It’s a given thing, whether we like it or not, every day we age. So, how can we age in a healthy way?
Here are a few suggestions that I have learned along the way:
You have to have a P–L–A–N…
P) First thing each day, remind yourself you have to have a PURPOSE in your life. When you get up, set your goals. I can’t stress enough that you have to make fitness part of your day. Repeat after me…”I am getting fit, so I can lead a long, independent life. “ Go ahead, please say it and mean it. PROMISE yourself! Mark your calendar with what your fitness goal is that day and stick with it.
L) LEAVE your couch and start moving!! Kick-start your heart, take a few deep breaths, wiggle your fingers and toes, stretch those muscles and joints, and move your body. Start easy and work on being committed, so each day you become more fit. Raising your heart-rate and burning calories is not only good for the body, your brain, it’s also good for the soul. Exercise will make you smile, sleep better, improve your energy, and tone your muscles and help build bones.
A) Try to eat foods rich in ANTIOXIDANTS like berries, green, leafy vegetables, which help to keep our immune system strong. Include the Omega-3 Fats, the good ones, to help raise our HDL, the good cholesterol, to help protect our heart. Use Olive Oil, a natural anti-inflammatory, or turmeric found in curry. Visit a registered dietician for help with your menus and food restrictions.
N) The idea I can’t stress enough in MY long journey to age in a healthy way, is to remind everyone to NEVER give up on your health. Work along with your healthcare provider, get your check-ups, take your meds, and have fun aging. Make little improvements like cutting down on your salt intake – this may even help your blood pressure. Remember, it takes hard work to be healthy, but it is worth it. Those who know me have probably heard me say, “I can’t wait ‘til I’m 60!! (Less than a year from now, but who’s counting?)
So, in closing, remember to be proud of your accomplishments, have fun with your friends, and most important, good luck with your commitment to becoming fit by making a P-L-A-N to age in a healthy way.
By: Sue Walter, AEA Aquatics Instructor at Valley Health Wellness & Fitness Center
WEB MD, Healthy Aging
American Fitness Magazine – Take a Proactive Stance by Nancy Clark, MS, RD, CSSD
AKWA Magazine – The Older Population by Jennifer Bennett, MS
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