How to Stay Healthy in Your 60s
Of utmost importance is to stay physically mobile, remain mentally alert and eat properly . All are important and you can do this by keeping your body moving, your brain active and your diet healthy.
Exercise to Age Gracefully
10 steps to start an exercise program:
- Make to decision to get moving and fit
- See your doctor or orthopedist to appraise your overall health and see if there are any exceptional issues
- Assess your current ability to exercise, how far can you walk, how high can you jump, how much can you stretch, your endurance?
- Don’t focus on statistics, but check your weight, BMI and check your pulse before and after a brisk 1 mile walk
- Set goals
- Plan precisely what you will do
- Start slowly, work a bit harder each time
- Include a warm up, work out and cool down
- Be consistent: same time each day, same days each week, same number of days each week
- Include AEROBICS, STRENGTH TRAINING, STRETCHING and BALANCE
Remaining active and eating properly when aging are very important factors in determining how well you will age. A site geared to women over 60 can be found at Living Strong, and for men over 60 see this article.
There are specific exercise and weight training programs that will vastly improve the aging process. This site provides good exercise advice for people over 60. There are body building aspects to the site which can be rigorous. In fact, pictures of professional male and female bodybuilders can be unappealing to some. Don’t be discouraged by these photos. You should be realistic, to attain positive strength and good muscle tone. You can also try yoga or pilates, very current and trendy fitness techniques that can help you meet your goals. Always consult your doctor before starting any exercise program.
It is also highly recommended to hire a trainer to direct you for your personalized program.
How to Stay Mentally Alert
Crossword puzzles, card games and board games like Scrabble, Bananagrams, Rummikub and Sudoku are fun and can help stimulate your brain. I play Rummikub, my personal favorite, with my children and grandchildren, ages 10+. Dakim BrainFitness is a highly touted web base program to sharpen your mind and memory. You can also spend time learning a new language or musical instrument.
“Maude’s Two-Minute Meddlings” is a series of short videos on various topics relevant to an aging population. Here is one on boosting brain health.
Over 60 Nutrition
Most people as they age have a slower lifestyle. That means fewer calories are needed to maintain this slower lifestyle. Another way of putting it, calories that may have burned off when you were younger may not burn off at the slower pace your are maintaining. Therefore, your diet as you age needs to take into account not only what you eat, but also how much you eat.
As far as the right foods, emphasis should be given to this government website that describes in detail how to “Get the Most Nutrition Out of Your Calories”. Also view this Maude’s Two-Minute Meddlings video on “Eating Your Way to Better Brain Health”.
A very good article for women over 60 (although much of it is applicable to men as well) can be found in Healthy Woman magazine. It includes tips and recommended preventative steps on how you can help yourself age gracefully and maintain better health. For men (and women) see the following article for for health , diet and exercise tips.
At WebMD.com you can view a dozen or so short videos – 2 – 4 minutes each – providing direction and very specific advice on the importance of proper nutrition for the aging process.
See what our guest blogger, Dr. Sven W, has to say about exercise and nutrition.