Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Senior Health Tips: Staying Fit as You Age

Diana Smith is here today to discuss staying fit as you age. This is so important to keep you healthy and happy!

Although staying fit is a precondition to staying healthy at any age, it is even more important in your later years, since your body spends less energy than it used to and your metabolism slows down as you get older. Some elderly people have been exercising all their life and can perform any type of workout, due to their improved flexibility, but others are limited by what their body can do. Whatever condition your body is in, there is always room for improvement and ways to stay fit. Here are some ideas to guide you.

Mind what and how you eat
A healthy and balanced diet is a good place to start if you want to maintain good fitness in your golden years. The evidence of this can be found around the globe, with most Southern European countries, but also some Asian ones, like Japan, promoting a diet based on fresh fish, fruit and vegetables, rather than red meat and foods rich in saturated fats. Also, eating seasonal food rich in nutrients, but low in calories will help you keep your weight down and make it easier to engage in any physical activity. Another good practice is to avoid the word ‘fast’ when it comes to food. The French are famous for their mindful eating and taking their time to fully cherish their meals, which are less likely to consist of processed or junk food than they would in some western countries, especially America. This way they don’t overeat, but rather control the number of their portions in favor of quality, providing their bodies with all the vitamins and minerals they need to stay healthy and fit while enjoying the amazing taste of their food.

Water is good for you
Yes, staying hydrated is important for your overall health, but water can be a good ally in other ways as well. People in Iceland maintain their good health well into old age by turning to public swimming pools, which you will find even in their smallest towns. Not only are these pools considered to be a great place to meet people and socialize, but they also allow you to swim, which, along with aqua aerobic, is a great cardiovascular workout for your whole body, and one that doesn’t put pressure on your bones and joints. Furthermore, if you go to Australia, you’ll find that some of the most innovative aged care homes like NewDirection Care that offers physio in the spa, which not only improves your physical, respiratory and muscular state but also your mental state, relieving you of the built-up stress.

Embrace the outdoors
Spending time outside, in the fresh air, can help you stay healthy, but also cheerful and optimistic. And while elderly Americans will turn to hunting and fishing, as well as going to museums and sightseeing as their outdoor activities, the Germans will use the great outdoors to stay fit, whether through low-impact activities, such as cycling, skating and Nordic walking, or jogging in order to keep your lungs and heart healthy. The goal is to stay active for as long as possible, even if it just means going to get your groceries on foot or climbing stairs whenever the opportunity arises.

Do what you love
If you’ve always wanted to waltz, but you never found the time, or if you thought yoga was something interesting, but you never gave it a shot, it’s not too late to start now. Your age isn’t something that should hold you back from doing what you like, especially if it can keep you fit and happy. If you find yourself in China, you’ll notice their parks are full of seniors doing anything from tai chi to line dancing. Some South American countries, like Argentina or Brazil, pride themselves with a high percentage of pet ownership and caring for a pet is another activity that can keep you fit and fulfilled at the same time.
Being kind to your body and mind is the key to long and healthy living. So, if you want a good quality of life in your golden years, eat healthy food, stay physically and socially active and go for regular check-ups with your GP.


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