Fit & Healthy Seniors
Many people mistakenly think that memory loss, dementia, Alzheimer’s and other ailments are an inevitable part of the aging process. How many times have you heard an older person say, “Just wait until you’re my age and see how much you remember!” Or, “Seems as though I am at a different doctor’s office every other day. It’s no fun to get old.”
Does aging really have to be that traumatic both physically and mentally? Many people seem to believe that’s just the way it is and there is very little you can do about it. Not so…or at least it doesn’t have to be that way! There are natural ways to maintain health throughout your entire life.
There are a number of ways to keep your brain sharp and your body in good shape as you age. Here are some ways to remain fit and healthy as you enter your “golden years”:
- Stay active – 30 minutes of moderate exercise each day (you can do three 10 minute intervals if that’s easier) helps to boost the amount of oxygen that reaches your brain. And that oxygen “rush” can help to improve your memory and your reaction time – something else that tends to slow down as you get older! Regular exercise also helps to strengthen bones and promotes a healthy weight – benefits that can reduce your risk of diabetes and heart disease – two conditions that can also affect normal brain function. A Canadian study concluded that when folks over the age of 65 engage in regular exercise, they reduce their risk of Alzheimer’s, dementia and a decline in mental functioning. This is especially true for women.
- Make sure your diet is healthy – This is as important for your brain as it is for your body. Whole grains, lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats and fish help keep your body healthy. Carbohydrates found in these foods, along with the omega 3 fats found in fresh fish, provide energy to the brain to keep it healthy.
- Exercise your brain by doing crossword puzzles, playing board or card games, reading and being with friends.
- Control stress – Another great benefit of exercise! Learn relaxation techniques like meditation and deep breathing. Stress produces a hormone known as cortisol, which can negatively affect brain function.
Be aware that certain illnesses and medications can also have an effect on your mental health. And continue to get regular chiropractic adjustments to keep your central nervous system in good working condition. When your nervous system is healthy, your body and mind reap health benefits as well.