A recent study by Prevention Magazine and Kellogg’s found that Boomers (ages 48-67) are looking forward to an “active, healthy retirement,” yet one-third of them don’t know where to start, while a full half of those surveyed would make positive changes if they knew how those changes would affect them.
As an active, healthy Boomer, I am going to share some simple steps you can take to come over to the two-thirds light!! But first, why the heck do 81% of you know your credit card balance, while only 49% of you know your body mass index (BMI) or cholesterol levels? You cannot buy better health with that credit card!!
1. Add in one healthy food to your daily diet and cut out one unhealthy food. Rather than look for fat content (some fats are healthy), look for the number of ingredients. The fewer, the better. The closer to the ground, the better. Think of the difference between an apple sprinkled with cinnamon (two ingredients) versus an apple-cinnamon toaster pastry (more than 25 ingredients). Do this once a week and by the time you’re one year older you will have completely revamped your diet.
2. Move a little more than the day before. Not only does movement keep you fit, it makes you smarter. Can you walk just 22 minutes a day? Or dance? Some laps in the water? It’s common knowledge that movement helps you lose weight and stay heart healthy, but being able to outsmart your kids, grandkids, friends, partner and cat (you can tell who’s boss in my house), well, that’s pretty motivating!
3. Make friends with active, healthy people. It’s the principle of “homophily” — the tendency of people to have similar friends at play here, so hanging out with people who have healthy habits will lead to an increase in YOUR healthy habits.
4. Write down your reasons for wanting to become healthier. Before you make ANY changes, ask yourself two questions: What is my primary, driving, motivation for wanting a healthier body and life, and how does this connect to my life purpose? These two questions come from James O. Hill, Ph.D. and Holly Wyatt, M.D. in their book “State of Slim.” Writing down your motivating factors makes them “stick” in your brain more easily as well as giving you a focused goal and reminder.
5. Pump some iron, or at least a bag of beans or flour. As you age, so do your muscles. That does NOT mean your muscles have to waste away. There is a correlation between sarcopenia (muscle atrophy) and aging, NOT a cause and effect. You don’t even have to go to a gym (although I teach group fitness and would love to have you in class). Do you have a five-pound bag of beans or flour in your house? Do biceps curls with those. Do push-ups against the wall or counter. Balance on one leg and do squats.
If you implement these five tips at any age, not only will you create a healthier lifestyle for yourself, you will be able to recall your credit card balance even quicker!
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