Sourced from Ponoma Valleys Health Center
No matter your age, you can take small, easy steps to improve your quality of life today. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and staying physically active has lasting effects on your heart health, mental health and overall longevity.
If you’ve ever felt too old to start something new, let Ernestine Shepherd be your inspiration. At almost 81 years old, she is the oldest competitive body builder in the world — but she didn’t start exercising until she was 56. She is living proof that age is just a number.
What can you do to improve your overall fitness?
Don’t worry; you don’t have to become a competitive bodybuilder to improve your quality of life. Here are a few easy things you can do today to start improving your physical and mental fitness:
1. Reduce your intake of sugar.
Eating too much sugar can cause weight gain, abdominal obesity, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, and serves as a stepping stone to insulin resistance and diabetes.
Activities like hiking, walking, cycling, jogging or swimming may improve your cardiovascular health and increase your energy levels. Alternating between different types of physical activity is not only beneficial for your body; it helps keep your mind engaged as you look forward to something different each day.
What are the benefits of being physically fit?
Physical fitness helps you live longer, prevent chronic disease, and is also one of the most effective ways to improve your mental health. Regular exercise can:
Reduce your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and colon and breast cancers
Have a profoundly positive effect on those suffering from depression, anxiety and ADHD
Relieve stress, improve memory, help you sleep better and boost your overall mood
Take advantage of warmer weather this season by starting a new exercise routine and eating a healthier diet. Before you get started, consult your primary care physician. They can advise you on an exercise routine and diet that is right for you.