Canadians are living longer than ever before. To maintain good health and enjoy life to its fullest, there are two main recommendations:
- Eat a healthy diet
- Stay active
Healthy Eating for Seniors
Maintaining a healthy weight and eating a diet with proper nutrition is important in staying healthy as an older adult. Seniors require fewer calories than younger adults and often consume smaller portion sizes to maintain a healthy weight. This needs to be balanced with ensuring enough nutrients are being consumed every day. Use Canada’s Food Guide tips for healthy eating to ensure your diet is meeting the changing needs of your body. Learning about the ways that food impacts health in terms of arthritis, diabetes, and heart issues can help you to feel good about the decisions you make and prevent or lower the risk of chronic illness.
Diets can become more complicated with aging due to medical and health issues. Consult with a dietitian or health care provider to get the information you need. In Manitoba, healthy eating resources are available through the government of Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living.
While many people are still able to grocery shop, prepare and cook food at home, others are not. Look into the possibility of a delivery service from food stores to have fresh foods brought to you. If you are not able to prepare your own meals, reach out to community members or enrol in a meal program that will ensure healthy meals are delivered to you. Meals on Wheels in Winnipeg and the Prairie Oasis Seniors Centre in Brandon are two of the commonly used meal delivery programs in the province. If you live in a smaller community, contact your local health office to find out what services are available in your area.
A complete list of programs and services for older adults in Manitoba can be found on the MB.211.ca website.
Staying active in later years helps to maintain mental and physical health and continued independence.
For an excellent guide to staying active, read the 24 Hour Movement Guidelines from Participaction.ca. These guidelines include recommendations for physical activity, sleep and limiting sedentary behaviour.
If you lack the motivation to get active on your own, many community centres have programs geared towards older adults. These programs are ideal as they have been adapted with age-friendly alternatives. For example, traditional yoga may not be possible for those with arthritis or knee issues, but by adapting to chair yoga, seniors are able to participate. Group programs encourage older adults to remain physically active while also creating fun social opportunities. Check with your local community centre, YMCA or nearest health office to find fitness programs that will meet your needs.
Whether you live alone, with a partner or with extended family, there are resources available to help you maintain a healthy lifestyle. Explore the resources in your community and stay engaged to enjoy life to its fullest.
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Canada’s Food Guide