Taking care of ourselves as we age
As I watch my 69 year old mom come racing down the local sledding hill with my kids in tow, I am filled with pride and happiness. My children have the opportunity to spend time with their "Nana" in a fun and meaningful way because she is healthy and fit. I could just say that my mom has "good genetics" or "got lucky" but the truth is, my mom has taken care of herself over the years and now our whole family is enjoying the benefits.
But what does it mean to take care of ourselves as we age, and how can we put the messages we are hearing into action? It simply means that you take control over your physical health and start making choices that will improve your quality of life as you age. If you're wondering how to start investing in your physical health, here are some suggestions for getting started on the right foot:
Slow and steady wins the race!
- Start with small amounts of activity and slowly build on your success.
- Challenge a friend or family member to get active with you.
- Never give up! Setbacks happen but don't let them stop you in your tracks.
A healthy outside starts from the inside!
- Get energized for your activities by enjoying a variety of foods. Focus on whole grains, fruits and vegetables, lean meats and lower fat dairy products.
- Get organized. Planning meals in advance will help you make healthy choices and keep you focused at the grocery store.
- Stay hydrated. Drinking water throughout the day can help you feel revitalized!
Now is the time to take advantage of Northern living!
- Snowshoe in the winter – start slow so you don't fall in the snow!
- Walk in the spring – take a friend … there is strength in numbers!
- Try berry picking in the summer – wear a hat and bring a water bottle!
- Go for a bike ride in the fall – don't forget to protect your head!
As we enter a new year full of opportunity and hope, I challenge you to put the excuses aside and make a commitment to improving your physical health. It is never too late to get started and become the person you always imagined you could be!
Invest in yourself – because you can't afford not to!