Some sayings that have been around forever just simply aren’t true. Wearing a hat on a cold day won’t keep you from catching a cold, sugar doesn’t make kids hyper, 8 glasses of water a day is just a made up number and those late night snacks don’t automatically go to your waistline. Keep reading and add years to your life and improve your quality of life
Let’s start with some facts.
Fact: If you are a senior, chances are you are overweight or obese.
Fact: Seniors have higher rates of heart disease, cancer,
high cholesterol and high blood pressure than the rest of
the adult population.
Fact: Seniors who are physically active for at least 30 minutes
each day have better heart health and are better able to
control their weight than those who are not as active.
Fact: Many seniors do not get enough calcium, folate,
vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin C and omega 3 fats through the food
Fact: The right vitamins and minerals, in the right amounts,
can help prevent anemia, depression and memory loss.
They can also help you heal better after surgery or an injury,
and help keep your bones and teeth healthy and strong.
Fact: It is possible to change and improve the way you eat
and the way you feel – at any age.
How do we get there? How do we make these changes to the way we eat and the way we look at food? Not just as supper but as sustenance. As a way to keep our muscles, bones, organs, mind and other body parts strong for the long haul. The food we eat affects every part of our life. The good newsis that is it never too late to reap the benefits of a healthy diet. Let’s take a look at a few very simple ways to get back on track.
- Get your serving of Omega 3’s every day. Best sources are flaxseed, walnuts, soybeans, tofu, salmon, sardines, arctic char, cod and well most fish. There is consistent evidence that omega-3 fats improve blood vessel function and protect the heart from deadly cardiac rhythm disturbances. There are also numerous studies reporting that omega 3 fats may also reduce stroke, depressionand Alzheimer’s disease.
- Get moving. No need to start with intense workouts. Put away the headband and start walking. Gradually pick up the pace and intensity a little at a time. 150 minutes a week is a good target to start with. 30 minutes a day for 5 days a week. Break it into two 15 minutes sessions if that works better. A large health study in Taiwan followed about 416,000 people for an average of eight years and discovered that people who exercised just 15 minutes a day reduced their mortality from all causes by 14 percent and increased their life expectancy by three years.
- Make a connection, join a group. As we age, not only do our own bodies age, but our role withinsociety also changes. Deaths of loved ones can lead to social isolation and feelings of depression. Health risks associated with social isolation have been compared in magnitude to the well-known dangers of smoking cigarettes and obesity. So this one is easy. Go out and have fun and do something with other people. Go shopping, go to church, play bingo, walk with somebody and you can achieve two of the three goals. Knock off one more by asking a friend to walk up to the restaurant and order the catch of the day. Social activities might lower the risk of death the same as exercising according to the smart people the Harvard School of Public Death. Even someone too frail to exercise can benefit from social activities. Among elders who were least physically active, those who were most socially active and productive lived longer than those who were least social and productive. Pick up the phone, call a friend and live longer!