ACTIVITIES TO PROMOTE HEALTHTY AGING
Activities to Promote Healthy Aging
By Donovan Baldwin
It's a proven fact that lack of regular physical activity can prevent you from living a long and healthy life.
When you do not have the opportunity to participate in activities you enjoy, you may actually feel fatigue, experience depression, or find it difficult to sleep at night. When you are in this situation, you wake up in the morning, you feel tired all day, and then, you finally get to fall asleep again.
It's bad enough when we are younger, but, as we age our body changes and we, in turn, have to make changes to accommodate our lives. There are both mental and physical aspects which can be the result of physical activity (exercise), and other parts of an anti-aging strategy.
Physically, all the systems and functions of the body respond well to regular, moderate exercise. The functioning of the sensory system, including the
brain, is enhanced through exercise, and depression is diminished and mood elevated by
it. However, physical activity implies a need for rest, so let's talk about that first.
The Value of Sleep as Part of the Aging Process
Sleep and health go hand in hand, and, getting a good night's sleep helps to allow the mind to think more
clearly. A good night's sleep also boosts your energy levels while helping control your weight. Studies have shown that people who regularly get eight
hours of good sleep a night, or more, are likely to weigh less, on average, than those who do not. Although this information has
been around for a long time, recent studies have reaffirmed these observations and that you can also make decisions with less stress with a good night's sleep.
Sleeping well at night helps makes for a stronger, healthier immune system. Researchers have also proven that a
good night's sleep is necessary for our health. Research has also shown that a lack of sleep reduces the activation of human growth hormones (HGH) in our bodies, helping change muscles to fat.
Overall, when it comes to health, and aging, good sleep is very important, yet, as important as it is, it comes after nutrition and exercise. Even a good walk can be restful and relaxing while providing exercise.
The Value of Walking
One simple way to improve your health, is to try walking each day.
First of all, walking will help to loosen up our muscles, while relieving anxiety and reducing stress and depression. By alleviating
these negative things, it will also help us sleep for longer and deeper periods each night. Then, when we wake up in the
morning we feel happier and more rested.
As a matter of fact, when you exercise moderately, you tend to get a
good night's sleep, which promotes a higher metabolism.
Without the right amount of sleep, our bodies crave energy. To get this energy, our bodies will release insulin or glucose into the
bloodstream, which will slow down metabolism. This, in turn, causes the body to gain weight, rather than control weight.
It is obvious that when a person feels exhausted, they will feel weak and have difficuly enjoying the activities which can be so beneficial
to their health. This leads to additional problems. Sleeping right balances out our bodies giving us, more energy leading to more
activities that will satisfy our sleep needs.
What to Avoid
To get the proper rest and feel active you should reduce your intake of caffeine, nicotine, harmful chemicals, such as over-the-counter meds
that keep you awake, alcohol and so on. The chemicals and substances will keep you awake. Try to avoid drinking anything after 8 p.m. in the
evening. Nicotine should be avoided if you can possibly do so. However, if you must smoke try to avoid smoking after 8
p.m. Many people have found that, if they cannot stop smoking, they can substitute an electronic cigarette, such as NicoCure, and get the nicotine kick they crave without inhaling the over 4,000 chemicals contained in cigarette smoke.
What to Do
Get started on a morning walking program to help wake you up, while
boosting your energy. You will feel better as your joints will feel flexible enough to move more freely. In addition, regular walking will
help you burn fat and calories. You'll soon begin to notice a big change in how you feel the rest of the day. Remember to
start out walking at a slow steady pace for only as far as you are comfortable. Each day, you will then pick up the pace a bit
and walk further.
Just remember that when walking that you want to work your way up to a steady brisk walk to make you sweat but not out of breath. A rule of
thumb for ordinary people just wanting to be healthy, not Olympic athletes, is to walk hard enough to raise your heart rate and breathing
but still leave you enough oxygen to carry on a conversation or sing. You can take a short walk before and after meals to
calm your nerves, and burn calories too. This will also help give you energy, relieve the stress from your long day at work, and
help you sleep.
If you find you just cannot do a long walk every day, even a few short walks scattered at various times will still do you a world of good.
Share the Fun
If you start a walking program for yourself, you might find it a lot more fun if you have someone to walk along with you. Talk to that neighbor you
don't know and maybe they will walk with you. Just think about it; maybe you will be acquainted with someone new,
talk about new things, which will relieve stress, and get in your exercise as well.
Who knows? Your quest for better health and a good anti-aging
strategy might help that neighbor too! Maybe they haven't
seen or talked to anyone in a couple of days and maybe they can sleep better at night.
Walking with a companion is also a great way to get the right amount of exercise without overdoing it. If you cannot carry on a conversation, you are working too hard.
On the other hand, maybe you simply prefer to walk alone. That's fine too! Many find that walking is just as good as
mediation, and having the opportunity to think your own thoughts at your own pace (no pun intended) can be invaluable to physical and
Stay Cool, Man...or Woman
After walking that brisk walk, be sure to cool down. When walking at a vigorous pace your heart rate will go up and it needs to get back down
to normal, but it should go back down at a controlled rate. Just walk a bit slower and in a relaxing way until you’ve cooled down.
If you can't go to sleep at night, instead of getting up and turning on the TV try pacing (calmly) around the house a bit. Most
people think of "pacing" as being a negative reaction to stress, but if done at a stressful time, it can actually help reduce the effects of
the stress and produce a feeling of calmness. Do some stretching and shake your arms and legs. Even walking around the house
can relax you especially when everyone else is in bed and you can relax a little more. However, make sure you don't try to do a heavy
exercise routine too late in the evening as that can actually interfere with falling asleep.
By the way, if you have a TV in the bedroom or piddle around on the computer until bedtime, you might want to change your habits.
Studies have shown that these activities too close to bedtime can also interfere with falling asleep. Read a book instead.
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Want more anti-aging tips? Read this article on How to Reverse the Aging Process.