Posts Tagged ‘physical activity’

Grow Your Greens!

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The warm, sunny days of spring and summer offer the perfect opportunity to get outside and exercise your green thumb. Gardening offers many physical and emotional benefits. Almost everyone’s health could benefit from eating more fruits and vegetables (which are high in fiber and antioxidants), so plant a few of your favorites or expand your horizons and try something new. Being outside helps reduce stress and anxiety, and weeding, planting and tending to your garden keeps you active. A flower garden can brighten your yard and your mood with every colorful bloom that grows.

Gardening doesn’t have to be intimidating, even for novices. Most plants don’t require a lot—just plenty of sunshine, decent soil and regular watering. Tomatoes, basil, squash and greens are great plants for gardening newbies to start with. If you don’t have space in your yard for a traditional garden, tomato plants and herbs like basil, cilantro and rosemary can be grown in containers in a sunny corner of your porch. Just make sure they are convenient to a hose or another water source to make watering easy.

Studies have shown that physical activity decreases your risk of Alzheimer’s disease and protects cognitive function. Gardening keeps you active—tilling the soil, spreading mulch, weeding, planting, watering—every little bit of movement helps. Make a plan to visit your local garden store today!

Stay Active as you Age for Better Health

Senior Couple Walking Through Autumn Woodland

Too many seniors are sedentary, and it is translating into a lower quality of life as they age. The National Institute on Aging at NIH celebrates September as Go4Life® month in an effort to increase awareness of the benefits of exercise and physical activity. Exercise has many health benefits—it can improve mood and memory, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, reduce your risk for cancer and diabetes, stave off weight gain, improve balance and flexibility—which can help older adults live more full and independent lives.

Go4Life® month encourages older Americans to get moving for better health. The focus should be on incorporating the four types of exercise—strength, endurance, flexibility and balance—into your routine for well-rounded physical fitness. For ideas on what type of activities to incorporate into your daily routine, visit the Go4Life® website.

Whether you are new to exercise, getting back into it after a long break or injury, or a lifelong fitness devotee, incorporating a variety of activities and exercises into your routine will help prevent boredom and make sure you are building a strong foundation for healthy aging.

The National Aging Institute’s Web site (www.nia.nih.gov) is an institute of the NIH, a U.S. Federal Government agency that provides accurate, up-to-date information about aspects of aging research, information about clinical trials, educational materials and resources about aging for the general public, and information for researchers and health professionals.

 

Special Shoes for Arthritis Sufferers

Arthritis can cause debilitating joint pain that makes walking a burden, but physical activity is encouraged and can provide health benefits to those suffering from these disease. So how can you keep moving? Find the right pair of shoes! Not all types of arthritis affect people the same way, so individuals should try on several different types of shoes to find the right one for them. AgingCare.com’s article, “Find the Perfect Shoe for Arthritis,” can help make shoe shopping easier. By debunking several myths about the disease and suggesting certain brands and styles of shoes, arthritis sufferers can make better decisions regarding their footwear. A store to try? Euro Comfort Footwear, based in California, specializes in shoes for older adults suffering from arthritis and other medical conditions.

Healthy Living: Tips for Baby Boomers

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Longer life spans mean that anyone who reaches age 65 will likely live into their mid 80’s. If you fall into this category, you might be wondering what you can do to make sure those extra years bring extra joy to your life, not chronic illness and health problems. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, making the following lifestyle changes can keep you healthier, longer:

  • Age appropriate screenings & vaccinations (colon, mammography, flu, pneumonia, etc)
  • Physical activity, both cardiovascular and strength training (find recommendations on type and amounts here)
  • Quit smoking
  • Eat more fruits and veggies (5 or more servings a day)
  • Treat high blood pressure

For more information on healthy living for aging baby boomers, visit the CDC’s Aging and Health website.