There’s no better time to start living a healthy lifestyle than September. After all, it’s Healthy Aging Month. There’s plenty you can do to live longer and healthier. Most of it costs you nothing, but a little time and effort. One of the first things mentioned when you read articles on healthy aging is your mind set. That’s very true. If you believe you’re old and limited, you’ll be old and limited. Adopt an attitude of positive thinking, realizing anything is possible when you decide you can do it.
Start a program of regular exercise.
It doesn’t have to be a formal program, just making it a point to get out and walk can make a big difference in your health. If you don’t have the extra money for a gym or exercise equipment and want exercise at home, consider using items you have on hand. Some people lift soup cans instead of weights or add water to plastic milk or soap containers for weights. The advantage of using plastic containers and water is that you can make them lighter or heavier based on the amount of water you add. When you go shopping, park further away from the building to add a little exercise to your trip. Turn on some fast music and boogie down. It will lift your spirits while exercising your body. Just keep moving.
This is one of the toughest things to do if you’re like most Americans. America is a country that consumes huge amounts of fast food and highly processed foods. Take it a little at a time. Switch out cooked foods for fresh produce for one dish at each meal. Limit the amount of processed foods and eat foods closer to whole. There are ways to adjust recipes to increase the nutritional value and reduce the calories. Vow to make one new one every week and get out of the food rut of unhealthy eating.
Have a bottle of water with you at all times and skip the soft drinks.
Carbonated drinks just aren’t good for you. They’re primarily sugar and soda has been linked to everything from eroding the enamel on teeth to heart disease. Instead, carry water with you. It doesn’t have to be purchased, but could come from the tap. Water keeps the body hydrated and can help prevent serious conditions. In fact, even mild dehydration can cause mental confusion that can be mistaken for dementia, dizziness difficulty walking, rapid heart rate and sunken eyes. Adequate fluids help avoid UTIs.
– Smile more. Make an effort to smile, even when you’re alone. The act of smiling sends a positive message to your body.
– Get social. It’s not always easy, but make an effort. Sign up for classes, go to social events and reach out to old friends. Even a pet can provide a bit of socializing, especially if it’s a dog you need to walk.
– Look on the bright side. The next time you fret over something insignificant, stop yourself and find something positive to say.
– Learn something new. Of course, I’d love to have you sign up for a course in strength training, but it doesn’t have to be that. Find a new interest you love and go for it.