Live Longer and Age Gracefully

Photo credit: National Cancer Institute [Public domain]

As you grow older, it is very important to understand the changes your body is going through and how to care for it well. The process of aging often involves a number of concerns about how to live longer and age gracefully. Learning useful health tips for 50+ will help you make informed choices as you grow older, so read on to live a healthy life!

Make Healthy Eating a Priority

Aging brings with it a number of potential health problems such as blood sugar irregularities and heart conditions. While some of these problems are genetic and are therefore not possible to avoid completely, it is possible to prevent them from worsening by eating conscientiously. It is important to prioritize healthy eating as you grow older, and maintaining a balanced diet is imperative if one wishes to live longer.

Eat foods that are rich in minerals (especially calcium & magnesium), vitamins, fiber and antioxidants. Focus on vegetables, fruits, dairy products, and lean meats to ensure that your body is well-balanced nutritionally.

Some of the vegetables that you should include in your daily diet are kale, collard greens, squash, spinach, cabbage, and broccoli. Fruits that you should consume include mixed berries, apples, oranges, peaches, pears, cherries, watermelon and grapes.

You should also try to consume more whole grain foods, such as whole wheat, oatmeal and brown rice. Whole grains are known to have very low fat content, and they contain good amounts of protein, fiber, minerals and vitamins that can benefit your health in numerous ways. Other healthy food choices include eggs, cheeses, and yogurts, as these foods can help control hypertension and improve bone health.

When you are over 50, you should eat lean meats, such as turkey and chicken, and fresh fish because they contain less cholesterol and fat. Also, choose heart-friendly oils, such as olive oil, to do your cooking, and be sure to drink plenty of water every day to keep your body well-hydrated.

Exercise will Keep Aging Bones and Joints Healthy

A number of people tend to avoid exercise as they age, as the desire to look fit diminishes. However, the need to incorporate exercise is among the most important health tips for 50+, regardless of whether one wishes to look healthy or not. What is important to keep in mind if one wishes to live longer, is the fact that bones and joints will lose their strength as age catches up, which is why it is important to exercise them on a daily basis.

Get at least 30 minutes of exercise daily. It doesn’t have to be an intense workout; water aerobics, low-impact strength and cardio workouts, such as Pilates or Yoga, or maybe try a simple 30-minute power walk, which is also a fun and refreshing way to stay fit as you age.

Supplements Keep Signs of Aging at Bay

Increasing one’s intake of certain supplements, especially those abundant in antioxidants, will ensure that wrinkles, crow’s feet, and sagging skin will be limited in appearance. Eating healthy and incorporating supplements into one’s diet will ensure that your daily nutritional needs are being adequately met.

Before you choose supplements for yourself, consult your doctor or a nutritionist to find out which kinds of supplements you need and the proper dosage for your body.

Enjoy Rejuvenating Body Therapies

The various little aches and pains that an aging body experiences can be kept at bay thanks to a vast range of therapies, which are available at spas and special centers. A number of treatments are available which increase the skin’s elasticity and restore its natural balance, while others focus on tackling issues pertaining to back, shoulder, and joint problems. One has the option to choose from yoga or aromatherapy based treatments based on personal need. It is a good idea to indulge in these treatments at least once a week in order to reap the full benefit of the processes.

Aging with grace can be an enjoyable experience thanks to the incorporation of a disciplined lifestyle, a balanced diet, the incorporation of healthy supplements, and relaxing therapeutic processes.

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Stay Fit Even When You’re Busy with 10 Minute Fitness Tips

Photo credit: Parker Michael Knight [CC BY 2.0]

During our days filled with work, family, and stress, if there is something that we lack, then that is time. The 24 hours allotted to us by the universe usually do not even allow us enough time to look after ourselves and achieve the life of our dreams. However, our dreams can only be achieved if we look after ourselves well enough. Something as little as 10 minutes a day can help to turn a person into a healthy individual capable of living life to the fullest. Here are a few 10 minute fitness tips that can help busy bodies remain healthy without compromising work time.

10 Minutes to a Beautiful Body – The Truant’s Way

The following tips especially cater to the exercise shy crowd.

