Over 50? Take Charge of Your Health!

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Question: I am in my 50’s and I am beginning to realize that I need to take better care of myself. I’m not in bad health yet but there are signs that I need to start exercising now to prevent some health issues that I am facing. What are some things that I can do and why are they beneficial?
Answer: Since your doctor has made you aware of the preventable health conditions that you’re facing and the pharmaceutical “cures” for those issues, by taking matters into your own hands, you can avoid the “cures” and the side effects associated with them, Hypertension is high blood pressure. Losing weight can be a part of the cure for that. Stored body fat requires a blood supply. Not as much is needed as it takes to supply muscle tissue but carrying a large amount of excess body fat puts a huge workload on your heart.
Begin your day with a healthy breakfast consisting of a protein source, low glycemic carbohydrates like oatmeal, whole grain bread or even melon and berries. Plan food snacks through the day to prevent you from being ravenous when you do stop to eat. You’ll avoid over-eating and make better choices for your food.
Walking to help lose weight is a huge plus. It has to be challenging though. It’s not a stroll, walking the dog around the block or mall walking. Those are great activities which are good to do to keep you moving and certainly much better than doing nothing. You need a challenge though. It’s mentally and emotionally satisfying once it’s done and the physical results are much better. A challenging walk from either your pace or with plenty of hills can help to strengthen your heart while assisting in the long-term goal of lowering your weight and blood pressure. Beside that, strenuous walking is great for reducing stress and elevating your mood.
Weight training builds muscle, bone density and challenges your anaerobic recovery. Make or have a plan written out for you to prevent you from wandering around the gym looking for an open spot to park and do a few sets of whatever is available. The training for your muscles will increase your base metabolic rate and assist in your fat loss. Notice that it’s not about losing weight, it’s about reducing fat. Initially, your weight may increase a couple of pounds as your muscles become less flaccid and tighten up. Your body fat will continue to shrink as long as you control your eating.
Drink water. Consume at least the 64 ounces. eight glasses, as recommended by the medical community. Water is essential in filtering your blood and removing wastes from your body.
The effects of exercise and healthy eating can help prevent Type II diabetes, hypertension and loss of bone density. It can help reduce body fat which reduces the strain on your joints. Exercise can improve mobility and combat the effects of osteo-arthritis. You’re in your 50’s and being healthy improves your chances of remaining independent as you age. Exercise has been shown to be as effective as anti-depressants in assisting in the treatment of mild depression. The increased blood flow from exercise is shown to have benefits for those combating Alzheimer’s. These bodies were created to move and are amazing when we initiate the will to do more for ourselves instead of remaining sedentary. Take charge of your own health.
God bless and keep training,
Daryl

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