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Aging Well: A Healthy Lifestyle with Exercise and Nutrition

A Healthy Lifestyle with Exercise and Nutrition

Older adults can do a number of things to promote good health. Healthy behaviors such as exercising regularly and focusing on good nutrition can contribute to longer, healthier lives. The good news it is never too late to get started!!

Move Your Body!!

Like most people, you've probably heard that physical activity and exercise are good for you. In fact, being physically active on a regular basis is one of the healthiest things you can do for yourself. Studies have shown that exercise provides many health benefits and that older adults can gain a lot by staying physically active

Increasing physical activity is one of the best ways to prevent disease and injury. Even moderate exercise and physical activity can improve the health of people who are frail or who have diseases that accompany aging. It reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, depression, cognitive decline, and falls. Physical activity reduces pain and improves function for those with arthritis and other chronic conditions. Find an activity you enjoy and stick with it. You will not regret it!

To learn about exercise and the benefits it has as we age check out Go4Life®, the exercise and physical activity campaign from the National Institute on Aging.

Eat Smart!

Eating well is important for everyone at all ages. Your daily food choices can make a huge difference in your health and how you look and feel. Studies show that a healthy diet in later years reduces the risk of osteoporosis, high blood pressure, heart diseases and certain cancers. A well balanced diet gives your body the nutrients needed to keep your muscles, bones, and brain healthy. It also gives you the energy you need to get through the day and stay active.

Consuming the right number of calories helps to control your weight, too. Extra weight is a concern for older adults because it can increase the risk of disease such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. It also adds extra stress to your bones and contributes to joint problems.

Choose mostly nutrient-dense foods when you plan your meals and snacks. These are foods which have a lot of nutrients but relatively few calories. Foods that are rich in nutrients will provide your body with what it needs to operate efficiently and give you energy!!

If you feel overwhelmed, seek the advice of a nutritionist or get together with some friends to try new recipes and share ideas. Start with small changes and continue to make improvements. Over time it will become part of your healthy lifestyle without much thought.

To learn more about nutrition, check out What's On Your Plate from the National Institute on Aging.

The University of Illinois Extension Website is full of nutrition information!  Take a look!!


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