped up in your house for days or weeks can harm your mental health, which can affect your physical health.

So, by choosing an assisted living facility with green, open, outdoor spaces available to residents, you’re already on the path toward a healthier and more active lifestyle! But what activities should you try while spending time outdoors?

Outdoor Activities for Seniors

There are several outdoor activities that seniors can enjoy. The best ones for you depend on your personal preferences.

Naturally, not all senior living homes offer the same range of activities, so facility policies also impact activity availability. But if your assisted living facility doesn’t provide a specific activity that you’d like to try, you can always make a request.

Some of the most senior-friendly outdoor activities include:

  • Maintaining a community garden
  • Going for group walks
  • Playing games and sports
  • Swimming

All of the above activities can get your heart beating and put your muscles to the test, helping you stay healthy and enjoy a more active lifestyle.

3. Go for a Swim

Going for daily walks or taking a bike ride might not be possible for all seniors. After all, arthritis affects approximately half of all retirement-aged individuals. This joint condition can make it challenging to stay active and mobile.

But those who struggle with arthritis pain or joint-related conditions may find some relief by taking a dip in the pool. That’s because water helps support the body, reducing strain on joints. Water aerobics is low impact, making it an excellent option for seniors with arthritis.

Moving through the water exercises the body’s muscles. Swimming is also an aerobic exercise that can boost lung and heart health. Fortunately, many of the best senior living homes have swimming pools, allowing seniors to enjoy water aerobics at their leisure.

How To Exercise in the Water

Exercising in a swimming pool may be easier than you think. Simply walking along the bottom of a pool is a type of exercise!

But you can also choose to exercise specific muscle groups while in the swimming pool. For example, raising and lowering your arms can strengthen your arm and shoulder muscles. Doing the same with your legs can help you build strength in your lower body.

Still, if you decide to exercise in the swimming pool, it’s crucial to follow a few safety rules. Though swimming and water aerobics are a top-notch way to stay active (especially if you have arthritis), they can pose a drowning risk.

Staying Safe in the Pool

Seniors should never exercise in the pool alone. Even those in excellent physical shape should only swim when there are staff members or other residents nearby. That’s because swimming pools pose specific dangers.

It’s only too easy to slip and fall near the pool or doze off while hanging out in the water. If you’re swimming alone, there may not be a way to alert others and get help. For this reason, supervised swimming is a must.

4. Eat Healthy Meals Every Day

Exercise and time outdoors can help you strengthen your muscles and keep your heart healthy. However, fitness alone doesn’t make someone healthy. Diet is also a crucial component of staying in great shape, so seniors looking to remain active will need to eat healthy meals every day.

However, this can be tricky when living in an assisted living facility or senior living home. Most of these facilities provide meals to their residents, so options can be limited. But the best senior living communities ensure that residents enjoy wholesome meals rich in nutrients.

For example, Heidi’s Haven serves healthy meals and snacks to its residents. Fresh fruit and plenty of water are always available, helping keep everyone feeling energized, full, and hydrated.

The Importance of Staying Hydrated

In addition to eating plenty of nutrient-rich meals, you’ll want to drink plenty of water. After all, hydration is an essential part of staying healthy and active. So every time you stop for a snack, be sure to wash it down with a glass of water.

Healthy Senior-Friendly Snacks

While proper hydration is essential for staying healthy, water isn’t enough to keep you going. You need food to stay energized, and eating too little can negatively affect your overall health. But you may notice that after a big meal, you feel tired or sluggish.

The ideal solution to this problem is snacking! Enjoying healthy snacks throughout the day is an excellent way to give yourself tiny energy boosts.

Some of the best snacks for seniors include fresh fruit, greek yogurt, and lightly salted crackers. Enjoy these snacks between meals to avoid the urge to nap through the afternoon.

Not only will snacking help you have a more delicious day but you might also that snacks help improve your mood. And when you’re feeling cheerful and content, you’re taking excellent care of your mental health.

5. Don’t Neglect Your Mental Health

To stay in the best possible shape, you’ll also need to take care of your mental and emotional health. Spending time with friends and family, enjoying your favorite activities, and performing a mental health check-in each day are excellent ways to improve your mental health.

But why is mental health an essential part of staying fit and healthy?

Remember, mental health directly impacts physical health. For example, if you’re struggling with depression, you might experience sleep disturbances and changes in your appetite. These symptoms can negatively impact your overall health, including your physical well-being.

Consequently, it’s just as vital to care for your mind as it is to care for your body. But what are the warning signs of declining mental health?

Warning Signs To Watch For

Poor mental health can exhibit itself in several ways. However, a handful of symptoms are closely associated with declining mental health. Familiarizing yourself with these symptoms can help you seek help sooner, helping you stay healthy and happy.

The most common signs of ailing mental health include:

  • Difficulty focusing on tasks
  • Wanting to isolate yourself from others
  • Feeling depressed for long periods
  • Becoming irritable with others

If you find yourself experiencing any of these symptoms, you’ll want to discuss them with your physician. You might also like to discuss your concerns with a staff member.

Overcoming mental health issues can be challenging. Fortunately, there are plenty of things you can do to maintain your mental and emotional health!

Ways To Improve Your Mental Health

Did you know that one of the best ways to improve your mental health is to exercise? So, if you’re taking daily walks, going swimming, or enjoying various outdoor activities, you’re already doing a lot of good for your mental well-being.

A healthy diet full of nutritious foods can also help you improve your mental health! However, staying active and eating well aren’t the only things you’ll want to do to maintain excellent mental health. Making and keeping friends is also important.

No matter our age, we’re social creatures. Sharing our lives with others is crucial for keeping our minds sharp and our emotions positive. Chatting with other residents or developing a friendship with someone who shares a hobby is an excellent way to boost your mood.

Of course, one of the best ways to enjoy great mental health over a long-term period is to choose a senior living home full of friendly staff members and residents.

Choose a Dynamic Senior Living Home

If your current home or community doesn’t offer a wide range of activities or exercise opportunities, it may be time to consider a different senior living home.

Your golden years should be a fulfilling time full of diverse and engaging experiences. So, moving might be the best option if your current assisted living facility or senior living community isn’t providing that.

Fortunately, several top-rated senior living homes offer residents plenty of opportunities to stay active and enjoy their favorite hobbies. Heidi’s Haven is an excellent example.

Located in Leesburg, Florida, this collection of residential-style senior living homes offers residents the space to be themselves, enjoy friendly interactions with others, and receive personalized care. Residents have access to a wide range of services, including housekeeping, catering, and transportation.

And unlike traditional assisted living facilities, Heidi’s Haven isn’t a ward-like building full of identical rooms. Instead, it’s a suburban neighborhood with unique homes and bedrooms. Residents are welcome to enjoy a stroll down the street, go for a bike ride, or take a dip in the pool.

In short, staying active at Heidi’s Haven is a breeze. Browse these frequently asked questions to learn more about Heidi’s Haven and discover whether these senior living homes might be right for you.

Staying Active at Heidi’s Haven

Staying active is crucial, especially as we age. But keeping fit can be challenging when you’re living in a senior living home. Fortunately, you don’t need a private gym to stay in tip-top shape.

Simple activities like daily walks, weekend bike rides, or dips in the pool make for excellent forms of exercise, and they can be tons of fun. Heidi’s Haven residents can look forward to enjoying these activities, as well as tasty and nutritious meals throughout the day.

If you’re looking for friendly senior living homes in Florida, contact us today for more information!

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