"The past and future are in the mind only, I am now."
No matter what decade you are in, it's never too early or late to decide to make positive and healthy changes in your lifestyle.
Here are some places to start:
Know your "Numbers". There are four "numbers" that are a good starting place to be aware of your current status. If you don't know them a visit to your Primary Care Physician can be a good start.
Blood Pressure. 120 over 80 is the goal.
Cholesterol. Less than 200 overall with your LDL less than 100 and your HDL more than 40 (Men) and 50 (Women)
Glucose. Fasting sugar level should be less than 100
Here is a guide from United Healthcare that may be helpful.
2. Use your Brain every day and when you can in new ways. Play word games and puzzles. Learn new games. Read. Watch trivia games on YouTube. Talk to people in person or on the phone. Organize a drawer or closet. Do sometime creative. Use different parts of your brain. Here's an article with more ideas:
3. Create Healthy Habits
Every day is a new day to decide to incorporate healthy habits into your lifestyle. There are many healthy ideas in this article, in the November 2022 For Your Good Health Newsletter and many other articles under "Life Nourishment". If you decide you would like to incorporate one of these ideas or another one that is important to you, here is a past article that may help:
Learn more about the Habit Loop and ways to change your current not-s0-healthy habits
4. Develop Mindfulness Practices. Mindfulness is available to us in every moment, whether through meditations and body scans, or mindful moment practices like taking time to pause and breathe before responding to a text! Here are a few simple ideas for getting started:
Before getting out of bed, pause and take a deep breath
Make meals (even when alone) a phone-free zone
When you go to sleep, think about 3 things that you felt grateful for that day
When driving, turn off the radio and relax in a few moments of silence
When working, between tasks, meetings, clients, patients, etc., pause, take a slow deep breath in and out
Here's an article with more ideas and mindfulness concepts.
5. Exercise. For those that know me well, this will come as no surprise! Any movement, exercise or activity is better than none. If you can only fit in 5-10 minutes, then do just that. Exercise comes in three main forms: Aerobic, Weight-Lifting and Stretching. It's helpful to fit all three of these into your weekly routine. There are many creative ways to get them in, even if you can't get to a gym. I'm here to support you - so please reach out if you want to discuss getting creative for your current lifestyle!
Tai Chi is a fun way to get in movement in that includes good stretching, some weight-training and mindfulness. Here's a past For Your Good Health article to get started!
Check out more ideas from the National Institute on Aging!
6. Adapt and Evolve. "If you don't adapt and evolve you get bitter not better".
As we age, it's important to pause and access what modifications we may need to make. In golf this can be called this smart course management! Between my 40s and 50s I had to decide to move from running to elliptical and biking to get in my cardio, due to a Back injury. I made the decision to not risk future injury because I enjoy so many other activities (like Golf!). I adapted. I also do more Yoga and Pilates movements to include more stretching. I have keep on lifting weights and switch between heavier weights/lower reps and lighter weights/more reps. Variety is very good for the body. I listen to my body and may take an extra "rest" day to allow my body to recover. Although I never stop walking and here's why: Benefits of Walking