05 Jan Empower Your Health as You Age: Strategies for a Vibrant New Year
I know, it’s January, and this is the time 1 million people show up at gyms and one to “get healthy”.
But there are tips that can help you feel better mentally and physically in the new year.
It seems we get a “reboot” every January, to reassess and rethink what we want from life and the year before us. If you haven’t read my New Year’s Goals READ POST HERE.
Sometimes things in life can get “stale”. Our routines, schedules, job choice. The list can go on.
Maybe you are not energized or excited with your career and think, “I need a change.” You might also think that you want to eat better foods in that same vein, being healthier or more energized. I felt I needed some changes this year, and my last post talks about some of the new things I am working to do this year, in addition to blogging/content creation.
My favorite way of eating is making sure I have protein in my meals, more of a Mediterranean diet. Fish and chicken are my primary proteins and I eat less processed foods and mostly fresh foods. Protein is key in having more energy and building muscle as well.
I have been doing more cooking lately and have to have dairy! To me, red wine and a cheese board and I am a happy camper! ( but I can’t do that all of the time) If you are reconsidering your eating plan, I can recommend this cookbook for some great recipes. A believer in moderation, I will also eat desserts or sweets, just in moderation, thus I don’t feel like I am restricting myself from some treats.
Having enough water is also key. Not only does it aid in digestion, it will protect your spinal cord, lubricate your joints, and help you keep a normal body temperature.
I enjoy walking and running, and Santa brought me a new pair of running shoes that are very cushioned! I love em. I knew I needed a pair since the Turkey Trot Run 5K. However, like most people, we all need some variety in our exercise! In the summer, my go to is paddleboarding and running, but now I needed a refresh with something new! I started a Cardio Funk class yesterday and had a blast, telling my family I would be sharing more dance moves with them than my famous, “wave” or “stir the pot”. A group class might be what you need, if you feel you lack motivation, or find it more energizing being around a group. Look for different classes at your local gym. If you have Medicare, Silver and Fit is a program in which you can get a discount on a gym membership- but you need to look up what gyms accept it in your neighborhood.
My mom at 80
Keeping the Mind Active
This is key to aging well and being healthier. I have a belief that people are less afraid of the wrinkles and how they look when aging and more afraid of having diseases of the mind, such as Alzheimers and Dementia. I have relatives and in-laws that have these conditions, and it is very hard to see. Research says, as we age, we need to keep our mind busy. According to the Alzheimer’s Association,” mental stimulation is even more important as we age.” Did you know our brain shrinks? I didn’t know this! The blood slows and loses volume.
I am sure we all go into a room and forget why we are there. We might misplace keys, glasses, etc. I know I am at a loss for certain words at times. I take a medication, that can affect memory, but will speak to a doctor if it affects my QOL. Do remember though, that memory is affected by aging, so not everything is going to be an impending disease.
Some ideas of mental stimulation for our brain, however, are:
- learn a new language
- interact with others
- lifelong learning
- math or word games
Keeping healthy also means increasing those endorphins, those “feel good” hormones! We know with exercise we can do this, but how about having fun? What new activity that you have wanted to do can you try this year? It is so important to incorporate a new hobby, or socialization into your life for a healthier lifestyle. Think of something you have wanted to try. Art? Music? Dancing? Whatever the case may be, remember it is never too late.
I mentioned this in my last post, where I hope to volunteer at a local Humane Society. I am now scheduled for orientation in January! Giving to others is another way to keep healthy, as it not only helps the people or animals you are serving but brings a sense of happiness by knowing you are helping others.
I hope you are off to a great start this 2024,
Have a wonderful weekend,