Six Steps to a Healthy Senior Lifestyle

Many people believe that the main determinant of health for seniors is diet. But, according to Livestrong and, there are other important facets for healthy bodies and minds for older people.

The National Institute on Aging, or NIA, lists six factors for seniors to stay healthy in mind and body.

1. Calories

Health, weight and activity level are the key determinants of calorie counting for the elderly. Inactive seniors should consider taking in fewer calories than active seniors.

2. Food

Foods rich in fiber prevent constipation, and fluids keep you hydrated. Grains, vegetables, fruit, and beans are to be blended with a moderate intake of skimmed milk and non-fatty meat.

3. Exercise

Elder Nutrition and Food Safety worked with the USDA to develop MyPyramid for Older Adults. It's recommendations: going for a walk, playing with your grandchildren or pet, working in the yard or garden for exercise. There are always fitness classes geared for seniors at a community center.

4. Vitamins

Vitamins B12 and D are recommended by Beef liver, salmon, trout or fortified breakfast cereal naturally provide these essential vitamins.

5. Mediterranean Diet

The British Medical Journal, found that elder people who adhered to the Mediterranean diet increased their lifespan by 8 to 14 %. This up-and-coming diet centers around eating a lot of vegetables, legumes and fruits, fish and unsaturated fats like olive oil. A Mediterranean diet, according to the American Heart Association, is also associated with a lower risk of developing heart disease and cancer.

6. What to avoid

Bad diet and poor exercise habits create a perfect storm for seniors who need to be mindful of their health. Sweets possess empty calories, and should be avoided because they have no nutritional value. It's recommended to bypass foods high in salt and sodium, because seniors possess a higher risk of high blood pressure and hypertension. Reduce the intake of saturated fats, dairy products and red meat.

North American Assisted Living and Continuing Care residences help their seniors maintain healthy lifestyles.