Fitness After Fifty Are Exercise Programs Beneficial?

My review and recommendation based on value, effectiveness and personal satisfaction.

Aging is a process that slows down metabolism. What this means is that our energy levels drop, body functions are slower, and organs start to lose their effectiveness. By the time people reach fifty, a significant change may be noticeable. How, then, do people stay fit after fifty?

The Importance Of Exercise

The term exercise may be interpreted in different ways. There isn’t just one definition for “exercise”. Almost any kind of movement is better than none at all. If you visualize muscular, sweaty bodies hoisting enormous weights over their heads, you haven’t begun to explore the subject. There are hundreds of ways to get beneficial exercise, without even going to a gym. To start with, simply get up and walk.

The joy of walking

Walking is, by far, the simplest and easiest way to start exercising. Recommended by nearly every health and fitness expert, you can plan out a walking route that gives you a sense of well-being, as it gets your body in shape. Exercise isn’t meant to be a chore, something that you dread, and ultimately quit. Its very nature is to challenge the mind and body to take good care of itself.

What The Medical Profession says

Exercise is key to independence and quality of life. It builds muscle mass, increases balance, and gives you flexibility and strength. Studies show that older people who do a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise 3 or more times a week improve their overall health picture. If you are in a program with other people, you can add social amenities to the benefits. In fact, your commitment to exercise is increased if you have signed up for regular classes.

Looking and feeling better gives you a positive assessment of yourself. Confidence, emotional well-being and maintaining your ideal weight all contribute to self-esteem.

In particular, diabetes, blood pressure and dementia occur less often in individuals who exercise regularly. If you are in a class, the leader or trainer will watch the progress of each attendee, and make suggestions or corrections for you.

Variety Of Choices

We already talked about the benefits of walking. Many people walk first thing in the morning, then again in late afternoon, or after dinner. Use a pedometer if you like, and chart your progress. Walking with friends may make it more fun. Form your own group.

A trainer is ideal for learning about a good exercise program. Personal or group training is available at a variety of places and prices. Seniors have Silver Sneakers, an excellent program if you qualify. Check with your supplement provider. There are also programs at the Y, and at privately owned and operated gyms and centers. Trained personnel can advise and monitor your activities, and make sure you are benefiting from the program. They will also watch for harmful habits. Make sure you are properly instructed before you use the equipment.

Trainer-led classes may include cardio, resistance bands, weights, yoga, Pilates, dance and kick boxing. Your leader will make sure you are on the right level of each activity. In addition to an organized fitness plan, there are a host of enjoyable sports. Golf, tennis, cycling and swimming all contribute to your overall health. It’s about being in motion.

The Flip Side  Know Your Limits

Common sense rules when it comes to exercise. A trainer will tell you that some soreness is OK, but real pain is not. The value of working out in a gym or a trainer-led group is that careful choices will be made. The main ingredient for successful exercising is consistency. Three or four times a week is ideal. Actually, you should be doing some form of exercise every day, if you count walking and any of the previously mentioned sports. Just keep it balanced. Your doctor should give you a go ahead and your body will tell you what is just right for you.

Health professionals agree that certain kinds of exercise should not be done for seniors, even those in good shape. These include long distance running, bench press, overhead press, running upstairs and using certain machines. Ask an expert about the equipment, and don’t try something on the Do Not Use list.

Benefits Of A Good Program

To repeat the statement above, exercise is the key to independence and quality of life.

Exercise builds muscle mass, and increases balance, flexibility, strength and brain function. It helps you maintain your ideal weight. You look and feel better.

Independence means you can continue to enjoy the things you love as you grow older. People who stay fit don’t have to contantly say “I can’t do that anymore.” Seeing yourself become more and more dependent brings a sadness to life, a defeated attitude and you just give up.

Quality of life is more than a state of mind. It’s the reality that emotional well-being and mental clarity go hand in hand with physical fitness and a good medical checkup.

It means you’re happy with the way you look. A good appearance means confidence and a positive self image. It says to others that you like yourself, take care of yourself and life is good.

Stories abound about seniors who hike, bicycle, compete in golf, tennis and swimming contests and stand out in their age group.

If you want to stay in the game of life, a good fitness program is the place to start.

My Personal Wellness Program

I exercise in a group program with a trainer who is a senior specialist. Each day offers different, carefully planned workouts. I choose each week what I want to do according to the exercise and the time schedule. The program offers the following:

Cardio, weights, resistance bands, dance, squats, yoga, pilates, kick boxing, water aerobics, zumba, chair yoga and balance. We are all senior women (I am 79), our health picture has improved, our bodies look better and our stamina has increased. My favorite is kick boxing.

