Have you quit? Have you decided you’re getting old and there’s nothing you can do about your health? That disease is inevitable? That gaining weight is just a side effect of aging? Well, stop that!
Aging doesn’t mean any of those things. Yes, there are some inevitable changes, but there is so much you can do for yourself to stay healthy and avoid disease and weight gain. Here’s 5 steps to getting your engines revving again:
1. Start incorporating flexibility exercises into your daily routine by taking up yoga. Yoga will keep you flexible, and part of the beauty of yoga is that you can do it anywhere. I’ve been known to whip out a few poses while waiting at airplane gates for boarding, or in the cross through area of the plane on overseas flights. Yoga keeps you stretched and flexible.
2. Drink lots of water and I mean lots. We each should drink in ounces half our weight, so if you weigh 150 pounds, that means drink 75 ounces of water a day. Why drink water? It helps keep your kidneys flushed of toxins, your bowels moving, and keeps you from overeating, by helping you feel full. Water also helps you avoid bladder infections which incidence can increase after menopause, and water keeps your skin hydrated. Hello, smooth skin.
3. Eat clean, whole foods. What does this mean? If something you’re buying has a long list of ingredients and any of them are words you don’t know, DO NOT PUT IT IN YOUR MOUTH. Eat lots and lots of vegetables straight from the farm when possible. Organic is great, but know the list of the dirty dozen and if you can’t afford all organic, at least buy the dirty dozen in organic. Eat some fruit, but not too much. Add some whole grains in the form of quality breads and brown rices. Eat beans. Yes, beans. They are full of insoluble fiber which helps your gut stay clean. Avoid sugar in all forms. Sugar should be for special occasions, like birthdays or holidays, not an every day occurrence and artificial sweeteners can actually cause your body to crave more and more food/sugar, so avoid it.
4. Get moving. In addition to yoga for flexibility and balance, you need to be walking at least 10,000 steps a day. That’s about 5 miles. Sound like a lot? Not really. Sedentary people are more likely to become diabetic and suffer heart disease as well as die at a younger age. Run, walk, hike, swim, dance, bike, just get moving and do it every day. Even in bad/cold/hot weather. MOVE!
5. Learn something new. Brain science has indicated that one of the best ways to keep your brain from degenerating into dementia and possibly Alzheimer’s (diet is also possibly a cause of Alzheimer’s. See #3), is to keep it active. Though luminosity and other such companies have sprung up with mind games, a recent study indicated that they may not do much to prevent dementia. Learning something new, like a new language, a new dance, a new math, a new instrument, are all ways to keep your brain developing and seem to offer better results.
Aging should not mean giving up or quitting anything. Aging is a beautiful thing because it means we’re still alive. In honor of those who have died young, we should all live each aging moment to our fullest.
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Keep RAging my beautiful friends!