Sue Meredith


The New Year promises to be a happy one for tens of millions of older Americans, including those living in our area: new research confirms that exercise and good nutrition go a long way toward improving their health, quality of life, and longevity.

Researchers found that regular physical activity combined with a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, fish, and healthy fats, lowers the risk of developing common age-related illnesses, including heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.

It's actually quite simple, Physical fitness and good eating habits prevent obesity, which, as we all know, strains the heart and body, eventually leading to all kinds of life-threatening diseases. So it is logical that if you exercise and follow a healthy diet, your body will be more resistant to aches, pains and illnesses that effect overweight people.

Physical activity will also prevent or improve other age-related conditions such as arthritis, osteoporosis, and Alzheimer's disease, as well as various disabilities.

The following workouts performed on regular basis will boost health and longevity in baby boomers and seniors:

Cardio is necessary not just for the strong and healthy heart (which is a huge benefit in itself), but also for the brain. Recent research from Mayo Clinic shows that any physical activity that increases the heart rate and flow of the oxygen-rich blood to the brain encourages the formation of new brain cells. Not only will this help boost cognitive abilities, but also reduce the risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

Weight training helps build muscle strength and increasing bone mass and density - all of which weaken as we get older,  resistance training is certainly a "must-do."

Balance exercises are especially important because good coordination and stability will help to prevent injuries caused by falls - a big problem among seniors.

Flexibility training will make you more supple, increase your range of motion, decrease muscular tension, and also strengthen your joints, tendons and ligaments - all of which is important to prevent or relieve the pain and discomfort of arthritis.

And don't think that only older people need to pay attention to these guidelines. Folks of all ages and sizes will benefit from physical activity and healthy nutrition. The sooner you start taking good care of yourself, the better off you'll be when you become a senior.

So it's time to get outside and go for a walk, hit the gym and jump on that treadmill or stationary bike to increase cardiovascular health. Ladies.......Remember, lifting weights won't make you big and bulky. Lifting weights increases metabolism, burns stored fat faster, changes body shape and helps protect your bones.


See you on the Fit Side!

Sue Meredith

email: getfit@suemeredith.com


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