Today is National Senior Health and Fitness Day. This year’s theme is “Improve Your Health for a Better Self.” The goal is to help keep older Americans healthy and fit. This year marks the 23rd National Senior Health and Fitness Day, which will be celebrated by over 100,000 older Americans participating in activities across the country at more than 1000 locations.
There are many ways to improve your health, but diet and exercise generally come to mind first. Many older adults want to live a healthier life, but don’t know where to begin. Here are three little things you can start doing right now to live a healthier lifestyle.
- Go to Bed One Minute Earlier – Going to bed just one minute earlier every night for two months will earn you an extra hour of sleep without much effort. When your body is sleep deprived, you are at a higher risk for obesity, diabetes, and heart problems, not to mention a decreased attention span and diminished memory capacity. So, an easy start to a healthier you is getting more sleep and one minute a night isn’t hard
- Cut Back on Screen Time – A study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine in 2011 found that people who watched TV for six hours a day reduced their life expectancy by almost five years. Researchers went so far as to say that every hour of TV watched after the age of 25 reduces life expectancy by 21.8 minutes. Now with more technology including smart phones and tablets, we are at even more risk. It’s not the screen time itself, but the fact that we’re sitting around for prolonged periods of time. You need to move throughout the day. The experts recommend getting up from your chair every 30 minutes or less.
- Lose One Pound Every Other Week – A bi-weekly one pound weight loss is less daunting than challenging yourself to lose 10 or more pounds in a month. Slow and steady weight loss also means you’re more likely to keep the weight off. And if you’re only losing one pound every other week, that’s a 26 pound loss for the year! Maybe you don’t need to lose that much at all. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), losing just 5 to 10 percent of your body weight can improve your blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugars and that can ward off heart disease and diabetes. The key is to keep your weight loss expectations realistic and manageable.