Did you know that September is healthy aging month? By now you have probably heard your fair share of advice on how to live a better, healthier life. You have read all the frightening statistics about obesity, cancer, Alzheimer’s, cardiovascular disease and other ailments that are prevalent among seniors. Chances are, you or someone you know, has been significantly affected by health problems. So let’s not focus on the scary stuff or how to achieve lofty goals like living to 115. Instead, here are some reminders and tips that will help you focus on living better today, which will inevitably make for a better tomorrow.
Get enough sleep and stick to a routine. Your body is a well-oiled machine that operates according to a circadian rhythm that follows a 24 hour cycle. Don’t mess with nature and throw a wrench in your own body clock. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Everyone needs their beauty sleep to rest and repair cells.
“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” – Michael Pollan. If most of your diet comes in packages and contains ingredients that you can’t pronounce, then it might be time to make some adjustments. Stay away from the inner aisles of the grocery store, where they stock processed foods, and do the majority of your shopping in the produce department.
Rethink your ideas about food. We tend to use food as a reward and a way to celebrate with others, but this habit can get out of control. It is easy to fall into a pattern of stress eating, yet the solution may be to simply be more conscious about the way you think of food. Remember that food is meant to provide nourishment and energy. Although eating a bag of chips to celebrate the end of another workday may provide some immediate gratification, are you actually providing your body with any valuable nutrients?
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” – Hippocrates. Diet is so important that most of the top diseases that affect Americans can be eliminated or drastically improved by living a healthier lifestyle. Take Type 2 Diabetes for example. While technically there isn’t a cure for this disease, some people can completely eliminate the need for medication by increasing their activity level and improving their diet.
In addition, many foods have medicinal benefits that can help treat symptoms and improve health. Here are just a few common foods that have medicinal qualities:
- Green Tea – Improves metabolism, detoxifies the body, and reduces inflammation
- Cinnamon – Helps control blood sugar, fights bacteria, and reduces inflammation
- Ginger – Helps control nausea, gas, diarrhea and other stomach problems
A simple tip to remember is to add more color to your diet. Eat your colors and enjoy better health!
Get Moving! Exercise will boost your mood and your metabolism and burn calories. What’s not to like?
Celebrate health aging month tonight by treating yourself to a big salad, an evening stroll, and an early bedtime. You might just like the way you feel enough to make it a regular habit.