Nutrition and Exercise for Seniors

Good nutrition and staying physically active are key factors for longevity. Inactivity and poor nutrition are one of the leading causes of death.

Our bodies will need fewer calories as we age, but seniors still need proper nutrition. Try to maintain a diet consisting of low salts and fats. Try to eat foods with a variety of colors so that your body can get more nutrients. This is why fruits and veggies are so good for us! Poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy products contain protein which helps build and maintain our muscles. Carbohydrates are what our bodies use as energy. It can be found in grains, fruits, and vegetables. Our bodies also use fats for energy, but it is important to limit our intake of fatty food such as beef, pork, cheese, and sugary food. And don’t forget to drink lots of water! This is one of the most important things our bodies need.

Here are some foods that aren’t only delicious, but also benefit your body:
• Salmon – it steadies your heart rate and also lowers triglycerides. (Lower triglycerides mean less chance for heart disease or stroke.)
• Almonds – they contain lots of fiber and vitamin E.
• Blueberries – they’re filled with antioxidants which lower your risk for heart disease and cancer.
• Broccoli – is also good for cancer protection
• Spinach, tomatoes, carrots, and oranges are also good for keeping your bones strong.

Taking vitamin supplements is another way to get the nutrition we need. Vitamin D will keep your teeth and bones strong and keep you immune system healthy. Vitamin K will help prevent osteoporosis and Alzheimer’s.

Just because you are getting older doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be physically active. This doesn’t mean you should go out and run a marathon but it also doesn’t mean that you should sit on the couch all day watching television. Higher energy levels, maintaining your mental sharpness and less stress are just a few benefits of staying physically active as a senior.

Remember to start out slow and work your way up so you don’t hurt yourself. A good way to start would be to go for a walk for 10 minutes three times a week. Then try to walk for 30 minutes a day, five times a week. Since walking around in the same route can get boring, you can switch it up and go in a different direction. Or you can try some other activities such as cycling, ballroom dancing, water or chair aerobics, and even light strength training. Keep in mind that if you haven’t been physically fit or active in a long time, you should avoid jogging or running.

In a recent study, seniors were asked to play Wii Sports for 35 minutes, three days a week. The seniors not only enjoyed playing the video games, but also showed a 50% decrease in symptoms of depression.

1 Comment
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