Exercise programs definitely have a positive affect on the senior population. Begin today to find the best program for you. Research on the internet, ask around, call your doctor’s office and give it a try. You have everything to gain.

The High Cost of Poor Nutrition

Delicious and Nutritious

Getting well, staying well and prioritizing nutritional value in your meals can mean the difference between chronic sickness and wellness. It can also determine your health care costs, and how your finances are impacted. If you think insurance is expensive, consider the actual cost of chronic illness and disability.

There’s a saying, “you are what you eat“, and it seems to be self-explanatory. However, the way that food affects your body, your metabolism, and your taste buds is entirely personal and unique.

What Exactly is Wellness?

Disease and poor health can stem from a number of factors. Illness strikes, sometimes without warning. A disability or handicap may be the result of a disease, an accident or a congenital condition.

Our diet and nutritional input greatly affects how our body works. It also affects the mind and emotions. It’s critical to know and understand the nutritional requirements of your body, and how to get them.

As children, you ate whatever was served at the table. In the days when families ate three square meals a day, and snacks were limited, your food intake was carefully monitored. Mothers often adhered to the prescribed standards for what you needed for good health.

Today meals are more casual. Some families almost never sit down together for a meal. Unless there are babies or small children, food is available and everyone takes what they like. This may or may not lead to wellness. Our society can be vague on what constitutes good nutrition. The fact is, whatever you select usually becomes a lifelong habit that results in regular health habits. Some good. Some bad.

Knowing what your body needs for wellness can steer you away from the bad habits. There are good foods that are quick and easy to grab. Fruit, veggie sticks, nuts, yogurt or energy bars can be kept within arms reach, before you rip open that bag of chips.

Eating foods that nourish, rather than just fill you up has enormous benefits.

  1. Your body is getting what it needs to function properly.
  2. You feel well and satisfied.
  3. You have more energy.
  4. Your medical picture is good.
  5. You’ll save money.

That last one may come as a surprise, but good food usually doesn’t cost as much as junk.

Foods that lack nutritional value are expensive. Treats, snacks, fast foods and packaged items such as chips, candy bars and sweets, usually have a higher price tag than fresh or simple foods. There are exceptions of course, but buying oranges, for example, is usually cheaper than buying orange juice. When you’re carefully watching your budget, groceries can take a large chunk out of your weekly allowance. Anyone living within a tight budget will recognize the significance.

Senior women on a budget may see their grocery bills taking a hefty chunk out of their resources. Add in your insurance premiums, medications and out-of-pocket expenses and that nest egg looks mighty small.

I don’t know about you, but I can’t afford to eat poorly. Neither my health picture or my budget allow it.

Guidelines For Nutrition And Wellness

Which is your dinner plate? On the first plate, we have meat, a green vegetable and a fruit. Some scientists claim tomatoes are both fruit and vegetable. Regardless, this is a balanced meal. There is protein, carbohydrate, vitamins and minerals.

On the second plate is a pizza, a popular and delicious choice for family or company. This pizza appears to be vegetarian, and this meal is also nutritious, as well as colorful.

The trick is to find foods that you like, and also meet food requirements. In general, start with a few good and favorite foods, carefully add to your list, and plan your meals accordingly.

Nutrition. You Eat It. It Nourishes You.

The most important list you should make, before your shopping list, is about foods that you like and that are also nutritious. There are hundreds of opinions regarding “proper nutrition”. However, certain foods make all the lists.

  • Fruits – This includes berries and fruits that grow on trees. Fruits are perennials.
  • Vegetables – You may eat the root, stem, leaves, flowers, seeds, tubers or pods. Vegetables are annuals because they are planted every year, from seeds or small plants.
  • Meat and fish – Protein sources are numerous and also include dairy, peanut butter, vegetables and eggs.
  • Dairy – This food group is the subject of controversy, however, it includes milk and milk products, such as cheese, yogurt, butter and cream.

Though I research for accuracy, information regarding food and nutrition are variable. I’m here to give you practical ideas for eating right, feeling good and maintaining wellness. Everyone eats junk food occasionally, but if it’s making you tired, overweight or feeling unwell, find a substitute. Fruits and berries tend to be sweet, nuts generally taste good and veggies dipped in your favorite dressing satisfies a craving. These are staples.

Results

The advantages of eating for wellness are many, but let’s talk about three for now.

  1. Mental and physical health
  2. Energy
  3. Economical

Mental and physical health

For optimum functionality, the body needs to be fully nurtured. Deficiencies result in sluggish, impaired mental and physical activity. You’re feeding multiple parts of the body, that have specific jobs to do. And they work together, to give you optimum abilities, from your head down to your toes.

