Health and Nutrition: Healthy Aging
Regular physical activity can be a fun and effective way to maintain physical function and prevent some of the most
common physical impairments associated with increasing age, including loss of balance, flexibility and bone strength. Healthy aging has been a primary focus for me in the last 3 to 4 years. I’m 53 now.
Years ago I had a track coach tell me that the first thing to go with aging is flexibility. How right he was!
Physical Activity for Healthy Aging
Balance – Loss of balance is one of the primary causes of life threatening falls in elderly people. To help, try adding one-leg balance exercises to your routine. Also, balancing while performing routine tasks can also improve your balance. While cooking or talking on the phone, try balancing on one leg. You’ll become better balanced in no time. Keeping good balance is important in healthy aging. I enjoy yoga poses that require balance. The half moon or high lunge are excellent. See: Balancing Poses.
Flexibility – As I mentioned flexibility is the first thing to go 🙂 In order to maintain flexibility you should stretch daily. Who likes stretching? I know, I don’t like it anymore than most. I have to force myself to stretch before and after every run. It takes discipline. So for me, I had to make it a part of my exercise routine. In my running app I have 5 minutes scheduled before and 5 minutes scheduled after each run, just for stretching. This has helped me become better at it. I still skip this step sometimes, but I get’er done most of the time. It’s progress, not perfection for me.
Yoga or Pilates are beneficial for flexibility as well as balance and bone strength. Try Yoga if you haven’t already. I started Yoga by going to classes at the YMCA. I found that committing myself to a regular class, and paying for it, I was more motivated to go. It worked! I went once a week for a year straight. It’s still part of my healthy aging routine.
Strong Bones – Weight bearing exercise is ideal for brittle bone prevention. Any activity where you support your weight such as walking, running, badminton, or weight training is good. Having 30 minutes of weight training twice per week is recommended for maximum benefits.
* Weight-bearing exercise and weight training can be dangerous if you already have low bone density. Check with your doctor before adding this to your routine.
So What About Juicing?
Get those essential vitamins and nutrients through juicing. There’ nothing better than a fresh glass of homemade juice before or after a workout. Juicing can help with all of the above, because when you add fuel to your body with juicing, you’ll be in top shape for any physical activity.