Helping Seniors in DE Nurture Their Health & Wellness
As we get older, we feel it. Our bodies are ageing. We feel it when we wake in the morning, that stiffness, the need to stretch and smooth out aches that seemed to have appeared overnight. (How did I just get hurt in my sleep?) Lack of energy, brain fog, heartburn, gut issues and increased inflammation. These issues can keep us from enjoying more of life. And ignoring them doesn’t make the situation any better. We all want to age as slowly as possible and enjoy more of life. However, there really are some simple things we can do that will advance and protect our health and slow down the natural process of aging.
First, a four-letter word that shouldn’t make us cringe. D-I-E-T
Science has proven that there are certain things that will help us to do this with diet and lifestyle. One important way is to decrease the STICKY STUFF you eat, which clogs up our arteries. Sticky stuff? Well that’s sweets, fast food …things high in saturated fats and low in fiber, things full of simple carbohydrates that break down into sugar quickly. We all feel the increased need for fiber for our digestive track, and it also increases satiation and evens blood sugar. We need those complex carbohydrates–really take a bit of energy to chew it up! rather than that white flour pastry that goes down a bit too smoothly for an everyday habit.
Another very important thing you can do is –increase the amount and variety of fruits and vegetables you eat everyday. There are powerful phytonutrients and antioxidants that the bodies needs for optimal health and healthy aging and they are only found in plants. Science has uncovered how important plant nutrition is for the healing and protecting cells which make up our organs and systems. The more you can consume the better. Consuming MORE contributes to your energy and general health, and just slow down aging.
Been healthy all your life? Perhaps you’ve never smoked, or gotten a handle on that unhealthy habit. WELL, have you met the “new smoking?”
If you sit for 4 hours, it’s called the new smoking. It equals the debilitating effects you’d get from smoking. It’s important to get up, move, walk, exercise. Set a timer on your watch or phone to remind you to get up and move, especially if you have a lot of sitting in your day. You might want to park further near the outer edges of the parking lot and use a cart so I get in those extra steps! Or plan a regular activity (golf, run, hike), or neighborhood walk with friends. Enjoying nature as the days warm up and enjoying others, a great combination. (The accountability of a comrade to face the initial feeling of “ugh, I just don’t feel like it today” can spur us into action.)
Managing stress is very important to your optimal health. While some stress is always a part of live, being able to relieve and lessen stress, helps you move your mind from too much self-focus which can sap you of joy. A counselor once shared this strategy with a very worried friend. She suggested for a week, writing down every single worry that enters my friend’s mind, and put them in a jar. At the end of the week, take them out and see how many actually came true. (Spoiler alert: none of the feared train smashes actually happened!) This a journey of letting go of unhealthy thoughts and habits, which we need to replace with something better (or in the vacuum of our minds, the anxiety can just flood back in). In my experience, replacing fear with gratitude is key. In a nutshell, I take a deep breath, I pray for help, and then I start listing what I’m thankful for down to the incredibly simple breeze on my face, etc. Shifting our attention to the positive is also an ACTIVE choice. For example, when we contribute time to causes we love and are passionate about, we find surprisingly positive results that can be a huge increaser of joy.
Water should be an essential part of your health plan. Coffee, and tea do not count. You may have heard it before, but these can even increase dehydration. Water is essential for removing toxicity from your body everyday. Toxicity from the air, cleaning products, soft plastics, pesticides…to many factors to avoid. Water is the life drink of our bodies. It is also important for the function of your brain and muscles. So how much should you drink? It is recommended to drink half your body weight in ounces per day. Especially as a first step, this feels like a huge amount. But find a way to increase it whatever way you can. Drink water when you go out and save…say no to sugary drinks with processed sugar and artificial sweeteners. My daughter, a coffee-lover for sure, makes herself drink two glasses between each cup of joe. Find the trick that works for you! (If your urine is yellow, you are NOT getting enough water.)
Finally, are you getting good sleep each night? Sleep is an important component of our health. It is when our body heals and repairs. Sleep deprivation can cause fatigue, weight gain, decreased concentration, impaired memory to name a few. (So sleeping can actually help you LOSE weight!) Find ways to relax in the evening. Stretch, smell some lovely lavender, turn off the lights and screens an hour or two before bed. (And to maximize your body’s detox: stop eating approx. 4 hours before bedtime, and synchronize your biological activities to the time of day.)
For all of us 55+ and betters, we’ve worked hard at a lot (our jobs, our kids, our homes…a LOT), let’s give our health a little of that industrious attention our generation is famous for. Take a small step forward in the right direction and ENJOY living your life to the fullest!
by Debbie Gross, Certified Health Coach
Debbie offers free 20-minute consults, by appointment, just to help as seniors consider their health and the best ways to adjust in pursuit of a better lifestyle. She shares her expertise as a Certified Health Coach, particularly highlighting the benefit of the world’s most researched whole food supplement, Juice Plus. “It’s Fruits and Veg in a capsule, straight from the farm to your mouth, and for LESS than the price of an organic apple a day!” Feel free to reach out as you need: 215-805-0453 | firstname.lastname@example.org