The new year is a perfect time to refocus and explore new ways to maximize health and wellness. Joshua Raymond, MD, who specializes in family medicine and geriatrics at CentraState, provides some tips for seniors to improve their physical well-being and mental outlook in ways that deliver significant benefits for continued good health.
Change up your exercise routine.
While much of the winter may be cold, it’s a great time to get more creative with exercise routines that can be moved inside, such as stretching, light weightlifting, yoga, or even dance. Always check with your doctor before embarking on or restarting any regular exercise program. For an added bonus, exercise outside in daylight hours to get the benefits of fresh air and sunshine to improve both body and mood.
Stay up to date on vaccines.
Older adults are more susceptible to flu and COVID-19 complications. Flu vaccines are updated each season to optimally protect against the latest flu viruses, and the sooner you get a flu shot, the better. Stay up to date on vaccines and booster shots for COVID-19, too – especially since the latest boosters are designed to provide better protection against Omicron variants. In addition, ask your physician if you need a pneumonia vaccine.
Inventory your medications.
Organize and discard old prescriptions you’re not using, especially antibiotics. If you have questions about a medication, bring it to your pharmacist or to your next doctor visit to discuss with your healthcare provider. Check vitamins and over-the- counter medications for expiration dates and discard outdated bottles.
Protect against falls.
Falls are one of the most dangerous risks to seniors, so be prepared with the proper winter footwear. Anti-slip soles can help keep you from slipping in any weather. Working on balance is also important for reducing falls. CentraState has healthy aging programs that help improve balance and mobility; learn more at centrastate.com/healthy-aging.
Focus on socializing.
Staying social, attending cultural events, enjoying a new hobby, or just sharing a casual lunch can help offset the blues that can creep in during the shorter days of winter. Keeping in touch using today’s technology is great, but there’s nothing like in-person human interaction.
Take advantage of health resources in your community.
CentraState has a broad slate of classes and activities for the mind and body to keep you informed, engaged, and healthy. This includes Live Life Well On-Demand digital programs that make it even easier to gain health coaching and wellness benefits. “While the winter months may seem long, prioritizing wellness in a way you enjoy can provide a boost in energy levels, outlook, and overall health,” says Dr. Raymond.
To learn more about our Live Life Well programs, visit centrastate.com/wellness or call 732-308-0570.