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Celebrate National Healthy Aging Month!
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Celebrate National Healthy Aging Month!

A multitude of elements contribute to our health, including heredity, lifestyles and daily habits. What we do today impacts tomorrow. According to WebMD.com, as we focus on healthy aging, the key is…

Exercise, Exercise, Exercise

Cat owners know when their felines wake up from a nap, they stretch – one leg extended forward followed by another going back, with slow, intentional movements. We can learn from our furry friends. Maintaining flexibility is very important, so each morning when you get out of bed, copy your cat and stretch together as you start your day.

About 30 minutes of daily exercise is recommended, which can be broken into increments. Exercising to the point of breathlessness has great benefits, but always follow doctors’ orders. Having an exercise routine, such as a daily stroll or a swim, is very beneficial. Research suggests that aerobic exercise may delay or improve symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, and regular exercise helps prevent heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. So, start your day out like a cat and then go for a stroll!

Formal Dieting vs. a Way of Life

Researchers believe that eating more whole foods, such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts and low-fat dairy instead of fatty meats, butter, sugar and packaged foods, can actually change parts of our chromosomes linked to age-related diseases. The key is moderating the less-healthy meal components and filling up on the healthier components.

Fiber is a healthy addition to our diets. Try switching from white to whole grain bread. A healthy easy addition is to add kidney beans to your soup, or apple slices or garbanzo beans to your salad. Such food items fill you up and can help lower your cholesterol levels.

Like exercising, studies have found that these eating patterns and healthy recipes can help us live longer and protect against heart disease.

No Tobacco

Simply stated – don’t start. If you do use tobacco, stop or at least cut back. Research shows that tobacco harms almost every organ in our bodies. Cigarettes, chewing tobacco and other products with nicotine cause heart disease, cancer, lung and gum disease, and many other health problems.

Even if you have smoked or used tobacco products for years, it is never too late to quit. Did you know that your risk of a heart attack substantially decreases by half after only a year of ending tobacco use? Ask your doctor for help, and he or she can recommend programs that best meet your needs.

Let’s all make September our month of changes and improve our health in the process!