How To Stay Fit and Healthy as a Senior

Who is Madonna Buder? If you guessed the oldest woman to complete the grueling Ironman Triathlon, you’re correct! Also known as the Iron Nun, Buder was 82-years old when she set the record.

Today, at 91, the Iron Nun is still inspiring people of all ages to make the most of their gifts. Hers happens to be running.

Perhaps you or someone you love needs a little inspiration now that you have reached the senior years. Most of us won’t compete in a triathlon, but we can all enjoy better health during what should be some of the best years of our lives.

Take a minute and read our condensed guide to staying fit and healthy as a senior!

Start With Your Grocery List

Aging brings many rewards, including the freedom to travel more, sophisticated hair color, and, of course, hard-earned wisdom. Getting older also comes with changes to nutritional needs.

Most people find they gain weight more quickly. It’s usually due to a combination of less physical activity and a decrease in the number of calories needed to keep the body humming along at a healthy rate. Bones also tend to weaken, setting seniors up for osteoporosis and an increased risk for fractures.

Making changes to your diet can have a significant impact on your ability to stay healthy and fit.

Meet your need for Vitamin D and calcium by drinking fortified milk—make it low-fat or fat-free. If you prefer less dairy, you can get those nutrients from soy, almond, or rice drinks, as long they contain the added nutrients.

Increase your fiber intake.

Use whole-grain bread and cereals as tasty foundations for your meals. Beans and deeply colored vegetables make great side dishes. Fruit added to cereal is the perfect breakfast topping.

They may be your go-to comfort foods, but try avoiding anything fried. Broiled and grilled meats and vegetables pack a healthier punch.

Along with dietary changes, you’ll want to increase physical activity.

Get Physical

Although the lyrics had nothing to do with physical fitness, Olivia Newton-John recorded a hit song back in the 1980s that likely inspired people of all ages to join aerobics classes. Physical activity for seniors can certainly include low-impact aerobics, but you do have other options.

As we age, many of us experience mobility issues, bringing any effort to remain physically active to a standstill.

Before you begin any exercise program, check with your doctor. Ask about age and health condition-appropriate activities you can participate in to improve mobility. Pick up an improving mobility guide and follow the tips put together by the experts.

A Few Words about Cardio

Not everyone can compete in the Ironman, but most of us can safely improve our cardio health. The goal is to raise your heart rate without making it soar into the stratosphere!

Say hello to the wide range of low-impact cardio exercises you can use to improve mobility and your general health. These include:

  • Walking
  • Yoga
  • Tai Chi
  • Swimming
  • Biking

Your doctor is your best resource on which of these will benefit you most and which ones you can participate in safely.

Ready to Enjoy Your Senior Years?

Aging does change people. You’ll need to adjust your diet and your physical activity to keep up with a whole set of new requirements. That doesn’t mean you can’t look forward to the senior stage of life.

If you’ve enjoyed this post and would like to read more articles that inspire you to live your best life, we’d love for you to check out the rest of our posts!

 

 

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