What We Don’t Use….We Lose!

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by Nick Passarelli, RI

Exercise is the key to healthy aging. If all you do is sit on the couch and walk back and forth to the fridge, it’s only a matter of time before that’s all you’ll be able to do! The benefits of proper diet and an exercise program have long been known, and are far more important as we age. Heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol problems, osteoporosis in women and even certain types of cancers can be minimized or even illuminated with proper diet and exercise.

It doesn’t have to be unpleasant! It can be as simple as a 30-45 minute walk every day. Start with 5 minutes and go slow, increase by 1 or 2 minutes each day and you’ll get to 30 minutes in no time! Incorporate simple strength training and stretches in between to receive maximum benefits. If you don’t want to walk outside, join a gym. Stationary bikes and elliptical trainers are a great way to increase your heartrate and complete your cardiovascular exercise for the day. Have limited mobility? There are many chair exercises that can be done to increase strength and raise your pulse, even from a wheelchair.  Having an “exercise buddy” is very helpful; you have someone to talk to and you can  encourage each other. The point is to DO SOMETHING; you choose what, but stay active and keep moving!  As always, make sure you check with your doctor before starting any exercise program.

“The Choices you make determine how you age and how fast you age.  It’s not how old you are but how you are old that counts!”

Ya Gotta Eat!

Yeah, you do, but don’t eat things that are considered as unhealthy: drop the sugary drinks; avoid foods that are high in salts especially cold cuts and other processed meats; eat more fruits, vegetables, and fish; and make more natural food choices such as opting for organic and non-GMO (non-genetically modified organisms) foods. Be sure drink at least 2 liters of water each day and try not to over indulge in alcoholic beverages — if you must, remember that red wine is thought to be healthier for the heart!

The choices you make determine how you age and how fast you age.  It’s not about how old you are but about how you are old that counts! No one has more control over how you age then you do, proper diet and exercise are the key. The power is yours!

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