Energy

Energy is more than wanting to run. Every part of your body has to have fuel. When you’re running on an empty tank, collapse is just around the corner. Here’s a definition of how the body runs.

Metabolism noun. The definition of metabolism is the organic and chemical processes inside of organisms that are necessary to maintain life, or how quickly you burn calories or fat. The chemical processes that let you stay alive are an example of metabolism.

Doctors will tell you that by the time you’re 30 years old, your metabolism has been gradually decreasing. By the time you are 65, you really need to rev up your metabolism with exercise and carefully planned nutrition.

Economical

I mentioned earlier that good foods cost less than junk. I have a nutritional guide that I use for grocery shopping and meal planning.

The Simple Superfoods list, by Sarah Short, is a complete guide to nutritional foods and delicious eating. It lists 30 key superfoods that have the vitamins and minerals we need for optimum health and wellbeing.

The foods are familiar to all of us, and we probably eat some of them each day, and throughout the week. By maximizing our consumption of the foods on this list, we can  feel and look better, and increase our health and fitness.

I choose a number of foods each time I grocery shop, including fruits, vegetables, fish, oils, grains and nuts. I’m not concerned about perfect matches; I eat what I like and vary it according to taste and what’s available.

What could be simpler? The affiliate link is below. I hope you find a few things you like that may be added to your shopping list.

https://97cd0b698p3mxdslobzfmergtd.hop.clickbank.net/

Poor nutrition takes its toll on body, mind and wallet. You can maximize your everyday health picture and your weekly budget simply by jotting down your favorite food items and including them when you go to the market.

Here’s to your health!

Look well. Feel great! Save money.

What could be better?

I love hearing your ideas, comments or questions.

Judy

A “New” Year What Do You Really Want?

January 1st is either a day for new beginnings, or one of recuperation, depending on your New Year’s Eve celebration.

At any rate, it’s time to write your New Year’s Resolutions. Or is it? Do you always do this? Do you carry them out?

There’s some truth in wanting and hoping the next year will be better than the last. The big question is “What do you really want?”

What Matters

The New Year can be a bright, shiny object, something you’re attracted to because it appears to be life-changing. But a date on the calendar won’t change anything. YOU have to change, and that’s where the action starts. A resolution can and should only be made after considerable thought, soul-searching and evaluating.

Reflection is a good place to start. What were your goals for the past year? Did you make progress, accomplish everything or see it slip away? First, focus on the major issues. If you accomplished everything, pat yourself on the back. Think about how you did it.

  • Were you working on something you really loved?
  • Were you more focused?
  • Did you get help with the difficult parts?
  • Was your day better organized?
  • Your work space more conducive to production?

If you fell short of a few tasks, what happened? Here’s where you can analyze your everyday habits. Often, things don’t get done because of interruptions, lack of focus or low interest in what you’re doing. Busy work lacks commitment. Where is it going? What’s the end result?

Moving Forward

Results are the real goals, not lists of tasks to be performed. The tasks may be necessary, but they are a starting point, not an end result. In other words, don’t write down “take webinars, buy ecourses, connect on social media.” Those are regular items you schedule on a daily or weekly planner.

The goal is to increase followers, make a certain income, write a 5-part informational ebook. These are the landmarks that move you forward and build a sustainable business.

As you evaluate the year past, give some thought to the empty spaces in your life. What did you intend to do that got scrapped or just forgotten? Is it something you want to revive? The gaps may be a good place to start as you write new goals. Those landmarks give muscle to your work ethic, so choose carefully. If in doubt, leave it out. A few compelling goals should keep you busy most of the year, and you can always add one or two if you run out of things to do!

A Positive Approach To A New Year

Now that you have a good handle on what you really want, set up a schedule to pursue your chosen goals. The first item on the list of accomplishments asked, “Were you working on something you really loved?” If the big picture doesn’t reflect a true, heartfelt subject-endeavor-issue, you may never move forward enough to feel real satisfaction. What you do in life should bring joy, while meeting the practical needs of money, security and industry.

I’ve learned most of these solid priorities by making mistakes. Experience is the best teacher. When I find I’m bored, restless or can’t write a decent paragraph, I stop and reflect. What do I really love to do? How can I do it and earn at the same time? It’s not a perfect system, but it’s sustainable.

What are your plans for the New Year?

I’d love to hear about your past achievements and any goals or resolutions you’ve made for 2019.

Nutrition And You Do You Know What You Need?

Staying healthy is a serious concern for everyone, not just senior citizens. The amount of information on the subject is daunting. The list of concerns covers practically everything you do. For example:

  • What do you eat?
  • Do you exercise?
  • Do you get enough sleep?
  • Is there too much stress in your life?
  • Do you socialize?
  • Do you smoke? Drink Alcohol, coffee, sweetened drinks?
  • How many fruits and vegetables do you eat?
  • Do you eat red meat? Foods containing hormones, nitrites, or excessive salt?

