Ways for seniors to stay fit and active
8A healthy lifestyle is necessary at any age, but for those over 50, it’s especially important. As you age, your body changes, and your risk for health problems increases. Fortunately, there are three simple things you can do to lead a healthier and happier life.
Eat Heart Healthy
If high blood pressure isn’t controlled through lifestyle changes and/or medicine, it can lead to stroke, heart disease, eye problems and other serious health issues.
A great way to establish a heart healthy diet is by reducing your sodium intake, which may reduce the risk of high blood pressure. Starting the day with a low-sodium ready-to-eat breakfast cereal is just one way to choose a healthier lifestyle.
Enjoy Nutrient-Dense Foods
As you age, your body needs fewer calories for energy – but still needs the same amount of nutrients. It’s important to make your calories count by eating foods packed with good nutrition such as:
• Fruits and vegetables: Fresh, canned, frozen – it doesn’t matter. Vegetables are loaded with vitamins and minerals your body needs.
• Protein: Add some variety to your diet with delicious protein sources such as fish, beans and peas.
• Whole grains: The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends at least three servings of whole-grain foods each day (16g per serving or 48g per day).
Physical activity and regular exercise can decrease the risk of heart disease, stroke, colon cancer, diabetes and high blood pressure. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend those 65 years of age or older, who are generally fit, and have no limiting health conditions, try to get:
• Two hours and 30 minutes (150 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, such as brisk walking or yoga, and
• Muscle-strengthening activities two or more days a week.
You should consult your physician or other health care professional before making changes to your diet or exercise plan to determine what is right for your needs.
In addition to taking up walking or yoga, joining group activities or sports are great ways to keep moving. Taking care of your blood pressure, enjoying healthy foods, and staying active are three steps you can start taking today to help you get and stay healthy for tomorrow.
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