It's clear that a healthy retirement lifestyle is key in maintaining great senior health and preventing age-related conditions. And we all know the two main things this healthy lifestyle should include: a balanced diet and regular exercise. In fact, a recent study from the University of Eastern Finland found that a strict regimen of aerobic and strength-training workouts along with brain exercises may actually prevent dementia and cognitive-decline in at-risk seniors altogether, let alone lowering their risk.
But even when seniors are eating a nutritious diet and taking part in an active retirement, there are some bad habits that may still affect their health. Some, like smoking, are clearly unhealthy, while others aren't as obvious. Here are three unhealthy habits you should try to stop:
Smoking is not just bad for your health - it can be disastrous. It can raise a person's risk factor for several health conditions, including lung cancer, some oral cancers, gum disease, heart disease and stroke. Quitting smoking can aid your health almost immediately. In fact, in as little as 20 minutes after a person quits smoking, his or her heart rate can return to normal and in a matter of weeks a person's lung function can improve and his or her heart attack risk can drop considerably, according to the National Institutes of Health.
2. Not getting enough sleep
Believe it or not, seniors with bad sleep habits may also be at a higher risk for some senior health issues. Poor sleep habits are especially linked with cognitive decline, and in some studies have even been linked with an increase risk for dementia. Not sleeping enough can also leave you with little energy and a weakened immune system.
Stressing, as many know, is as difficult a habit to break as any. Letting go of anxiety and worry can be very difficult, but stress can affect seniors' health negatively. When seniors are stressed, their immune system is affected, which may make it harder to fight off things like infection, influenza and more, according to the American Institute of Stress.
Quitting any of these habits may be easier said than done - but it's absolutely possible! Start slowly and think about the amazing health benefits you'll gain. As St. Francis of Assisi once said, "Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible."