With the end of 2013 quickly approaching, millions of Americans are making New Year's resolutions. For those over the age of 65, resolutions for senior fitness and nutrition can be great ways to kick off the new year. It's never too late to start exercising and eating healthy, and Jan. 1 offers many a clean slate to begin.
Not only does exercise make seniors stronger and have better balance, there are a number of mental health benefits to regular physical activity as well. Numerous studies have shown that regular aerobic exercise such as biking, running and walking can have an effect on memory care. Specifically, aerobic activity may help prevent cognitive diseases like Alzheimer's and aid in restoring memory.
In 2014, kick your physical fitness routine up a notch and do you best to exercise for the full 150 minutes per week recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Find a senior center or local community gym that offers classes for seniors. Exercising with a friend or family member can make it more fun to work out.
When it comes to senior nutrition, eating fresh fruits and vegetable that are rich in nutrients is the best way to go. Eating fewer processed foods and more fresh foods will make a huge difference in the way you look and feel.
Another important part of a healthy diet for seniors is Omega-3 fatty acids, commonly found in olive oil and fish. This heart-healthy nutrient has been known to reduce the risk of developing heart disease and other ailments. It may also protect the brain. To get enough Omega-3 in your diet, substitute fish for other meat a few times each week.
Sticking to your resolution
One of the most popular New Year's resolutions Americans make is to lose weight. However, according to a study by the University of Scranton, only 8 percent of those who make resolutions keep them. To make sure you stay on track with your senior wellness goals, construct a plan.
Whether it's going to exercise classes, going for a daily walk or changing up your diet to include more heart- and brain-healthy foods, make changes that you are likely to stick with. You'll be less likely to stick with anything drastically different from your regular routine. It may even be best to start gradually, adding healthier foods to your diet or exercising just a few times per week, then increasing the distance and intensity after a few weeks or months.
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