Health and fitness for seniors is easy to put in place but you must first build a lifestyle which supports this. And You’re never too old to begin your quest for health and fitness. Being fit and healthy is the key to LONGEVITY. 🙂
A life that revolves around health and wellness is built by choosing healthy habits and healthy choices to be part of your daily routine. You do not need to completely overhaul your entire life all at once. These changes can be made on a gradual basis.
Exercise Tips For Seniors
The United States Department of Health and Human Services recommends 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity daily or a minimum of 2 hours and 30 minutes per week for adults ages 18 to 64 years. Strength training for all of the major body parts, legs, hips, arms, shoulders, abdomen, back and chest is recommended at least twice a week.
If you are not already physically active, incorporating fitness activities into your life does not need to pose a major challenge. A wide range of physical activities meet the guidelines. Examples of a moderate physical activity include dancing, brisk walking, bicycle riding and more.
Keep in mind, 30 minutes of moderate activity provides the minimum required to gain health benefits. More vigorous activities, jumping rope, rock climbing and swimming provide even greater health benefits. Extending the amount of time spent doing any physical activity also increases health benefits.
To successfully integrate physical fitness activities into your life, make them part of your daily schedule. Set aside time in your daily planner and add a reminder to the event on your phone or watch. The most important things you can do are show up for the activity and perform some level of physical activity. Even if it does not equal the full 30 minutes, you’re still building the habit of physical activity.
Keys to Success:
• Start with an activity you will enjoy.
• If you are a social person, join an exercise group or workout with friends.
• Remember every little bit counts. If you exercise for 20 minutes twice a day or in 10-minute increments throughout the day, you can meet the requirement of 2 hours and 30 minutes per week around your schedule.
• Block out your exercise time on your calendar.
Clean Eating For Seniors
Along with physical fitness, ultimate health and wellness hinge on a healthy and balanced diet. People who eat well experience a variety of health benefits, better weight maintenance, lower chances of developing diabetes or heart disease and lower instances of illness. As recommended by the 2010 issue of Dietary Guidelines for Americans, a healthy diet includes significant amounts of fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, lean proteins and unrefined grains. The recommendations also suggest lowering sodium, added sugar, trans fat, saturated fat and cholesterol in the diet.
Before you look to cut things from your diet, work on adding healthy choices to your meals and snacks. Take a proactive positive approach as you make changes to what you eat. Drink a non-carbonated beverage instead of a pop or soda; you can choose unsweetened herbal tea which still provides flavor, lemon water or plain water. Select brown rice instead of white rice with your meals. Just as with exercise, small changes add up to a complete transition to a more healthful lifestyle. Below you will find the items I use on a daily basis, the almonds, chia seeds, and flax seeds were added to my diet in the past three years. I do a green smoothie several times a week and I always add my protein powder, the bars are in my desk drawer at work for a mid-morning snack.
Happy Belly Whole Raw Almonds, 16 Oz, Pack of 2Healthworks Chia Seeds Raw Pesticide-Free, 2lbOrganic Plant Based Protein Powder, VanillaAlmond Walnut Macadamia,10g ProteinOrganic Golden Flax Seeds, 16 ozs, (Pack of 2)
Health Benefits Of Yoga For Seniors
Our emotional state can affect our food choices, our level of physical activity and our ability to maintain positive social engagement. Foods high in sugar and fat satisfy the pleasure and reward centers in our brains. If we are stressed or unhappy, many of us reach for rich foods to make ourselves feel better. Sometimes this is a conscious decision; many times it is not. Also, feeling angry, unhappy or depressed saps energy, making it more difficult to exercise or pursue some other physical activity; we just don’t feel like it.
There are many ways to combat this cycle. Physical activities like yoga, pilates, tai chi and many others expressly cultivate a healthy mind-body connection for practitioners. Each of these activities uses movement tied to breathe awareness to focus and calm the mind and the nervous system.
Yoga includes breathing exercises and meditation as well. These activities build fitness and relieve stress. Some mind-body activities, breathing exercises, visualization, and meditation, do not involve whole body movement; they focus on channeling mental activity and relieving stress.
It is important to keep the body healthy and the mind in a state of equilibrium to experience a sense of well-being. Equilibrium does not mean you become an automaton. It simply means you do not experience unrealistic highs or debilitating lows (depression). Being even-tempered makes it easier to deal with stress, adapt to change and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Keys to Success:
• Choose a mind-body activity to include in your schedule which suits your lifestyle and temperament.
• Practice it consistently for the best results.
Create Daily Routine
It takes 21 to 30 days of consistent application to make a simple action a habit. More complex accomplishments like establishing an exercise routine, daily meditation, and dietary changes can take significantly longer.
The rate of accomplishment for more complex changes can be highly variable; do not end your quest for ultimate health and wellness if you are not seeing immediate results. The key to changing established habits and acquiring new ones is consistency and persistence. You can reach your goal!
For me, it’s all about consistency, my goal is to go to the gym 3 times a week, this is where I will do my strength training. I will walk every day for at least 30 minutes ( I walk my dog every night). I will add an occasional bike ride, yoga or swim laps at least once a week.
I have decided to eliminate wheat from my diet and to make my portion sizes smaller. No more chips. I will not eat any foods after 6:00 PM at night, especially desserts.
My goal is to lose 10 pounds and to gain more muscle mass. My ultimate goal is to maintain my health and wellness, my dad was 85 when he passed away from Alzheimer’s and up until 8 months prior to his death he still worked, drove a car and walked every day. I want to have that much mobility and flexibility when I’m 85.
Exercise after age 60
I am lucky I was raised in a healthy lifestyle, my father was a chiropractor and he did not believe in a lot of Doctoring or medications. We ate healthily and we rarely ate sweets. We took vitamins and we were very active. Because of the healthy lifestyle, I have followed, I have at age 67 been free of a lot of illness and medications. But, as life happens and the aging process begins I am finding myself a bit stiffer, less flexible and more tired.
About 6 months ago I gave up my gym membership and have been only walking my dog for my exercise. While I don’t necessarily need a gym to work out in, I find that the social aspect is important for me and it makes me more accountable (so I rejoined the gym). My goal is to maintain my health and wellness so that I can live alone as long as possible. It’s amazing as we age how important this becomes.