Who are today’s seniors?

You are active, social, and vibrant.  You consider yourself to be in the prime of your life, and your lifestyle shows it. You travel, swim, walk, scrapbook and journal. You play a rousing game of golf in the morning and meet friends for a bite to eat and good conversation in the afternoon. You know the importance of exercise, not only for the body, but for the mind and soul, as well. You get your groove on the dance floor and the tennis court, and you get your hands dirty in the garden and in the craft room. You are committed to lifelong learning, and you can be found anywhere from a computer class at the local community college to a book discussion group at the public library. You are one of today’s seniors, and you are living longer, healthier, and more fulfilling lifestyles.

If you are a senior with aspirations of maintaining an active lifestyle well into your golden years, you know that caring for your body and mind is of the utmost importance. It’s a comprehensive, all-encompassing approach to living, and the rewards are significant. Here’s how to maintain an active lifestyle now and well into the future:

Eat functional foods – Functional foods are those foods that provide us with significant health benefits. They are also the foods that may provide us with more than just basic nutrition. Fishes, such as salmon, provide us with omega-3 fatty acids for a sharp mind and healthy heart, while whole grains provide us with a healthy digestive system for a decreased risk of colorectal cancer.

Bright, vibrant fruits, such as blueberries and pomegranates, and dark, leafy vegetables, such as spinach and kale, are loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, all of which give us energy and keep our weight in check. Lean proteins, such as chicken, keep our muscles strong and our bodies agile. Functional foods should be the cornerstone of any senior’s diet, as a healthy body and mind rely on good nutrition to keep it going.

Participate in some type of daily exercise –It is not necessary to engage in high-impact exercising to experience significant health benefits. In fact, your daily exercises may be gardening, vacuuming the house, or taking a yoga class. Healthy senior lifestyles rely on engaging in frequent exercise that keeps our muscles strong, our bodies limber and agile, and our minds sharp. Exercise may also ward off many of the conditions senior struggle with, including high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, depression, and dementia.

Engage in weight-bearing exercises Pilates, ankle weights, or a small set of dumbbells, along with a doctor-approved routine, can provide a host of health benefits, such as increased balance, strength, and bone density.

Socialize – There have been countless studies that have shown that seniors who frequently socialize benefit both in the short and long-term. Socializing, which may be a morning cup of coffee with friends, volunteer work at the local animal shelter, or a bingo game at the church in the evening, gives us a sense of belonging; it decreases our chances of senility and dementia; it improves our mood and wards off depression; and it gives us a sense of relevance and fulfillment.

Keep in touch with your doctor – Just because you feel good doesn’t mean visits to your doctor aren’t in order. Your doctor may be able to spot an underlying condition long before you experience any symptoms, thereby allowing you to take corrective measures to ensure your heath isn’t adversely affected by it. Your doctor can also help keep existing health conditions under control through proper treatment. Finally, your doctor can recommend fitness, diet, and lifestyle changes that will allow you to optimize your health.

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