We’ve all heard the saying “We are what we eat.” More and more research is showing how our food selections and activity level impact our overall health. We now know that the risk of nearly every disease, from cancer to diabetes, can be reduced by the lifestyle choices we make. As we age, the changes in our bodies directly alter the rules of the game for eating and exercise. Here are some tips to help you to achieve your optimal health this year.
Hydration is key
Thirst decreases as we age and our bodies are not as efficient in adjusting fluid levels. These changes can lead to dehydration in seniors. Keep a water bottle nearby during the day to help yourself stay hydrated.
Add balance to your exercise routine
Falls are one of the leading causes of injury among aging adults. The good news is that balance exercises can significantly limit your chance of falling. Daily practice is important. Try these exercises at home.
Flavor without sodium
Due to a change in how we experience taste and smell with age, it can be tempting to add extra salt to your meals. To reduce the negative effects of added sodium on your system, try using herbs to flavor your food instead.
Pack in the nutrients
As calorie needs decrease with age, finding the right foods, packed in vital nutrients, is a key to successful meal planning. Avoid high calorie soft drinks and eat the rainbow of fruits and vegetables to get the best nutritional bang per calorie.
George Burns once said “If I knew I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself.” Making a few changes in how you play your game can make your life much more pleasurable along the way.
For more help choosing the right foods and activities, visit the Lifestyle Medicine & Fitness Center at Valley Medical Center. We have physical therapists, dietitians and exercise specialists to help you find the program that is right for you so you can be your best, healthiest you! Our Healthy Foundations program is a 16-week, lifestyle modification program with medical nutrition counseling, meal planning, physical therapy as needed, prescriptive exercise program, Fitness Center membership, group support, and more. Your insurance may even provide coverage for your participation.
Want a tour or have questions? Call 425.656.4006. valleymed.org/fitness