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Start Healthy, Start Happy

 

There is no better time than the start of the new year to add healthy habits into your daily life to improve the health & wellness of Seniors. No matter one’s age, small adjustments and changes in daily choices can drastically benefit one’s mental and physical health almost immediately. No matter what the goal may be, whether its focusing on enhancing physical fitness or engaging more in social activities, 2018 is the year to go for it!

We all know we should eat healthier and choose better food options, but this can be overwhelming for many of us.

It is so important to slowly change your diet; no need to throw out all the things you love! A simple start can be choosing to drink water at your meals instead of caffeinated or sugary beverages. Another way to incorporate more fiber and nutrition into your diet is to select a green vegetable and/or salad at meals instead of those starchy choices like potatoes or breads. Choose fruit for dessert over the cakes and pies regularly offered on the menus in most senior living communities. Cutting out one dessert a day can drastically decrease your sugar consumption. As an Activity Director, my Residents were inspired to get healthier by trying out different veggie filled smoothies each week. One that was always a hit we dubbed as The Green Machine, had one apple sliced, a handful of raw spinach or kale, and some fresh ginger for immune boosting and a little kick! There are countless smoothie recipes available online or at your library. Many smoothies are just as tasty without dairy products. Coconut or almond milk are great and tasty substitutes for any recipe with dairy milk, offering health benefits that reduce inflammation in the body.

Remember start small by making changes to one meal a day, and overtime increase these healthier choices to more meals throughout each day.

Get Mentally and Physically Active in this New Year!

If you are not already taking advantage of an exercise program, set a goal to work out with a group 3 times a week. Chair based exercises are just as effective as other methods that require standing. It is important to listen to your body. Engaging your muscles and elevating your heart rate to a safe level is the goal; pain and exhaustion are unnecessary and unhealthy for Seniors! Talk to your health care provider about your desire to increase your activity level, and get their professional advice on a safe way to start a program. A lot of chair based exercise videos are FREE and available for online viewing on YouTube.com. Just search for something like “ chair exercises for seniors”. In addition, Tai Chi and Yoga are wonderful methods to increase circulation, flexibility, build muscle tone, and maintain and improve range of motion for all ages! Many gyms offer a senior focused fitness program. OneLife Fitness is in the North Fulton and Forsyth area, and has a well established SilverSneakers Group that really gets the blood flowing while having fun. Check out the link to learn more: class-schedules-atlanta  Remember take it slow, listen to your body, increase incrementally your activity over time, and HAVE FUN!!

Rest is Best and always important when making changes to activity level, diet, and increased social activity.

Always listen to your body and make time for downtime. Even reading a book can be restful, and allows you to decrease stress in the day to day journey.

Having a cup of tea mid-afternoon while gazing out your favorite window is a pleasant way to wind down. Reserve time daily to reflect and relax. Incorporating restful practice into your routine will increase longevity and your chances to sticking to other health improvement changes. The most important thing when starting anything knew is make it simple and make it Fun!

Wishing you all a Happy and Healthy 2018


 

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