The new year is a perfect time for seniors to focus on their overall health and wellness. Incorporating mindful habits while staying organized with important documents and appointments can make a significant impact on overall well-being and happiness in your golden years.
In this guide, we’ll explore health and wellness tips for the new year and how each can enhance your journey towards a healthier lifestyle.
1. Stay Organized
Review and update your records to reflect any changes to your Medicare Plan and corresponding documents. Organizing your important Medicare information can minimize stress and create ease for all your health and wellness needs.
- Open your dedicated Medicare folder, whether that be in a filing cabinet or housed on your computer, and update your coverage plan details with any changes for the new year.
- Shred or delete old documents with sensitive information that are no longer needed to make room for the new. You can also create folders for past years to hang on to information that may come in handy to compare changes throughout the years.
- Ensure you have a copy of your new Medicare ID card to carry in your wallet. If you have a Medicare supplement policy it will come with its own ID card. Keep a copy handy for trips to your doctor or pharmacy.
- If you’ve opted for paperless, this may require reviewing important documents from the carrier on their websites. Be sure to create safe and secure username and password combinations when creating carrier website log-ins to access these important documents. Consider using a Password Manager.
- The beginning of the new year is also a perfect time to make sure all sensitive information is safe and secure while making any necessary updates to contact information.
- Keep yourself informed about any updates to your Medicare coverage and available benefits. Understanding your insurance can empower you to make informed decisions about your health and well-being.
2. Keep active: body and mind
One of the easiest ways to keep your body healthy is to keep it moving. It’s important to engage in regular physical activity to maintain strength and flexibility. While this is a simple concept, it can sometimes feel like a chore so find ways to make it easy and manageable.
- Daily walks can have a significant positive effect on your overall health and mood. Get outside when you can or find a local gym with a treadmill or walking track. Watch your favorite shows, read a book, or listen to your favorite music, E-books or podcasts while on a treadmill or elliptical machine to stay entertained. Certain gyms may also give a senior discount on their memberships.
- Gentle yoga and chair exercises are also very beneficial to your muscles and joints. Create a space in your home dedicated to daily stretching and movement to incorporate regular exercise gauged to your mobility level. Be sure to include things to make this space welcoming such as plants, candles, and warm lighting.
- Medicare often covers services like physical therapy, providing valuable support in developing a personalized exercise plan. The new year is a perfect time to explore this option for your fitness and start a new, healthy routine.
- Certain Medicare Advantage plans may also include additional benefits that may help to support your goals of being active and social with others in your area.
- Be sure not to overlook exercising your mind. Prioritize mental well-being by incorporating activities that promote relaxation and cognitive stimulation. From meditation and mindfulness exercises to socializing with friends, maintaining good mental health is crucial for long-term health.
- Medicare may also cover mental health services, including counseling and therapy sessions.
3. Nourish yourself
You may have heard the phrase “eat the rainbow” when it comes to diet and nutrition. It’s important to create a variety of different proteins, vegetables/fruits, healthy fats and carbohydrates to keep your body nourished.
- Make it a point this year to incorporate foods you may have overlooked before. Maybe you reach for the kale, purple carrots, or broccolini the next time you are in the grocery store and try a new recipe.
- Discover local farmer’s markets in your area that may be coming in the spring to buy fresh vegetables and fruits. This is also a great place to find local breads, jams, peanut butters, etc., that tend to be more healthy than what you find in a grocery store given that they are fresh and made without preservatives. The market is also an opportunity to go for a walk and enjoy the outdoors.
- Be sure to take vitamins and supplements to keep your body strong and healthy. It is recommended that adults take a multivitamin daily to help your body feel its best, but it is also important to talk with your doctor to discover any deficiencies you may have. For example, people who live in areas that have seasonal changes may be deficient in Vitamin D, and your doctor may recommend taking an additional amount of it on top of your daily multivitamin.
- An easy way to add additional fruits/vegetables and vitamins to your diet is to visit your local juice and smoothie shops. Incorporating these fresh treats into your diet can make it simple to add in nutrients that may be missing.
- Consider consulting a nutritionist or dietitian, as Medicare may cover nutritional counseling. This can help tailor dietary recommendations to your specific health needs and goals.
4. Schedule your annual preventative visits
The new year is the perfect time to map out your scheduled routine preventative screenings and vaccinations covered by your Medicare plan.
- Start with your annual visit to your primary doctor and review any concerns or health issues you may be having.
- Your general practitioner will be able to recommend all screenings, services, and vaccinations based on your age, health history, and lifestyle. These routine check-ins with healthcare professionals can detect potential issues early, ensuring proactive and effective management.
- Don’t overlook vision and dental check-ups. If you have opted into vision and dental coverages to supplement your Original Medicare, then be sure to schedule your annual appointments there, as well.
By embracing these health and wellness tips and leveraging Medicare benefits, seniors can embark on a journey towards a healthier, more vibrant lifestyle in the new year. Prioritize self-care, nourish your mind and body, and make the most of the resources available to you for a fulfilling and thriving year ahead.