Just the worry alone is bad for your health. Where do you go for factual information, not hype or advertising? The gradual changeover in grocery stores is a good example of giving people choices about what they consume. Categories of produce and meat and fish products abound, such as organic foods, whole foods, farmer’s markets, hormone-free, gluten-free, low salt, no sugar, no artificial color – the list goes on.

I love to shop at a farmer’s market or fresh foods store. The price is certainly right and I trust that it’s nutritious. By that, I mean that it still retains the vitamins and minerals and has no extra additives. And I drink a lot of water.

I also take a multivitamin every day. Have for years. I’m healthy. As I’ve said, I eat well, but I consider my vitamin pill as essential as brushing my teeth. Some people take oodles of supplements, and others take none. Both may be equally healthy or not. I take it because it’s extra insurance. Once in a while, I eat junk. And staying healthy is a priority. Wellness is 100% better than illness, so I pop my pill and start my day.

Whether to take supplementary nutrition is a very personal choice, based on your values and preferences. Eating good food is, by far, the best choice of all. I say this because the cost of groceries – like everything else – goes up. Getting the most bang for the buck means meeting your daily nutritional needs. Here are a few resources to check out.

https://www.ncoa.org/economic-security/benefits/food-and-nutrition/senior-nutrition/

https://www.nutrition.gov/subject/life-stages/seniors

https://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/features/nutrition-for-seniors#1

http://www.ascseniorcare.com/nutrition-for-seniors/

Talking to your doctor may give you nutritional guidelines for your age, activity level, weight and overall health picture. You can surf around the internet and come up with websites in addition to the ones I have linked here. There are hundreds of recipe websites that encourage good eating.

I hope this post has given you ideas that you can use. I would love for you to share any “good eating” ideas or stories you have. Please use the comments box to connect.

 

Solutions to Health Issues Good Habits

As we age, health issues for men and women are similar. Cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and arthritis to name a few. As a matter of fact, heart disease now affects as many women as men. Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death for women around the globe. At the same time, reproductive health for American women is lower than that of nearly every other high-income country. Two to three women die of pregnancy complications every day in America. Being mindful of wellness measures is the best solution to maintaining good health.

Maintaining Health Habits

In a previous blog post, Women’s Health: The Cost of Wellness, I mention that the best solution to maintaining good health is to follow a few personal habits. That, along with regular appointments with your doctor, will allow you to feel and be well. There’s a consensus on those habits that are necessary for wellness and a long life.

The Women and Health Initiative of the Harvard T H Chan School of Public Health has offered this suggestion for a healthy and long life. Studies reveal that it’s wise to follow these five habits.

  1. Eat a healthy diet.
  2. Exercise regularly.
  3. Maintain a healthy body weight.
  4. Limit alcohol consumption.
  5. Do not smoke.

The Harvard Healthy Eating Plate is an excellent resource to remind us of what healthy eating is really all about. I cannot include a link without getting written permission. However, it is easily found using Google, and I recommend it highly. After decades of unhealthy eating – too much salt, sugar, red meat, desserts and saturated fats – our society is returning to common sense good – and good for you – food. You really are what you eat.

Relevant Questions

  1. What do I actually eat? Your favorites go on your permanent shopping list. You don’t have to force-feed foods you hate.
  2. How much am I spending for groceries? Do you shop once a week? Every few days? Run to the store because “there’s nothing to eat”? Meaning nothing I like?
  3. Do I look and feel well? Item # 3 above fits right into this pattern. Maintaining a healthy weight is difficult. If you don’t like the way you look or feel, make some changes.

The best diet is the one that keeps you well. I don’t count calories or beat myself up if I have a gooey dessert once in a while. But I strive for balance. I eat more for breakfast and lunch, then keep dinner simple.

Where you take meals is also important. Eating at home, eating out, cooking for yourself or for others weighs in and usually changes what’s on your dinner plate and how much. Writing down what you eat is recommended by many. I don’t keep a food journal, but I give some thought to these facts.

Supplements have been a huge topic for decades, and it has pros and cons. I take a daily vitamin. Even though I eat well, sometimes I skip a meal, don’t feel well, or know my fuel is running low. My Reviews and Recommendations page has information about the vitamin I take. If you’re curious, take a look. The most important fact here is that you should get almost all of your nutrition from food.

I’m always open to ideas, questions,comments or stories from readers. Nutrition is a worthy topic for an open diaogue. Would love to hear from you.

Judy