Spring into Wellness: Seasonal Health Tips for Seniors

Dr. Mikhail’s tips for managing allergies, nurturing mental health, and incorporating fresh health routines offer seniors a vibrant guide for springtime

Spring brings the promise of a fresh start, and for seniors, it means adopting health-conscious habits like managing spring allergies, maintaining mental health, and adopting healthy routines that can help them make the most out of the season.

Springtime triggers allergies for many with pollen, mold, and dust mite allergens circulating during April. Many of my older patients may not realize that they can develop allergies later in life, and instead of living with these allergies, proactive steps can be taken to improve their well-being by avoiding going outside during peak pollen hours (between 2 p.m. and 9 p.m.), using air purifi ers, keeping windows closed, using an over-the-counter nasal spray, or allergy medications.

Many of my patients are affected by seasonal depression from the winter months. As the weather gets warmer and the days get longer, I encourage all seniors to try activities that stimulate their minds like reading a book or taking a class to learn a new skill. Spring is also a great time to connect with family and friends as social connections help combat feelings of isolation and help maintain cognitive abilities.

For seniors to make positive changes this season, try incorporating these tips into their lifestyle:

  • Eat fresh: Seniors should enjoy fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables in their diets like beets, strawberries, oranges, and spinach.
  • Stay hydrated: Hydration is important as temperatures begin to rise. Seniors should drink about 8 cups (64 ounces) of water per day.
  • Engage in physical activities: Walking, gardening, and tai chi not only enhance cardiovascular health but also promote joint fl exibility. Seniors should try to be active at least 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week.
  • Health check-ups: Schedule any necessary health screenings or vaccinations. This can include an annual physical, vision, and hearing test, or vaccinations for the flu and pneumonia.
  • Spring safety: Take precautions to help prevent falls and accidents such as wearing appropriate footwear, removing tripping hazards, and using assistive devices like canes or walkers.
  • Sun protection: Long-sleeved, light-material shirts and pants, wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses, and broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 15 can help protect aging skin from harmful rays.

Emad Mikhail, M.D., primary care, Greater Newport Physicians, Irvine Internal Medical Group

With these adjustments to lifestyle and routines, seniors can experience the joy of spring to its fullest.

To make an appointment with Dr. Mikhail, please call (657) 241-3600.

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