Health Maintenance: Stay Hydrated
Drinking “8 glasses of water a day” is the mantra we constantly hear. But, actually that is just a general baseline. Staying hydrated is important but it also depends on the climate where you live, your activity level, and your current health status. In reality, the general range is between 64 to 120 ounces a day.
Health Maintenance: Your Exercise Level
How strenuously do you exercise? Intensity level does make a difference in how effectively it will impact your health. For example, if you’re doing cardio exercises, you need to get your heart rate up for at least 10 minutes. Keep in mind that 15 minutes of jogging is like a half-hour of brisk walking.
Health Maintenance: Do You Have Muscles?
Keeping your muscles toned is important, especially as you age. You want to avoid stiff joints, aching muscles, and any potential for getting osteoporosis.
Here are some tips for you.
At least twice a week, do something to strengthen your arms, shoulders, legs, hips, abs, chest, and back: Lift weights, use resistance bands, even dig in the garden or shovel snow-slowly.
Also consider a short, intense workout of 30-second exercises like jumping jacks, push-ups, and squats with 10 seconds of rest in-between. This improves your heart and lung health as well as your muscles.
Health Maintenance: Flexibility Is Important
Stretch two days a week (or more) to help you bend and move easily. Gentle practices like yoga, tai chi, and Pilates improve your flexibility and your balance, too.
Health Maintenance: Your Diet
Weight control is important and even more so if you’re 65 and older.
You need more calories if you’re active, less if you’re sedentary or older. Men generally need more than women. Focus on healthy eating patterns. Invest your calories wisely. Avoid lots of “empty” calories, like soda, chips, and cookies. Nutrient-rich foods have a better payoff. For example, fiber rich foods, fruits, vegetables, low fat dairy, fish and lean meat.
Health Maintenance: Fat Can Be Good For You
Doctors warn us to stay away from eating fats. But, there are “good” fats out there that actually help you maintain a healthy body and mind.
For example, It’s OK to have a third of our daily calories come from fat! It’s the type of fat that can trip you up. Generally speaking, stick with the unsaturated fats from fish and plants like olives, soybeans, avocados, and nuts. Stay away from the saturated and trans fats that come from animal sources, fried foods, and baked treats. Choose lean meats and lower-fat versions of dairy foods.
Health Maintenance: Don’t Forget Your Annual Physical
Recent research has found that seeing your doctor for a checkup every year doesn’t necessarily keep you healthy. It can also depend on your age. If you’re 65 and older, consider scheduling your physical for every six months. Keep up with preventive tests and vaccines as recommended between your physicals. And, this also includes an eye exam. You should schedule an eye exam for once a year or sooner if you’re having any type of vision problem.
Health Maintenance: Keep Your Eye On The Ball
Remember, health guidelines are meant to help stay healthy. Everyone’s body, including yours, is different. The best way to know what’s right for you is to talk to your doctors. Stay positive, aim to do better today than you did yesterday. Your effort will be rewarded.