Baby Steps to Healthy Aging

We all have been told over and over what to do to be healthy: eat less of this, more of that, go to the gym every day, sleep more, walk more, run, skip jump, stress less! I don’t know about you, but I get a bit stressed looking at all these commands.

It’s no wonder we are tempted to tune out, grab a soda and relax in front of the television. We’re told what to do, but in the myriad of choices, where do we begin?

Try starting with one habit you know you should change. If you drink two sodas a day, taper to one and eventually switch the one out to a healthy drink.

There is green tea, sparkling water and natural beverages sweetened with Stevia.

If you love chocolate, find a healthy chocolate. There are dark chocolates bars sweetened with Stevia and lower sugar bars available.

Artificial sweeteners will not do your body good, as your digestive system doesn’t process them in a beneficial way. If you can’t give up your milk chocolate, don’t! Simply reduce the amount you eat. Life shouldn’t be about deprivation.

Do you love fried foods but not the fat? Saute in good fats like coconut or olive oils. Look at investing in an air fryer. I love air frying so much, that I own two!

air fryer

Are you addicted to salty, crunchy foods like I am? I take a small handful of gluten free crackers and mix them with raw nuts for a tasty, filling treat. When only chips will do, I dole out a small amount of organic chips, sometimes even mixing those with raw nuts.

Ice cream! We all scream for ice cream! Although it’s not a healthy choice, who doesn’t love a cold and creamy treat on a hot summer day? There are alternatives! If you are feeling adventurous, you can make your own.

Exercise can come in many forms. Choose the method that works best with your schedule. If you don’t have time for the gym, don’t sign up as a member, thinking you will have time later. Exercise at home! If even that seems daunting, take baby steps; literally! Take the stairs, jump in place, dance to a favorite song, walk briskly, just get up and move!

Qigong

If you have physical limitations, there are exercises you can do from a chair. Yoga, Qigong and Tai Chi are also less strenuous. Just 10 minutes a day is something!

Lately I’ve been telling myself I’m too busy to do yoga. Today is a new day, and my yoga practice is startng again in a few moments. Which baby steps can you start today? Just one step leads to another.

Aging: the Change

Keep reading,  men! This is not about ” THE change ” We are discussing how changes can affect us as we age. We ALL are aging,  even children,  so this isn’t just for “older ” folks.

Think back to when we left the safety of home, routine and our caregivers to venture onto a school bus for the very first time . I think most of us had mixed feelings, including a bit of fear. When we entered the cheerful and bright atmosphere of kindergarten, our fears mostly melted away. Theoretically,  where would we be without any education? Fear wasn’t able to hold us back, as the law requires us to be educated. However, the law does not require us to make changes to age in a healthful manner, so it’s up to us to make adjustments. 

Think of our accomplishments. They all required a change; whether in habit,  attitude, financial risk, values, etc. Now, think of the aging process. We cannot change that. However,  by resisting change, we may be speeding up our physical aging. Young people should also be concerned with this. Right now, you are laying the foundation on which to build your lives.

I still encounter “older” people that resist cell phones.  That one change could save their lives in an emergency! There are also so many of us that continually have body discomfort and weight issues. We complain, half heartedly try fads, then comfort ourselves with Netflix binges and sugar. ( I’ve done this, too)

If I hadn’t stepped out of my comfort zone to change,  I would still be falling over in the morning due to imbalance,  crying because I hurt and unable to wear my wedding ring. 

What in your life needs to change so you may age in comfort? Are you at a loss as to where to start or what to do? Start with something small, like using Stevia in your coffee in lieu of sugar, or adding flair to your look with a new cosmetic or hair color. When we try new looks,  we do not appear dated!

The change that helped me most was being open to new scientific research on whole foods nutrition.  Now that I made that  change, I am staying stuck in those ways! You see, some things we are doing need never change!

Wednesday Wisdom

We all  procure and obtain wisdom. Most wisdom comes from experience and education. Many of us seek wisdom from either health or wealth specialists, as good health and financial security may improve the quality of our lives. A specialist I am not; but a seeker I am!

This morning upon awakening,  I had a thought that our bank account is like our bodies. When we put green (money) into our bank account,  it grows through interest. When we put green (nutrients) into our bodies, our health grows.

This time of year, we tend to withdraw from both our bank and health accounts.  There are small steps we can take so our growth in these areas does not stagnate. We may have already overspent financially,  but it’s not too late to counter the effects of that!

Following are some ideas to replenish our financial ” green” :  At a restaurant,  drink water instead of a beverage.  That alone can save you $2 -$10 a person. Speaking of beverages,  brew your own coffee at home until your bank account is back to where it was before the holidays. Ladies,  those party dresses you’ve been eyeing? Skip them! Follow  A Small Wardrobe blog for some great ideas on shopping from your own closet. Are your shoes looking used up? Give them a good polish and new insoles from the drugstore.  Ladies,   decorative clips can turn plain pumps into party shoes. Skip the hairdresser for your formal occasions by finding YouTube tutorials. At home,  make a big batch of homemade soup for inexpensive and quick leftovers. There are many other ideas to cut corners on Pinterest.

It is definitely a challenge replenishing our  health account during the busy holiday season! Although I make no claims of expertise, I do know what works for me

There are quick,  easy hacks to keep our bodies nourished. One is to take whole foods supplements,  as our bodies will not assimilate chemically based supplements properly. Another thing is to keep healthy snacks with you, so you aren’t as tempted to grab junk food while out and about.  Some ideas are: raw mixed nuts, whole grain or gluten free crackers, Life Bars, snow peas, hummus, natural nutbutters and low sugar dark chocolate.  Many so-called nutrition bars are no better than candy bars. Make sure they are non-GMO, all natural with less than 2 grams of sugar. Also, keep a water bottle with you at all times

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Our workout routines may understandably  be on hold  now.  Still try to get a good nights sleep, stretch a lot,  and ask for foot ot shoulder rubs. Take time for a soak in the tub with Epsom salts. 

Whether our bank accounts or health get replenished or not,  staying grateful and doing the best we can will still help us achieve in the big picture. Happy holidays!