Letting the date on your birth certificate dictate how you live your later years is a mistake. It doesn’t have to be that way. If you’re wondering how to give those pesky youngsters a run for their money, you must embrace the concept of exercise, even if you never did before. If you don’t want to be over the hill at 65, find a hill and start walking up it.
It is crucial to understand that humans are not meant to be sedentary creatures. Our jobs and our lifestyles may have created this situation, but our bodies are screaming out and telling us that we’ve got it all wrong. You can’t hear it? Yes, you can. The screaming is your pain.
A lack of exercise and pretty soon our bodies start to break down. Bones become brittle, our circulation grows sluggish from blood vessels that are atrophying, and our hearts start to labor. In short, our bodies begin dying sooner than they should.
Regular exercise and a healthy diet are your keys to longevity. Let’s take a look at some great advice for all you seniors out there:
- Walking helps to increase the elasticity of your blood vessels, making them less likely to form an aneurysm or ultimately rupture.
- Start small, at a third of a mile a day, which you can check using your car. Continue for three days a week for a month, then double the distance with the aim of getting up to one mile a day, three days a week.
- Don’t be put off by a little soreness. You will feel it in your calves and thighs. It just shows you your muscles are working, and that’s what you want. Anything beyond that minor discomfort is worth checking out with your chiropractor.
- Stretching helps to prevent the bowing or stooping of the body we often associate with getting old, which is caused by the ligaments shortening. Normal breathing is to some degree inhibited by a stoop.
- Gently stretch out the groin muscles by sitting on the floor and bending one leg out to the side and back as far as comfortably possible. Or you can try sitting cross-legged with your butt on a cushion as you watch TV. The aim is to relax into the stretch without thinking about it too much.
- Stretch the muscles at the back of your legs in one of the following ways: Put your hands on a wall, then extend one leg out behind you and place the foot flat on the floor and lean into the wall a little; or, if you feel able, try the classic touch-your-ties stretch from standing; or put one foot out in front onto a couch and bend forward towards it
- Maintain a properly balanced diet. Any vitamins should be taken with a meal. Drink 10 eight-ounce glasses of water a day to keep the kidneys active in their task of diluting and removing toxins from the body, and to replace lost fluids. (Remember that coffee, tea, soft drinks and alcohol are diuretics and not a suitable substitute for water.)
For Your Health,
Dr. Joshua Salina