Category Archives: Health and Fitness
“Health Isn’t a Goal, It’s a Way of Life.” Health markets are a mecca for colorful produce, probiotic beverages, and a steady stream of baby boomer clientele. This generation has grown up on grandma’s chicken soup, and bathtubs filled with ice to remedy everything from the common cold to measles, so it’s no surprise many of these health-savvy folks are choosing a holistic approach to what ails them. According to a CNN article, close to a third of Americans seek alternatives to traditional medicine with many 55+ communities getting on board with on-site yoga studios, farm to table offerings, and massage services.
The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health showed an increase in the use of alternative supplements like Omega 3 fish oil, and more older adults are looking to herbal remedies to treat a variety of conditions from arthritis, to insomnia. Even more promising, many insurance plans not only cover complimentary medicine such as a naturopath, or chiropractic services, but most require patients to try and fail conservative measures before authorizing more invasive treatments.
Depending on where you are in the world, chances are you’re cranking up the heat, and seeking refuge under a warm blanket, living on hot soup, and perhaps a Netflix marathon. This time of year is dead of winter at its peak, and New Year resolutions that promised a brisk walk, and lots of salads might be fizzling out as our bodies brave the cold. The good news is that going strong with your wellness resolutions can easily be done in the great indoors with some simple modifications.
During the summer when we crave lighter foods, the opposite is true during winter when the body actually needs warm cooked foods to regulate body temperature, and feel satiated. It’s easy to incorporate vegetables into your diet by way of hot soups, and warm salads made with grains, proteins, and roasted vegetables. Market produce looking sad? Choose veggies like parsnips, winter squash, rutabaga, or leafy cabbages. Use warming spices to enhance digestion such as turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon.
In a recent Toronto marathon, one runner defied the odds completing the 26.2 mile race in under four hours. An accomplishment many of us can’t fathom, it should also be mentioned that this competitor was 85 years old! Canadian Ed Whitlock born March 6th 1931, broke the world record, leaving spectators awestruck, and inspired. While participating in a marathon may not be for everyone, the desire to go the distance, pushing yourself beyond what you thought was possible knows no age limit. Having a spirit of competition doesn’t necessarily mean keeping up with the twenty something at the gym, or spending a fortune on sports gear, but it’s the motivation to find your inner warrior, and exceed your own expectations.
The National Senior Games Association held it’s first 19 sport event in St. Louis in 1987, and has gone on to showcase thousands of competitors 50 and better who are surpassing athletes half their age. Seniors all over the country have teamed up to play in sports leagues, and participate in fitness classes not just for the physical benefits, but to enjoy socializing with fellow age peers, and have fun being on the move. Healthy living, is active living and no-one understands the love of the sport better than active adult lifestyle builders who incorporate fitness into their community designs. Many are equipped with amenities for active seniors to get their game on like basketball, and tennis courts, and some with sprawling golf courses. There’s a reason why these guys, and gals wake up at 5 a.m to meet up with other residents, and that’s to practice and perfect their tennis serve, their golf swing, or whatever it is that fuels their competitive fire.
Thought a juice cleanse was the only way to detox? Last summer on a weekend family getaway, we all settled into our hotel room, and spent a good while immersed in our cell phones. It could have been an iPhone commercial, or an ad for how the modern family does down time, but it was also an eye opener how technology has become such a pivotal part of our lives that we almost feel lost without it. How many times have you witnessed someone’s frustration because they lost reception, or couldn’t get wifi? What began as a convenient way to stay in touch, has become an all consuming pastime of checking for updates from the moment we wake up. The benefits of a digital fast can be as beneficial as putting healthy fuel into your body, reminding us that technology is there to work for us not the other way around.
Don’t underestimate the power of uninterrupted “you time.” The next time you take a walk, or read a book, leave your phone behind, or put it into airplane mode and enjoy a quiet moment without the information overload. Let calls go to voicemail, and set aside time to check the news or emails later on. People that allow themselves time to go unplugged experience less anxiety, and even improved sleep. Dedicate a couple of hours or challenge yourself to a full day of a technology hiatus.
From juice cleanses, to wellness retreats, 2016 was a wealth of inspiring ways to be healthier, and live more abundantly. As we all wind down from a holiday whirlwind of gatherings, and celebration, this is the time when most of us are setting our sights on the year ahead and making resolutions to start fresh. Whatever has you motivated this coming year whether it’s a weight loss goal, a round two career or learning a new sport, focus more on the quality of your dreams rather than the quantity, and set yourself up for greater success.
New Year’s resolutions for many are big, and bold with the desire to reinvent one self, but what about polishing the aspirations, and skills you already have? If you love to cook, how can you incorporate healthier ingredients? If you’re an animal lover, why not consider a pet sitting business? It’s all about creating a better version of yourself instead of putting the pressure on to make drastic changes. If you’re blessed with the iron will to quit sugar overnight, or hit the gym at 6 am than more power to you! If easing into a new routine is more your style, take it one goal at a time, and don’t ever feel guilty if you fall off the wagon now and then.
Lets face it, the holidays can feel a bit, or rather a lot like a rat race. Fighting crowds , attending parties, hosting family gatherings puts the pressure on, leaving us feeling tired, and anything but relaxed. As you spend this busy time of year giving of yourself, and spreading cheer, don’t forget the greatest gift you’ll give this season, is the gift of making time for you. Admittedly it can be hard to to spend time or money on ourselves, but self care helps us renew, and offer a fresh perspective. Most of you are probably asking yourselves where you’ll find the time to pause, but honestly just ten minutes in a day can make a world of difference.
Creating a morning ritual to meditate, enjoy a cup of coffee, or go for a walk is a way to gather your thoughts, and savor the tranquility before heading out for work, errands, or whatever the day has in store. If venturing out for a morning jog sounds less than appealing, try some gentle yoga stretches to warm the muscles, and feel more focused.
This winter you could do the stationary bike or treadmill thing, but if you’re lucky enough to find some snow this season, hitting the slopes is an exhilarating way to stay fit, and take advantage of the senior discounts offered by many ski resorts across the country. High altitude adventures aren’t just for kids, and boomers are tackling their Olympic freestyle dreams one mountain at a time.
Joint replacements, fear of falls? The ski loving resort town of Aspen, Colorado has taken their passion for winter recreation fifty, and beyond with their Bumps for Boomers program. Instructors know getting older doesn’t mean slowing down, and teaching active adults tips, and techniques to navigate moguls, and powder is their speciality in a learning environment designed exclusively with boomers in mind.
Transitioning into the winter solstice means even shorter days, and chillier weather that makes us want to huddle under a blanket with a plate of cookies instead of making a green smoothie, and tackling a morning workout. Seasonal Affective Disorder better known as, S.A.D is the culprit behind the case of the blues many people experience this time of year, and leaves many of us feeling lackluster, and unmotivated. The good news is that you’re not alone, and there are some great tips to get you out of hibernation mode, and feeling your best.
Keep it Moving
When it was warm out, it was probably easier to roll out of bed and go for a jog around the neighborhood. If getting out is too unbearable, bring your exercise routine indoors whether it’s signing up for a gym membership, or doing a workout at home. YouTube is a great resource with hundreds of workouts that don’t require fancy exercise equipment or take much space. Cold weather can be hard on achy joints, and movement keeps muscles warm, and less prone to injury.