As we age, healthy eating habits, proper nutrition and regular exercise are more important than ever. Eating correctly and staying active are good for your mind, mood, and memory. You can benefit from healthy eating and staying active whatever your age or your current physical condition. Obtaining the rewards of a healthy lifestyle doesn’t require strenuous workouts, sweat soaked and painful exercises, or trips to the gym. Instead, slowly adding more movement and activity to your life will provide huge results!
Our metabolisms naturally slow with age and this makes maintaining a healthy weight more of a challenge. Eating properly, getting the correct nutrition, and staying active helps increase our metabolisms and builds muscle mass. This will help you to burn more calories and when your body reaches a healthy weight, overall wellness improves. This all adds up to being a key part of to staying strong, energetic, and healthy as you get older. It can help you manage the symptoms of illness and pain, maintain your independence, and even reverse some of the symptoms of aging.
Healthy lifestyles will help seniors to boost their moods and improve self-confidence, resulting in a happier and more proactive life. Endorphins produced by exercise can actually help you feel physically better, as well as reduce feelings of sadness or depression. Being active and feeling strong naturally helps you feel more able and sure of yourself. Healthy lifestyles have many mental health benefits, including the prevention of memory loss, cognitive decline, and dementia. Staying fit may also help to slow down the progression of brain disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Exercise can both prevent and reduce the impact of illness and chronic disease. Among the many benefits of exercise for seniors are improved immune function, better heart health and blood pressure, better bone density, and better digestive functioning. Seniors who exercise also have a lowered risk of several chronic conditions including diabetes, obesity, heart disease, osteoporosis, and colon cancer!
Exercise enhances mobility, flexibility, and balance in seniors, ensuring mobility. Exercise improves your strength, flexibility and posture, which in turn will help with balance, coordination, and reducing the risk of falls. Strength training also helps alleviate the symptoms of chronic conditions such as arthritis.
Health and Nutrition
All our lives we’ve been told not to skip meals. As seniors, it’s more important than ever not to skip meals because that is what results in the metabolism slow down, especially during the golden years! As the body ages, you need fewer calories, so it’s best to select lower calorie foods when possible. This is easily achieved by choosing more fruits, vegetables, whole graints, and lean proteins, such as lean beef, chicken, fish or turkey. Base your diet on natural whole foods that taste delicious to encourage you to eat, and drink at least 8 glasses of water daily!
It’s extremely important to have vitamin D fortified foods for bone health! Vitamin B-12 is also extremely important because many adults over 50 have trouble absorbing it, and it’s necessary for maximum brain and nervous system function.
The benefits of healthy eating include increased mental acuteness, resistance to illness and disease, higher energy levels, a more robust immune system and better management of chronic health problems. Healthy eating can also be the key to a positive outlook on life and staying happy.
Activities and Programs
Long gone is the image of the little old lady on the porch in her rocking chair. Seniors today are more active than ever! Regular activities keep seniors fit, boost energy and maintain confidence. Exercise is good for mental health and provides a better night’s sleep. The more you move, the more beneficial it is to your health, no matter what level you are at!
Exercise is especially good for seniors because it promotes independence, from housekeeping to running errands. Walking, hiking, bowling, dancing and tennis are great cardio activities for seniors to keep your cardiovascular system as healthy as possible. Strength training is also good for seniors because it prevents bone loss and helps to maintain muscle.
Seniors should also consider exercise that promotes flexibility and balance, such as yoga and tai chi. These exercises will reduce the risk of falling and help the body stay limber, increasing your range of motion for doing simple every day things such as washing your hair and playing with your grandchildren.
If you are a senior exercising for the first time, start slow and be sure to consult your physician before beginning your program. Exercise shouldn’t hurt! If you feel pain, feel dizzy, short of breath or develop chest pains, stop immediately!
As we age, we still need as much sleep as we required throughout our lives. As seniors, we often don’t sleep enough because we have chronic pain and conditions that keep us awake. We may also be sad or depressed, which reduces the time and quality of our sleep. Quality sleep is vital for your overall health. Maintaining a healthier lifestyle filled with good eating choices and proper exercise often improves sleep, helping you fall asleep more quickly and sleep more deeply.