3 Important Choices People in Their 60s Should Make About Health

Senior citizens are a powerful force, one that should never be underestimated — like the nine people in their 80s and 90s who are still running marathons or the 100-year-old yoga teacher who promotes the power of positivity. These people may not have always been in the best mental and physical shape, but they are proof that it’s never too late make a change — especially if you’re in your 60s.

Focusing on what excites you about a healthy mind and body is way more motivating that fixating on where you are lacking. Get the most out of your golden years by exploring some of these healthy tips, tricks and resources specifically for folks in their 60s (and beyond!).

Become an expert on your health insurance options

Preventive care is absolutely critical for seniors when it comes to managing their health. But it sounds complex, and many seniors hear it without really knowing what it means. In short, it means healthcare that has the goal of preventing illness and injury, which sounds pretty important, right? Well, it may surprise you to know that Medicare may not cover all of these screenings, especially if specialists need to be involved. If you want your vision, dental, fitness and prescription drugs covered by your Medicare insurance, you’ll need to look into a supplemental plan. Learning how to navigate all of this — including enrollment dates, premiums, out-of-pocket costs, in-network providers — takes a very delicate sense of understanding. And, to make it even more complicated, coverage varies from state to state. When you are getting ready to start a Medicare program, be sure to do your research to know what plans your state provides and how to get coverage for those inevitable gaps.

Ask friends out to exercise

Being social and staying fit, these are two game-changing health topics for seniors. Fortunately, you can tackle them at the same time. Many seniors with Medicare have access to Silver Sneakers classes like yoga, spin, aerobics, strength training and water aerobics. These classes can help you stay in shape and make new friends and workout buddies. You can also encourage your friends to join you so you have an accountability partner on your fitness journey. If you don’t have Silver Sneakers options in your city, call around to studios and gyms near you to see if they offer senior discounts. And don’t limit yourself to classes, either. If you don’t like the gym or don’t want to spend the money, you can simply strap on your sneakers and go for a stroll with a friend in your neighborhood or a park. Simply walking can improve circulation, stop bone loss, increase balance and support better sleep.

Sharpen the mind with a new hobby or skill

After retirement or when your children are grown and gone, you might find yourself with a lot of time on your hands. If you don’t fill up your calendar, you might become withdrawn and bored. Instead of sinking into your couch, soak up a new skill or hobby. Exploring a new hobby can give you a broader perspective, specialized skills and a renewed sense of purpose. Many seniors find themselves drawn to gardening, golfing, hiking, knitting, photography or needlepoint. You can teach yourself using online tutorials (many are free) or sign up for a class at your local hobby store, community college or senior center. These are also great places to sign up for life skills classes, like learning computers and email, financial planning or cooking healthier meals.

Looking forward to your golden years takes some planning and preparation, especially if you want them to be interesting, stress-free and relaxing.  Start making healthier life decisions now, so you can fully enjoy living your life at any age.

Guest article written by Jason Lewis, Strongwell.org

Ashton Boswell