6 easy ways to stay active — and healthy
Retirement is no time to skimp on exercising and eating well. In fact, with more time on your hands, you should have no excuses for not paying more attention to your health.
For those 50 and older, the golden years shine when we can still play a round of golf, travel and relish our time with loved ones. These six easy tips will help you keep up your energy and physical well being as you age.
1. Get a move on. Develop a daily habit of walking to limber up your body and sharpen you brain. Don’t want to walk? Try swimming, yoga or other flexible exercises. The amount of time you spend being active depends on your physical ability, so be sure to check with your doctor to get a recommendation.
2. Don’t fall for the myths. Don’t buy into the stereotype of the elderly as fragile and unsteady. Those are signs of inactivity that seniors can fight by staying involved and keeping active. Seniors are perfectly capable of running, biking, playing tennis and golf and even lifting weights. Exercise improves our memory, keeps us energetic and allows us to continue to live vital, healthy lives. Physical activity also curtails the chances of a fall that can lead to broken bones and a downhill health spiral.
3. Burn the calories. The more active we are, the more calories we can safely consume. Women 50 and older who are physically active can eat 2,000 calories a day; 1,800 for those somewhat active; and 1,600 daily for those not active. Men 50 and older who are physically active should devour no more than 2,800 calories a day; no more than 2,400 for those somewhat active; and 2,000 daily for those not active.
4. Don’t skip on meals. The biggest meal of the day should be lunch. Why? Because by dinner, some seniors are too tired to complete meals or have digestive issues that hamper sleep. And if eating big meals is unappetizing, consider consuming five or six small ones. Even if you’re not hungry, grab a little something to keep your blood sugar at a good level. A low blood sugar can cause dizziness.
5. Mind the menu. Devour meals of fish, fruits, beans and nuts. These foods help digestive systems because they are filled with vitamins, minerals and enzymes. They also lower high blood pressure and the risk of heart disease. Only consume red meat in small portions.
6. Video games. A new way to keep a move on in your own home, motion gaming involves interactive video games that get you on your feet and your arms in the air. Also known as “exergames,” these video games help with coordination, balance and strength, loneliness and depression — and they impress the grandchildren.
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