Leading a Healthy Lifestyle Wednesday, August 18, 2021 As we age, our nutritional and physical needs begin to shift. Foods we ate when we were younger may not be what our bodies require or crave later on. With Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia, there are already a variety of health concerns to be aware of, but leading a healthy lifestyle can ease your day-to-day routines. What’s On Your Plate? Dietary health is the number one way to make sure you or a loved one are receiving the nutrients you need to keep your body operating smoothly. Digestion issues and intolerances are very common as we age, so listen to how your body is responding to what is on your plate. A balanced diet includes: Adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet, especially leafy greens, to lower cholesterol and improve digestionIncreasing your vitamin D intake by choosing low-fat dairy products to keep your bones strongChoosing whole grains when possible for an extra dose of fiberCooking with oils instead of solid fats and herbs/spices instead of salt to avoid high blood pressure and heart diseaseDiversifying your proteins by avoiding fatty meats and choosing fish, beans, and peas more often Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate! As we age, we may not notice thirst as often as we did when we were younger, but your body still needs 6-8 cups of fluid a day for hydration, digestion, and blood volume. In warmer weather or when exercising, increase your water intake accordingly. Though water is best for hydration, tea, coffee, mineral or soda water, and reduced fat milk work as well. If you enjoy tea, green tea has been known to ease stress and lower the risk of heart disease. Be aware of your water intake when enjoying an alcoholic beverage since wine, beer, and spirits are diuretics. Keep Things Moving Physical activity is incredibly important when leading a healthy lifestyle. Moving your body regularly will help you maintain healthy weight and muscle strength, which in turn can help ease joint pain. If it’s difficult to get outside to exercise, focus on stretching and balance to keep your mind and body limber. If your diet is not providing you the vitamins and minerals you need, talk to your doctor about supplementing your intake. Vitamin D is especially important for bone health, particularly your teeth. If you have difficulty chewing tougher or crunchier food (such as nuts, grains, or vegetables), choose soft-cooked meals with milled wholegrains, steamed vegetables, or canned fruits. Willow River is Here to Help Leading a healthy lifestyle can make all the difference when memory issues arise. At Willow River, we understand the challenges that Alzheimer’s and dementia can bring. If you have questions or need help, Willow River has the answers and resources you need. Call Willow River Senior Living at 888-546-1886 to start the conversation today.