The Ultimate Guide to Embrace Wellness and Stay Fit as You Age
Foreword from Denise Austin
40-Year Fitness Icon
Creator of Fit Over 50 Magazine
Hi, everyone! It feels like everywhere you turn, you’re getting told to do this fad diet and exercises or to buy this gadget to help you “get healthy” or “get in shape.” Fortunately, you don’t need those to achieve wellness as you age. Wellness is about focusing on your health in a realistic way to get your mind and body in sync. My friends at Ensurem have come up with this helpful guide on embracing wellness and staying fit as you age!
Getting older is a fact of life, but that doesn’t mean you can’t embrace wellness and stay fit as you age. In this guide, we’ll explore practical ways to maintain your physical, mental and emotional health to ensure you enjoy a high quality of life in your golden years.
Wellness is More than a Strict Regimen
More often than not, people believe that wellness over 50 entails rigorous diet plans, strenuous workout routines and an array of products that promise youthful vitality. However, true wellness doesn’t require such drastic measures. It’s all about embracing a balanced, realistic approach to health as we age. This includes a mix of regular physical activity, mental exercises, social connections, and good sleep hygiene.
The Importance of Staying Active
Staying physically active is a cornerstone of wellness as we age. Regular exercise helps prevent injuries, quickens recovery when they occur, and is strongly linked to good mental health and brain function. Moreover, it can lower your risk of serious conditions such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and certain types of cancer.
Exercise Helps the Body and Brain
Physical activity is not just beneficial for your body, but it also plays a significant role in maintaining your cognitive health. According to a study conducted by Florida Atlantic University, increasing evidence shows that physical activity and exercise training may delay or prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s Disease.1 This means, for example, that regular exercise can potentially improve your memory and attention span. Moderate exercise, like walking, for 30 minutes a day, five days a week is a great start.
Don’t Forget About Mental Fitness
Maintaining mental fitness is just as important as physical fitness. Activities that stimulate the brain like reading, playing games, practicing hobbies, and even daydreaming can contribute to mental sharpness. Some of the games you can try including Trivia games, Sudoku, word puzzles and Bingo.2
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Stress management techniques like meditation can also improve mood and cognitive agility.
The Power of Social Connection
While a big emphasis is put on physical fitness as we age, an often-overlooked aspect to aging well is aging with friends. A lack of social connection can negatively impact health. One study states the negative health effects of loneliness were worse than smoking up to 15 cigarettes a day, due to an increased risk of heart disease, depression and cognitive decline.3 According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 25% of adults 65 and older are socially isolated. Therefore, maintaining friendships and family relationships, and even volunteering can significantly contribute to your overall well-being.
The Role of Good Sleep Hygiene
Getting quality sleep can become more challenging as you age. Poor sleep can lead to cognition issues and is linked to health conditions including depression, Alzheimer’s disease and cancer. Adhering to good sleep hygiene practices like avoiding caffeine later in the day and creating a comfortable sleep environment can help improve your sleep quality.
Safe Exercise Practices as You Age
As you age, it’s important to adjust your exercise routine to avoid injuries. This includes warming up your muscles before strength training, incorporating a good flexibility program, considering the use of weight machines, and listening to your body’s signals. Remember, an injury can set you back, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.
The Four Types of Exercise
The National Institute on Aging recommends four types of exercise for aging adults: cardiovascular exercise, strength training, balance and flexibility.4 Cardiovascular exercises, such as walking, hiking, or biking, increase heart rate, while strength training helps maintain muscle tone. Balance exercises can prevent falls, and flexibility exercises keep your joints limber.
Nutrition for Wellness Over 50
A balanced approach to nutrition can significantly contribute to wellness over 50. The 80/20 rule of nutrition, where 80% of your diet consists of healthy foods – think lean proteins, whole grains, fruits and veggies – and 20% consists of treats, can keep your diet balanced and enjoyable. Remember, the goal is to nourish your body with the nutrients it needs to age well.
If you need some recipe inspiration, check out Ensurem’s Recipes section for some delicious and nutritious meal ideas.
Embracing wellness and staying fit as you age doesn’t have to be a daunting task. By incorporating regular physical and mental exercise, maintaining social connections, practicing good sleep hygiene, and following a balanced diet, you can ensure your golden years are filled with health and happiness. Remember, it’s not about following unrealistic diet plans or workout regimens; it’s about adopting a balanced, holistic approach to your health. Speaking of your health, how are you liking your health insurance? If you want to learn more about your Medicare insurance options, call the number on this page to speak with a licensed insurance at Ensurem.
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Education is crucial in finding the right Medicare solution for you. With so many Medicare resources out there, it can be difficult finding a source you can trust. That’s why Ensurem has a Compliance Program dedicated to ensuring our Medicare content meets Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) regulations. So, you can rest assured you’re getting the information you need to make the right coverage decisions.
Denise Austin, 65, Ensurem Ambassador
Best-Selling Author, Creator of Fit Over 50 Magazine
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