As we age, we ponder the meaning of so many aspects of our lives. Our concept of being successful differs as we transition from one life stage to another. As our goals and desires change, so do our strategies for successful living. Yet, throughout our lifetime, we find that our health in all forms persists in being integral to our well-being.
Health is defined as the state of being free from illness or injury. This can be mental or physical. Healthy aging becomes a priority not only to enjoy the ability to move freely but to function independently. As we strive to maintain a state of being FREE of illness or injury, the factors that we consider to be important are age, lifestyle, genetics, habits, diet, movement…to list a few. In the healthcare profession, we look to those factors of lifestyle we can change. For example, while we may not be able to change our age, gender, or genetic make-up, we can change our lifestyle, diet, and the choices we make.
What does the term lifestyle actually mean to our state of healthy being? Lifestyle is the very way in which we live. Do we stress? Do we drink excessively? Do we smoke, exercise daily, sleep regularly, or meditate? While all these are factors of our lifestyle, some are within our control to manage or change. I am certain we all can agree that the lifestyle we were accustomed to living as a teenager or college student is not the same as our chosen lifestyle with aging. I require more sleep, more water, less fat in my diet. . . all in all, more healthy choices.
One such choice is movement. The benefits of exercise are incredible for both physical and mental well-being. Some of the documented benefits include:
- Weight control
- Reduce risk of heart disease
- Help manage blood sugar and insulin levels
- Improve mood
- Improve thinking and clarity
- Strengthen bones and muscles
- Reduce risk of falls
- Improve your sleep
- Improve sexual health
Knowing exercise and movement can assist in improvement of so many aspects of our well-being. What are the best ways to exercise? How do we find a way to incorporate regular exercise into our lifestyle?
- Start with your every-day activities! Find a way to make what you do every day a bit more active. Take the stairs, park further away, wash your own car. . .
- Incorporate friends and family. Find a workout group or partner. This makes the prospect of exercise social and fun!
- Track your progress. It is always nice to see results and tracking your progress will help you stay motivated.
- Make exercise fun. Listen to music or mix it up. Join a group class that makes having fun a priority
- Look for activities that fit your lifestyle. When I was young, I loved the “hole in the wall” gyms with free weights, tons of mirrors and audible grunting to eek out that last rep. Now that I am older, I appreciate a clean environment without mirrors and equipment that helps me ensure I will maintain proper form and not injure myself.
Whichever choice in movement you make, chose something. This is the single most beneficial option for both your mental and physical well-being. As goals in life change, maintaining self-sufficiency rises to the top and a healthy lifestyle can influence that. Make it a goal to just MOVE!
Written by: Cyn Newsom
Cyn Newsom, RN, JD, has been in the health care field for over 30 years. She started out her career as an ICU nurse and moved into administration as a CEO for an LTACH. She currently serves as the Director of Telehealth at St. Luke’s Health System in Idaho.
Cyn is the mother of five and grandmother of six beautiful baby girls. She loves spending time with family and her four-legged friends. She also enjoys HGTV, doing home remodeling, and hiking the local trails.
In addition, she and her business partner, Robin Wagner, opened a health and wellness gym, C2R Fitness. This gym caters to individuals tired of the big box gym, people with disabilities or struggles with sport injuries, and those craving a warm, inviting, community atmosphere. The services, classes, and equipment at C2R Fitness are tailored specifically for older adults with the support of friendly, caring, and trained personnel.
To learn more about C2R Fitness, go to their website at: https://www.c2rfitness.com/.