Maintaining a Healthy Body and Mind: Am I too old to benefit?

According to recent scientific research, Americans that are on average 65 years or older are spending far too much time in a ‘stationary’ position on a regular, daily basis – such as sitting or lying. Unfortunately, this, along with poor dieting can lead to not only unwanted, unhealthy weight gain, but also both physical and mental disease – such as heart disease, depression, and even insomnia.

So, if you’re reading this, you might be asking yourself, am I too old to start reaping the benefits of exercising? Absolutely not! In fact, those that have just started regular exercise and cardio benefit tremendously as it ‘shocks’ the body so to speak into overdrive, boosting not only your metabolism but also your mind. Often, elderly loved ones or friends that are placed in retirement homes albeit they do receive stimulating, positive care, they typically are not encouraged or – often emotionally – motivated enough to get out and get a move-on! This can not only be detrimental to their health, but a lack of physical – and mentally – stimulating activity has also been found to be directly associated with not only heart failure, but also type II diabetes, high blood pressure, and overall deterioration of the body at an accelerated rate.

But, don’t fret! It’s never too late to get started, and believe it or not being physically active for as little as 150 minutes per week can dramatically improve your overall health, desirable weight, mind, and even bring you ‘health-wise’ to comparable levels to that of an adult in his or her early 20’s – meaning a longer, happier, and healthier life for you.

Many people think that exercise or cardio means serious weightlifting, or extreme cardio on a regular basis. And while this can absolutely be beneficial – in the form of only having to comparably complete just 75 minutes per week – a 15-minute daily walk, to ‘brisk-walk’ can yield equally beneficial health effects. There are also plenty of other alternative routes to getting your daily or weekly exercise routine accomplished, such as:

• Trying out Yoga with a friend, completing 2 hours per week
• Pilates twice a week
• 20 minutes walking per day
• (See above) A10-15 minute fast walk every other day
• (Also see above) Ultimately, leading you to be able to jog on a regular basis either every day or every other day, which, will really get your body moving, kick metabolism into overdrive, and get you on a healthier path to both happiness and a longer life.

Ultimately, what you do or how you decide to exercise regularly, even at an older age, does not necessarily have to include “high impact” exercises or workouts like weightlifting and jogging. In fact, playing tennis, swimming, and even yoga can get your heart moving, your sweat juices flowing, and equally contribute to a healthier lifestyle.

Last but not least, never underestimate the benefits of a healthy diet. Also, as we find ourselves aging into our senior years, mobility becomes an issue – but this is not necessarily always genetic. In fact, poor physical activity habits are often the culprit for how and why we find ourselves with poor balance, concentration, focus, and muscular flexibility. Remember, it’s never too late to get started!

Image Credit: alexcdcarts

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