  • Belly Dance: Yes, the image of exotic dancers is pleasuring your mind’s eye. A fun way to lose calories, belly dance is highly recommended if one wants to get rid of the belly fat and also increase flexibility.
  • Skipping: Easy workouts are high in demand. The humble skipping rope of childhood comes to the rescue. Among the most economic 10 minute fitness tips, skipping non-stop for 600 seconds gives one a full body workout at a single go.
  • Climb stairs: 600 seconds of climbing and coming down stairs, not leisurely but briskly. Pack in as many rounds of climbing as possible and increase it regularly. It may sound like one of those easy workouts, but it can reduce your weight in days.

10 Minutes to a Beautiful Body – The Fitness Freak’s Way:

If you are no stranger to exercise, then the following 10 minute fitness tips are for you.

  • Push-ups: With numerous variations available, push-ups are excellent for building muscles and increasing strength. Try a variety of push-ups in the 10 minute exercise regimen to break the monotony. With time, increase the number of push-ups per minute.
  • Pull ups: Using one’s own body mass as weight and a fixed horizontal bar above the head, pull ups can be very efficient exercise to build muscle mass and increase strength.
  • Sit ups: Like push-ups, sit ups also boast of variations. It is an ideal way of doing away with the belly fat and strengthening the abdominal muscles.

Increasing workload and sedentary lifestyle make it all the more necessary to exercise regularly to increase blood flow, regulate breathing and reduce weight. Therefore, the slightest chance of 10 minutes should be used as efficiently for exercises as possible.

7 Ways to Help Your Overweight Child Lose Weight Safely

Photo credit: Public Domain

If you’re trying to help your overweight child lose weight safely, begin by making gradual lifestyle changes and avoid the popular fad diets. Changes to diet and lifestyle will take time and patience, so take it one step at a time and get the whole family involved in making healthier choices.  Also, you should first talk to your child’s physician or see a nutritionist to obtain guidance or goals on a target weight.

Here is a quick list of 7 healthy suggestions to help your family conquer obesity:

  1. Be a healthy role model. Children will generally pay closer attention to your actions rather than your words, so the very best thing you can do is set a good example by practicing healthy lifestyle habits yourself. Your health and weight directly affect your child’s health and weight. In fact, according to Stanford News, if both parents are overweight the risk of becoming an overweight adult jumps to nearly 50 percent. You can set your kids up for success by lining your refrigerator and pantry with plenty of quick and easy healthy snacks, such as whole wheat crackers with low-fat cheese; apple wedges with yogurt; high-fiber granola bars with oats, nuts & seeds; carrots and celery with peanut butter and raisins.
  1. Keep it positive. No one enjoys receiving negative feedback. Talk to your child with compassion and encouragement. Avoid saying negative phrases like ‘you need to lose weight’. Instead, say ‘Let’s be healthy and start taking care of our bodies’. Focus on the foods you can eat, not the foods you should be limiting or cutting out. Avoid saying, ‘don’t eat that.’ Instead, use positive language by saying something like ‘Let’s go pick out fruits and make a fruit salad, and then we can go for a family bike ride.’ This way you are making healthy eating and exercise something that is fun to do.
  1. Make healthy eating a family affair. Try to schedule at least one meal a day that is unhurried and involves the whole family. Don’t make a special ‘diet’ meal for the person who is overweight. Everyone in the family can benefit from eating healthy meals, regardless of weight, and a family that eats together, eats better, according to a recent study in the journal Archives of Family Medicine. Children who report having regular family dinners have healthier diets than their peers who don’t, the study showed.
  1. Eat a well-balanced breakfast. A healthy breakfast should include a carbohydrate, a protein and a little fat, which will keep your children more alert during school. Carbs provide immediate energy, whereas protein and fat help you feel fuller, longer. So, instead of choosing sugary cereals and pastries, have a bowl of high-fiber oatmeal with blueberries & almonds (or almond milk), or whip up some scrambled eggs with a slice of whole-wheat toast. If you’re really running late, grab a yogurt or a bagel with peanut butter or low fat cream cheese. Do not skip breakfast. Studies have shown that weight loss is much more difficult in people who skip breakfast.
  1. Make time for physical activity. Make physical activity a family event. Every night after dinner in the summer, go for a half-hour walk or bike ride, and make it an activity that kids look forward to. If you can afford it, enroll your kids in their favorite dancing or sporting activity. Make exercise fun, not a chore or something they HAVE to do. If your kids are young, they may enjoy hide-and-seek or hopscotch. Kick a soccer ball or play some football with older children.
  1. Watch your portions.  When serving the food, try to portion out meals on dishes and avoid buffet-type or family-style eating. Resist the first temptation to have seconds, then check in with yourself to see if you are really hungry. ChooseMyPlate.gov is a great resource for learning more about portion control for kids.
  1. Don’t say diet. If you put your child on any diet, you might be setting them up for an eating disorder – whether binge eating or closet eating or another type of disorder. Instead, focus on forming healthy lifestyle habits that will eventually result in long-term weight loss and better overall health.

 

 

Enjoy Exercising with 4 Simple Changes

Photo credit: RadioKAOS [CC-BY-SA 3.0]

If you are like the majority of people, the mere thought of exercising is enough to have your mind make up all kinds of reasons why you should not, could not, and perhaps will not exercise. However, once you begin to exercise on a regular basis, you will be amazed at how exercise can transform the way you look, feel and think. The key is to make exercise fun and something that you look forward to doing.

Here are a few ideas to help you create a fitness routine that is interesting and enjoyable, so you can make it a lasting part of your life.

 

Find a Workout Partner

Often times we may view exercise regimens as solitary confinement – like a sentence we have to endure all on our own. Guaranteed you have a pal or co-worker who feels exactly the same way. The old adage that misery loves company would apply in this situation. However, once you get together with a friend to exercise and actually go to the gym or take that power walk or a Zumba class, you will begin to see how much fun it really is and begin to enjoy exercising.

Change Your Perception of Exercise

Only you have the ability to change how you perceive something. Only when you have associated positive thoughts and feelings with exercise will you begin to override the negative connotations with exercising. You will find that excuses, such as being tired or not having enough time, will be outweighed by feelings of accomplishment, such as recognition that you burned 500 calories that night or even the simple fact that you feel energized and were glad you went.

Focus on the positive results and feelings you get the first time you go to exercise and bring that feeling back up to the forefront of your mind the next time you are heading out to exercise.

Spice It Up!

Be creative with your exercise routines and regimens. You do not have to think about gigantic machinery that you are unfamiliar with or a gym full of strangers. Find something you love to do and incorporate that into exercise. For some, that is walking briskly and for others it is dancing your heart out. Dance is not only a creative outlet, it is also one that will burn hundreds of calories. Even if you are not a professional dancer, taking a swing class or a jazz class is only the beginning to discovering one of the secrets to enjoying exercise.

Make It a Date

If you leave exercising to a chance date or time, you will more than likely set yourself up for failure. Make a specific date and time for exercise, whether you go out to the gym or do it at home. Write in on your calendar, put it on your to do list and commit to it. After you are done, you will be glad you did.

Beachbody

3 Fitness Tips for Getting Your Kids Off the Couch

Photo credit: Vastateparksstaff (Family bike ride Uploaded by AlbertHerring) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Our world today revolves around the latest technology in the form of smartphones, tablets, and video game systems. Big name companies compete to bring us the latest and greatest technology and it not only has an affect on adults, but children as well.

Children today are growing up in a completely different world than it was 20 years ago. There are first graders with cell phones, teens who would rather text than talk, and video games with such lifelike graphics it’s scary. The lure of these video games is especially strong in children and teens and brings with it the problem of little or no outside activity in this age group. As parents, it’s important to know how to get your children involved in something other than staring at a TV screen or holding a game controller all day long.

Be the example – Parents can set an excellent example for their children if they are active in their daily routine. If your child sees you exercising or spending more time outside than in front of the television, they will most likely follow your example as they grow older. It may take a little bit of nudging to get them to put the cell phone down, but it will happen. Likewise, if you are a couch potato, or have your nose stuck in the computer all day, they will be more apt to follow in your footsteps. Be the person that you would want your child to be. If you keep that in mind, it won’t be hard to set good habits in motion for the whole family.

Create a routine – A daily routine can help your child get rid of bad habits and instill some discipline in the whole family. Talk to your child about getting on a schedule and let them be involved in creating a routine that works for all of you. Limit the amount of time your child is in front of the television, on the Internet, or on his/her cell phone and stick to it. Make a trip to the park or a walk outside part of your daily routine. If it’s too cold outside, play a game of tag or hide and seek just to get yourself and your child moving. Small daily steps can help to break some bad habits and lead you into a new way of life.

Find activities your child will enjoy – This can be anything from organized sports at school to a daily trip to the local gym. Talk to your child about getting involved in school activities that will keep them moving. If he/she isn’t much of a sports fanatic, there are a ton of other ways to keep them active. Going on a family hike, swimming, or simply blasting some music and dancing around the living room are some fun ways to keep in shape and have fun while doing it.

It may take some time to establish a routine that works for you and your family, but don’t give up. Make small changes on a daily basis to get your child used to any form of daily activity. Pretty soon, a trip to the park or playing ball outside will be the new normal instead of coming home to play video games or surf the Internet. Making small daily changes not only forms better habits in your child, but in your whole family.

Beachbody

5 Ways to Get Motivated and Stay Motivated to Exercise

Photo credit: “Mike” Michael L. Baird [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

If you are like many other people, when it comes to exercise, you start out fired up and then fizzle out. Getting motivated is often the easy part. You know you should be exercising more, so why are you sitting on the sofa eating chips and watching television? Exercising often feels like work and sometimes the rewards may be slow in coming, especially if you’ve been sedentary for a long time or if you are trying to lose weight. Getting and staying motivated requires changing how you think about exercise. Change the way you think about exercise and you will see changes in your body and your health.

  1. Do It for You

You may need to lose a few pounds, just want to tighten and tone your muscles, or you are concerned about your heart health. Whatever your reasons for wanting to exercise more, do it for you. If you start exercising to lose weight because your partner commented on your weight, you may not be able to maintain your motivation momentum and may even become resentful and lose your motivation when you don’t see the results you expect – or your partner expects. The benefits of being more physically active include losing or maintaining your weight, stronger and leaner muscles, stronger bones, and reducing your risk of diseases associated with being overweight. The physical benefits of exercise can be a great starting point, but over time you may lose interest unless you have an emotional or psychological reason to keep going. For example, exercise and getting fit may help you feel more confident or help you feel less stressed at the end of the day. Find the internal motivation that keeps you active and focus on that. Soon you will be looking forward to walking for 30 minutes after work to relieve stress or swimming 20 laps to feel energized.

  1. Have Fun

Exercise can be hard work, but if it feels like work you probably aren’t going to stick with it for very long. Find an activity that you love and do that. You don’t even have to have a regular schedule of exercise to get fit and stay healthy. You can find easy ways to exercise every day. Consider it a challenge. Park one block from your work and walk the rest of the way to work 2 or 3 days each week. Instead of driving the half mile to the convenience store, ride your bicycle. Walk the dog or walk your neighbor’s dog. Play games with your kids in the park. Challenge yourself by taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Join a group of friends and walk, jog or ride bikes each weekend. There are innumerable opportunities to exercise and have fun doing it.

  1. Make Time for Fitness

Most of us have busy schedules. Going to the gym takes time and costs money. Between work and family, we have little time left for ourselves. Make fitness your YOU time. It’s your special time that you take for yourself. Even as little as 15 minutes each day can have beneficial effects on your body and on your mind. You can resolve to do yoga, or walk, or do some calisthenics or 15 to 20 minutes each day between the time you get home from work and time to cook dinner. Your fitness program doesn’t have to be set in stone either. Be flexible with your schedule. If you simply cannot find a full 30 minutes in any day to exercise, do it in 10 minute sets. You may also consider adding exercise to things you are already committed to doing. If you have to attend a parent-teacher meeting after school, ride bikes to the school with your kids or walk. You can pedal on a stationary bike or walk on a treadmill while reading the report your boss handed you at the end of the day to prepare for a staff meeting.

