Although Americans are living longer these days, more are also developing chronic illnesses. Do illness and aging always go hand-in-hand? The answer is a surprising, but resounding, NO!
It is never too late to get more active or revamp your diet. It is not a matter of training for a marathon or giving up entire food groups, either. Small things can lead to huge differences in the way you feel and the way your body works. Although you should always consult with your doctor before making changes, there are easy steps you can take toward overall wellness—regardless of your age.
About 80% of older Americans have at least one chronic health condition.
- Helps to control weight and strengthen muscles
- Improves balance, making falls, and other injuries less likely to occur
- Decreases risk of depression
- Reduces risks related to brain health
- Offers opportunities to be social and have fun
BE WISE, BE WELL
Start slowly. If you have not been exercising, choose something low-impact that you can do a little at a time. Walk for ten minutes in the morning and the afternoon. Sign up for a Tai Chi class, or…learn some gentle stretches.
Exercising is less of a chore when you do it with people you enjoy. Involving others will also hold you accountable. Gather a group of friends or join a class that offers what you are looking for. At The Classic, we actually offer residents a fitness class, seated Pilates, and seated yoga on a weekly basis.
Activity is important, but nutrition is equally vital. Keep an honest record of what you eat to see how you are doing. If you have a condition like diabetes, always consult your doctor before changing your diet. Nutritionists are another excellent resource, whether you have special dietary needs or not.
Wellness is a matter of body and mind. Eating healthy foods and staying active may reduce risks to your brain’s health. Do even more by learning new things and exercising your mind. Try reading, playing games, taking a class, or simply being social.
For more information, visit: oam.acl.gov/resources.html.