This March, we are celebrating National Nutrition Month. We all know how important a balanced diet and frequent exercise are to maintain a healthy lifestyle, but did you know that certain foods and exercise have even more benefits for aging adults? As we age, our bodies change, as do our needs. In fact, as we get older, our metabolisms slow down and we are more at risk of developing chronic diseases. We know that getting into a routine can be challenging at first, which is why we want to share with you a few tips to help you get started on your health and wellness journey.
First, consider your daily diet. The National Council on Aging suggests that aging adults consume a balanced amount of lean protein, whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and low-fat dairy products. Planning your meals a few days or a week in advance can help you stick to that diet. If you neglect to plan in advance, it is easier to fall into the habit of missing meals or reverting back to unhealthy food options. Reducing salt and sugar intake have also been linked to lowering high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, decreasing your risk for cardiac-related diseases. Further, certain foods, such as blueberries and sunflower seeds have been shown to boost brain health and decrease memory loss.
Next, we encourage you to implement a regular exercise regimen. If it has been a while since you have been active, it is important to start slowly and work up to a preset goal. We know that being physically active can present some unique challenges if your mobility levels are low. There are, however, various activities that can be effective and accommodated to fit your needs, such as raising your arms or legs up and down on a frequent basis. When creating the exercise regimen that works for you, consider activities that will help improve your endurance, balance, muscle strength, and flexibility.
Finally, it is important to check in with your doctor before changing your diet or becoming more physically active, especially if you have a pre-existing or chronic health condition. Your health care provider may be able to recommend various activities and diet plans that are best for your individual situation and can work around any limitations you may have.
These are just a few tips to help you make better food choices and establish an exercise regimen to help you maintain a healthy lifestyle as you age. Do you need more ideas? Are you ready to create a plan for your long-term care? Do not hesitate to contact our office to set up an appointment.