September is Healthy Aging Month, an annual health observance intended to bring national attention to the positive aspects of aging and promote better physical, mental, social, and financial decisions among our older generation. In addition, Healthy Aging Month helps to identify different ways to promote healthier aging!
As we get older, taking care of our health becomes more and more important. A healthy lifestyle is key to living life to the fullest as we age – and our diet plays a big role. Despite many people thinking it’s too late to change your habits, it’s never too late to make changes to your lifestyle.
In out new blog, NJ Diet would like to share the best ways to embrace “Healthy Aging Month” by starting at ANY AGE to incorporate small, simple changes into your diet and lifestyle!
Make Healthy Aging A Priority: Eating Well
An important way to celebrate Healthy Aging Month is by focusing on diet and nutrition. One recommendation to start the path towards healthy aging is by incorporating healthier foods to your diet.
Maintaining proper nutrition habits is vital for a natural healthy aging process. A well-balanced diet is such an important part of healthy aging that it can even lead to improved overall health and independence. Improvements to your diet is the easiest way to help prevent serious illnesses, such as cancer and heart disease. Incorporate a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean protein when you eat. Remember to watch your portions and sodium intake, too.
Here are some of our suggestions to keep your energy levels high while eating nutritiously!
Incorporate More Fruits And Veggies
Additional servings of fruit and veggies are especially beneficial for older Americans because they reduce the risk of chronic diseases and boost the immune system. A diet full of vegetables, fruits, lean protein, whole grains and “good fats” is important for people of all ages, and can help increase energy and fend off illness and disease as people age. Some of these super foods include grapes, green tea, grapefruit, sardines, clams and oysters, spinach, blueberries, walnuts and more.
- Fruits and vegetables are extremely high in vitamins and minerals, but low in calories due to being made of mostly water. These foods are low calorie but will keep you full for longer.
- They have many nutrients that have different health benefits. For instance, fiber can help with stomach health and has been proven to reduce the risk of heart problems.
- Veggies and fruits are a great way to fight off the common cold. Oranges and other foods with Vitamin C are great for cold prevention
Opt For Foods High Fiber Foods
Fiber is an important aspect of a well-balanced diet. Adding fiber for your diet for Digestive and Heart Health not only helps you feel full, it can even prevent heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers.
Here are some foods that are naturally high in fiber:
- Chia Seeds
- Brussel Sprouts
- Oat bran
Aim For Healthier Desserts
Instead of going for that second cookie, ice cream or slice of cake, have fun baking creative and healthy alternatives. Being healthy doesn’t mean having to give up sweets for good! You can try many different alternatives to satisfy a sweet tooth. Fresh fruit, jello, and many other options are available to replace your sugar-filled deserts for something healthier.
Winter time will be here before you know it, which also means shorter days. Shorter days mean less sunlight and Vitamin D! Consider adding a Vitamin D supplement to your everyday routine. Some healthy foods that are high in Vitamin D are: salmon, canned tuna, shrimp, egg yolks, mushrooms, and milk
Additional Tips for Healthy Aging
While some of the side effects of growing older are inevitable, there are many ways to make the aging process easier on yourself and continue thriving! Some simple changes you can make are:
- Taking A New Class or Volunteering
- Experimenting With Cooking/Try New Herbs, Recipies, Spices
- Improve Balance And Agility With Yoga or Tai Chi
- Get Enough Sleep
- Improve Heart And Lung Function By Walking More
- See Your Doctor Regularly
- Stay Social/Spend Time With Friends And Family
- Be Active Regularly — Slowed mobility is often one of the toughest parts of aging, but exercise can help you stay limber and stronger for longer. Set a goal for yourself to exercise for half an hour 4-5 times a week.
- “Exercise” Your Memory — Studies show that the progression of memory loss slows significantly when we increase cognitive stimulation. Challenge your brain with new activities that you find enjoyable. Mix up your routine regularly by learning a foreign language, joining a book club, or playing word games.
- Take Preventative Measures. Many common geriatric health problems–such as chronic illness, weak bones and seasonal depression–are preventable. As you age, take more precautions to protect your health; maintain yearly check-ups, invest in proper footwear, take your vitamins, and continue to exercise regularly. Consult with your doctor for preventative measures that are specific to your needs.
- Ask For Help! — Even through making healthy lifestyle changes, all adults are still at risk for other health issues–both physical and mental. Reach out to a family member or consult your physician when you’re experiencing physical or mental issues.
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As you can see, it’s never too late to take a proactive, positive approach to aging. Healthy aging is something that people can work at every day as they enter into their golden years. After all, staying young at heart is also a big part of aging healthfully and gracefully!
This September, make it a priority to plan your approach and take the necessary steps toward creating and maintaining a healthy, vibrant lifestyle!
The NJ Diet program is not only aimed at promoting healthy weight loss, but aims to improve your total wellness — where the side effect is weight loss, but the end result is better overall health and well being!
We provide the support you need to be successful on your weight-loss journey at NJ Diet! When you come in for your initial consultation, we will explain how our unique individualized system works to reduce hunger and feel healthier, and how our 4 component approach makes it possible to lose 20-40 lbs. or more of fat in only 40 days! We assess the many metabolic factors to genetically make sure you not only lose weight, but we ensure you’ll keep it off and stay healthy for a lifetime!
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