Thanksgiving is a wonderful time for older adults and Arizona retirees to spend time relaxing and enjoying the company of their family and friends. However, for some older adultsThanksgiving can be emotionally or physically challenging. Here are 3 tips for a healthy, happy Thanksgiving to truly enjoy this terrific holiday.

1.) Eat smart for your heart

With all the Thanksgiving goodies on the table, it can be tempting to go a little crazy on the calories. But senior citizens are more prone to holiday-related health issues so be mindful of what you put on your plate and how much of it you put on there. Overeating can lead to everything from indigestion and heart burn to a heart attack. It’s best to limit gravies, butter and other high-fat choices with plenty of vegetables and lean white meat. And if you want to kick it up a notch and enjoy this beautiful Arizona weather, why not take a walk after enjoying a hearty Thanksgiving meal?

2.) Enjoy some company

When Thanksgiving and the holiday season rolls around, it can spark depression in older adults. It’s common for seasonal depression to make you want to be alone, but don’t isolate yourself on this day. If you are unable to be with your family, spend the day with your friends for a “Friendsgiving” style Thanksgiving celebration. In an Arizona retirement home? Enjoy a meal with the company of the other residents. Thanksgiving is also a great day to volunteer to help prepare the feast at a local food shelter or community home. Giving your time altruistically is a great way to lift your spirits and enjoy the day.

3.) Watch your health

 With the cooler temperatures, seniors are more susceptible to cold and flu season. Try to keep your stress levels down as everything from depression and traveling to food prep can weaken your immune system. If you feel under the weather - physically or mentally - during the holidays, don't wait to visit your doctor. Be sure to have an up-to-date list of medications you are taking. If you do face a health emergency during the holidays, it's important for your doctor to know your current medical conditions and have a list of your medications.

Thanksgiving can be a fun and festive joyous start to the holiday season, so it’s especially important that seniors take care of themselves during this time. Share and implement these tips and have a healthy and Happy Thanksgiving! – Sharon