12 Easy Health Tips Every Boomer Should Try

Eating well is important for everyone, but nutrition and exercise play an even more critical role as you age. From optimizing protein intake to staying hydrated, a focus on health can reduce the risk of common age-related concerns, such as weight gain, falling, skin aging, and more.

These 12 expert-backed recommendations aim to support the health and well-being of boomers.

Strength Train

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One of the most important things you can do as an older adult is stay active and strength train. However, maintaining your muscles can get a little trickier as you get older.

Strength training is just as important as cardio for maintaining good health as you age. Strength exercises help build muscle mass, which helps improve balance, coordination, and bone density.

Eat Enough Protein

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While you work on staying active, eating enough protein is also vital. Protein helps your body build new muscle and maintain the muscles you already have. Some research suggests that individuals over 65 consume more protein than the average adult, about 1-1.2 grams of protein per 2.2 pounds of body weight.

You can easily do this by making sure each meal has a good protein source like eggs, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, tofu, lentils, edamame, or tempeh.

Focus on Fiber

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Choose fiber-rich foods such as legumes, fruits, and vegetables to get the most vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants from your meals and to help keep you regular.

Eating a diet rich in fiber can help prevent constipation and ensure that your body can flush out excess waste. Additionally, fiber feeds the beneficial bacteria in our gut, helping to reduce inflammation and improve immunity.

Focus on B12

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Vitamin B12 is an essential micronutrient that is crucial in brain and nervous system health, energy production, and red blood cell production. Unfortunately, older adults are at higher risk of vitamin B12 deficiency due to age-related changes in the digestive system that can affect absorption.

That's why it's so important for older adults to ensure they're getting enough vitamin B12 either through their diet or through supplementation, as needed.

Stay Hydrated

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You might lose some sense of thirst as you age, but water is still vital to every bodily function. To ensure enough hydration in your day, you can fill a jug in the refrigerator to help you keep track.

Milk, coffee, tea, juice, and soup count towards your hydration as well. Plenty of fruits and vegetables also have a high water content to add to your overall intake.

Eat a Quality Diet

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Be sure you are following a nutrient-dense eating plan. Plans like the Mediterranean, DASH, or MIND diets can help you get those all-important fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats to support a healthy mind and body as you age.

Considering that only 10% of boomers eat enough fruits and vegetables daily, prioritizing a quality diet focused on whole foods can help.

Getting Enough Quality Sleep

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Sleep quality and quantity are crucial at this stage of life. It's important to consistently get enough quality sleep during the week and the weekends. Some simple tips for improving sleep quality include sticking to a sleep schedule, creating a peaceful bedtime routine, avoiding alcohol, managing stress, limiting naps, turning off electronics before bed, limiting caffeine and eating before bed, and getting joyful activity in during the day. If sleep apnea is a concern, see a doctor or sleep specialist for more information.

Eat Prunes

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Women begin to lose bone rapidly during the first five years after menopause, and men and women lose bone at the same rate by age 65-70.

Prunes are an important food-based option to support bone health over time. They contain vitamins and minerals essential to bone health, such as potassium, magnesium, vitamin K, and the plant-based compound polyphenols. Research suggests that eating 5-6 prunes daily may help prevent bone loss!

Choose Fish

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Seafood is rich in high-quality protein, which can help preserve muscle mass and prevent muscle loss. Seafood is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, which aren't found naturally in many other foods. Consumption of omega-3s is essential for brain and heart health and may also prevent cognitive decline among older adults.

Take a 15-Minute Walk

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Another go-to nutrition tip for older adults is to include a 15-minute walk outside as part of your morning routine. Walking is a simple, cost-effective exercise that is easy on the joints. It has several benefits, including improving cardiovascular health, strengthening bones, and delaying cognitive decline.

As an added bonus, walk in the early morning to get some sunlight. Exposure to sunlight during the morning hours can have additional benefits, such as improving sleep quality, promoting Vitamin D production, and boosting mental health.

Eat More Vegetables

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As a dietitian, one of my go-to nutrition tips for older adults is prioritizing non-starchy vegetables. Weight loss becomes more challenging as you age, and non-starchy veggies provide a lot of water and volume for fewer calories.

Fill half your plate with colorful, non-starchy veggies like cauliflower, broccoli, leafy greens, and asparagus.

Consider Collagen

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Some studies suggest taking collagen supplements may help reduce joint pain and stiffness, especially in individuals with osteoarthritis.

Additionally, collagen is an important component of skin aging, and taking collagen supplements may improve skin elasticity, hydration, and overall appearance as we age.

Author: Alexandra Caspero

Alexandra Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, New York Times Bestselling Chef, and founder of Delish Knowledge and the Learning Center. She focuses on making whole-food, vegetarian eating deliciously simple. Her nutrition expertise and must-make recipes have been featured in Forbes, Today, The Washington Post, Parents, Vogue, Food Network, and more.

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