May 25, 2022 marks National Senior Health and Fitness Day. We all know there are benefits to being fit and active, especially as we age. By staying healthy and physically fit, older adults will be able to keep up with grandkids, stay independent as they age, and continue doing everyday tasks like chores and shopping. It also helps lessen pain, lower your risk of diseases, and improve your mood.
Older adults need at least 150 minutes a week of moderate activity suck as brisk walking, at least 2 days a week of activities that strengthen muscles, and a mixture of stretching and balancing activities. Check with your doctor before beginning a physical activity routine to make sure you have no limiting health concerns.
Some physical activities that are great for seniors (or anyone) are:
Walking or hiking
Jogging or running
Aerobic exercise classes
Some forms of yoga
Bicycle riding (stationary or outdoors)
Strength training with light weights
Some forms of tai chi
Balance training workouts like walking backwards, standing on one leg, walking heel-to-toe, strengthening the muscles of the back, abdomen, and legs
Healthy eating is also an important part of overall health and fitness. Healthy eating starts with you- you are in control of what you eat. Here are some tips for making healthier decisions:
Know what a healthy plate looks like. Check out MyPlate.gov to get started.
Eat a variety of colored foods to get the nutrients you need. Include lean proteins, fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and healthy fats to each meal.
Read the nutrition facts labels.
Use the recommended serving sizes for adults.
Drink water and stay hydrated.
This is also a great time to schedule that annual checkup that you may have been putting off. Getting your regular physical exam for hearing, vision, vaccinations and cancer prevention is a great way to participate in National Senior Health and Fitness Day.
If you haven't done a great job at being fit and healthy, remember that it's never too late to start. Start by making one healthy choice a day and build on that!