  1. Set Attainable Goals

One sure way to lose your motivation and simply give up is to set unattainable goals. It isn’t possible, and potentially dangerous to try, to lose 20 pounds in 10 days. It simply isn’t realistic to think you can achieve such a goal. No matter what the television infomercials claim, you are not going to have the muscles of a body builder in a mere 4 weeks of lifting weights or using an exercise machine. Set realistic and attainable goals for yourself. Start small and reward yourself each time you reach your goal. For example, if you want to be more active and have been sedentary for years, set a goal of walking for 5 minutes every other day at lunch time or after work. Once you have been walking for 5 minutes, bump up your goal to 10 minutes every other day and then 15 minutes every other day for a week. Add 5 minutes of walking time each week. Before long you will be walking for a full 30 minutes three days each week with little or no effort.

  1. Adjust Your Attitude

Be prepared for setbacks by changing the way you think about not reaching your goals. Do you beat yourself up with negative self-talk? Do you think, “I’m such a loser” or “I’m never going to get in shape”? Stop. Just because you didn’t exercise today does not mean you are lazy or a loser or that you are never going to reach your ultimate fitness goals. A thunderstorm or snowy, cold weather may prevent you from walking around the block like you do every day after dinner, but you don’t have to sit down and eat a bag of chips because you can’t go walking. Put on a dance video and dance in your living room for 20 minutes. Run up and down the stairs for 5 minutes or get on your treadmill instead. Walk or jog for an extra 5 minutes tomorrow. Stepping on the bathroom scale may result in disappointment, especially if you set weight loss goals that are too high or unrealistic. One setback does not have to mean you lose your motivation. Adjust your goals and keep going. Are you fitter and more active than you were a month ago? Three months ago? You are already a winner if you are getting more exercise. Think of yourself as a fit, active person, and soon you will be.

Beachbody

5 Fitness Motivators

Photo credit: Gpavic (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

You need to exercise. You want to exercise. You lack motivation. It’s hard to do something if you aren’t excited about it. Exercise doesn’t have to be drudgery. It can be fun, exciting and rewarding. By exercising regularly and watching your diet, you will improve your health and your appearance. Improved health and appearance can also improve your self-image and self-esteem. If you are experiencing a lack of motivation, there are things you can do to get up and get going.

Change your mind about exercise. Some people view exercise as a chore, something that must be done to maintain health and lose weight. Stop thinking about exercise as a job and think of it as a fun activity that takes you away from the drudgery of your every day routine. Your attitude will help determine your level of success in nearly every endeavor. You have to expect to have fun if you are to truly enjoy your workout. Try a brisk 25-minute walk during your lunch hour instead of thirty boring minutes on the treadmill after work. Getting out of the office for a brisk walk can help clear your mind as you exercise your body. You will return to work feeling energized and more motivated. Reward yourself with a facial after work. Associate positive benefits with your workout to create a positive attitude about working out.

Learn to visualize your success. If you need to lose 10 pounds, visualize yourself 10 pounds lighter and wearing that dress or those pants that have been hanging in your closet for months because you can’t close the zipper. Visualize yourself on the beach for your next vacation showing off your new 6-pack. See yourself successful and you will become successful.

Find a friend to exercise with you. A workout pal can be just the motivation you need to keep going. You and your exercise mate can motivate each other to push yourselves to succeed. Make it a weekly or every-other-day date to exercise together. Exercising with a friend helps to pass the time as well as keeping you motivated. Enjoy a light snack together after your workout. You will soon find that you look forward to your workout dates with your exercise pal.

Involve family members in your exercise program. Instead of sitting on the sidelines watching your kids play soccer or baseball, load the bikes up and go for a ride in the park followed by a light lunch under a shade tree. Your children will enjoy the time spent with you, and you will enjoy time with your kids as you lose weight and get healthy. Saturday mornings can be spent playing games with the whole family. Whether you play badminton in the back yard or basketball in the driveway, the whole family is sure to have fun and get a great workout, too.

Workout when you feel sad or blue. Have you noticed that when you work out you feel better afterward? Exercise stimulates your brain to release hormones called endorphins, which are responsible for the sense of well-being that you feel when you finish a vigorous workout. Exercise when you are feeling a little down by going for a long walk, riding a bike, or hitting the treadmill. Stimulating your brain to produce endorphins can help you feel happier and help you lose weight as you get healthier.

So, get moving next time you are down in the dumps. You will actually be able to turn something negative into something positive.

Beachbody