The baby boomer generation is leading longer, healthier lives than previous generations. Food habits and physical activity play a major role in healthy living. If you are over 50, here are a few simple ways to stay active and healthy.
Develop healthy eating habits:
The key to weight loss is to expend more calories than you consume. As we age our metabolism slows down which means that energy requirement declines, especially when physical activity is restricted. Energy requirement for an average man in his 50’s is around 2550 kcal per day and for a woman it is around 1900 kcal per day. The quality of food is an important factor affecting a healthy lifestyle. Starch based food such as pasta, rice and bread should form the base food, besides a nutrient rich diet of fruits, vegetables and low fat meat or fish. The NIH or National Institute of Health recommends the DASH (Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension) plan which includes consuming less of salt, sodium, sugar and red meat. A healthy tip to reduce the intake of salt is to banish the salt shaker from your dining table. Also, reach for a fruit to satisfy your sugar craving.
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Just because you retire from work does not mean that you have to retire from the active life. In fact, retirement is a time to explore new adventures and hobbies. The National Institute of Aging suggests that people over 50 need a minimum of 150 minutes of light to medium activity per week. This could include cycling (seek an opinion from your family physician first), gardening, walking, yoga, etc. Stop if you experience signs of discomfort like dizziness, palpitations, and don’t hesitate to seek help if these symptoms persist.
Adopt a Positive Attitude:
Giving back to the society is a great way to stay positive. Organizations like the AARP offer volunteering opportunities to those who’d like to help their community. It shifts focus from our problems and helps to put the needs of others ahead of our own. Staying positive alleviates stress and prevents stress related diseases like hypertension.
Retirement offers the time and opportunity to reconnect with old friends and make new ones. Joining an adult community for active retirees is also great way to make new friends and build a social network.
By retiring you are only withdrawing yourself from a work oriented world and not from a fun filled world. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle helps to enjoy the new chapter in life.