From the Mary’s Center blog:
At Mary’s Center our job is to make sure that everyone in our community is healthy and strong. Here are 5 simple steps you and your family can take to feel great now and well into the future.
1. Go Out And Play!
Don’t have a hobby? Find one! And if possible, do it as a family or with a group of friends. People who engage in social recreational activities have a reduced risk of diseases and respond better to stressful life events and daily frustrations. Try activities like gardening, playing board games, and joining or forming a book club or arts-and-crafts circle. You can also manage your stress and keep your mind sharp through meditation, yoga, breathing exercises, mindfulness exercises and cognitive puzzles (for example crossword puzzles, word searches, and Sudoku).
2. Keep It Moving!
Exercising can prevent or delay disease. It can lower your blood pressure, improve your mood, reduce feelings of depression, and improve your balance. It can also help to maintain some aspects of cognitive function. There is something for everyone, from more strenuous sports like running to activities that are easier on the joints, like swimming. If you are motivated by competition, you can download a pedometer app and challenge your family members to take as many steps per day as possible, with the winner getting a prize at the end of each month! Make exercise a priority and, most importantly, make it fun and make it regular!
3. Eat Right and Feel Right!
Eating balanced, well-planned meals with fruits, vegetables, protein and grains, may reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, bone loss, some kinds of cancer, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and anemia. Healthy foods also provide the nutrients needed for bone, muscle and organ health.
You should also make sure to maintain your fluid levels. You can do this by drinking your water or eating your water. Your thirst can be quenched by eating foods such as watermelon, strawberries, star fruit, tomatoes, cucumber, iceberg lettuce and celery, to name a few.
4. Go To Bed!
Neurologists now know that poor sleep raises the risk of dementia. Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis1 reported that sleep deprivation makes the brain plaques of Alzheimer’s disease appear earlier and more often. Poor sleeping habits can also contribute to an increase in appetite and decrease in energy, which can lead to a steady weight gain. Adults require close to 8 hours of sleep a night. Don’t squander your sleep time. Put your cell phone, tablet, computer and TV to bed and settle in. Create your own bedtime routine that will allow you to wind down, and relax in a dimly lit area.
5. Give It Back!
Contribute to your community or a cause or group near and dear to your heart. Civic engagement can range from the community level with schools, faith organizations and political groups to more intimate engagement such as sharing a skill or talent with the members of your local senior center. Volunteering is invigorating. It keeps you active, gives you a sense of purpose, and feeds your spirit.
These tips are just a few of the ways that you can feel great and stake your claim on a long and healthy life. It is never too late to start!
For more great tips, please visit the Mary’s Center blog.
(References: Sleep loss linked to increase in Alzheimer’s plaques by Michael Purdy. Washington University in St. Louis. https://source.wustl.edu/2009/09/sleep-loss-linked-to-increase-in-alzheimer-plaques/)