Warning! Aging is difficult. It’s not hard to find information on the increased risk that seniors have for a variety of chronic conditions ranging from heart disease to diabetes to dementia. However, what the media doesn’t always tell you is how you may ward off these obstacles to a long and healthy life while rediscovering some youthful energy in the process.

Just imagine how wonderful retirement could be, spending your golden years exploring your passions, traveling the world, and loving each day as you watch the sunrise and set over the horizon. All of that is within your grasp if you make a few crucial lifestyle changes in and outside your home that help keep you in shape physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Take on Challenges

Challenges provide the motivation to wake up in the morning, while also keeping your mind and body working. What you choose to do is up to you, though studying a foreign language or taking up a musical instrument are far from off-limits. And if you encounter any naysayers who claim you’re too old to learn something new, just ignore it — because they’re wrong.

Know Your Limits

Taking on challenges is a great way to improve your health, but be careful with the more strenuous ones — especially chores and home maintenance work. For example, before you take your lawnmower out of the garage, consider not pushing too hard. To avoid potential injuries, call in a professional for more difficult work around the house, such as heavy landscaping and cleaning.

Manage Stress

Not only may stress lead to high blood pressure, but it can also spoil a sunny day. After all, it’s hard to find joy in anything with all those worries bouncing around in your head. Clear them out through a relaxation regimen — all you need is a little time for meditation or breathing exercises. And if that doesn’t do the trick, try some music.

Change Your Diet

If you want more pep in your step, Healthline recommends bananas, brown rice, and fatty fish, among other high-octane foods, though the answer could lie in energy supplements. Choosing the right one depends on whether you need it for fatigue, a poor mood, or anxiety. There’s also the question of how you would like to take your daily dose, which can be swallowed with a smoothie or downed quickly like a shot for easy absorption. But you should always check with your doctor before beginning a supplement to ensure the symptoms aren’t masking a bigger issue.

Sleep Soundly

Once stress is dealt with, it’s much easier to drift off into sweet slumber, as your mind is at ease when your head hits the pillow. Unless, of course, your bedroom itself is keeping you awake. Keep it cool, dark, and quiet using a smart thermostat, blackout blinds, and a white noise machine to drown out whatever goes bump in the night.

Be More Social

Social activities provide many benefits and you should actively pursue daily interactions with friends, neighbors or family members. Their conversation stimulates your mind, helping to build neural connections rather than succumb to “senior moments.” Think of something fun to do together, then make it a date.

Read, Read, Read

Go ahead and get hooked on literature. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain from books, and that means entertainment, fresh perspectives, and quicker wits, as the written word gives your brain an excellent workout. If you’re on the lookout for new material, Leisure Care has some recommendations to share.

Self-Actualization Starts With Entrepreneurship

Many of us think we’re self-actualized when our children grow into happy, healthy adults and we’ve retired. But self-actualization goes far deeper than that — it’s fulfilling our inborn potential. Seniors all around the world are realizing that they want more than retirement and have started building out their own dream businesses to self-actualize.

Besides self-actualization, there are plenty of other reasons to start a business as a senior though. Retirement isn’t all it’s chalked up to be, with over half of seniors claiming the lack of purpose makes them feel depressed after retirement. Starting a business as a senior also means you can do things on your own terms and be happier in the process. But be attentive to start-up costs involved with a business and also the number of hours that may be involved.

So, if you think starting a business is right for you, do some research (including, for instance, what you need to do to register as an LLC in Florida) and then get to work.

Go Outside

Go outside and get some sunshine! As a researcher speaking to ScienceDaily explains it, natural light is the necessary ingredient in your skin’s production of vitamin D, which you need for a healthy metabolism and resistance to heart disease and diabetes. All you need is to go for a quick walk around the block, enjoy a bench, or have a picnic in the park.

Get Physical

Exercise isn’t a struggle if you do it right, and that means burning calories and toning muscle through activities that you find engaging. Dancing, hiking, and swimming would suit you just fine; just get up off the couch and give them a whirl. Or, you could do something more typical like walking or aerobics, but with some music pumping.

As you may have noticed, most of these lifestyle challenges are great fun in themselves. And that’s the great secret to healthy living for seniors: The journey is the destination.

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