Put ten average 70 year olds in a room together and it will be difficult to find two who are alike. Some are physically fit due to genes and lifestyle. Others are struggling with arthritis, diabetes or heart issues. Still others are suffering early memory loss. For all of these folks, nutrition and exercise can make a world of difference. Regardless of our situation, we all have some control over what we put in our bodies and how we treat our bodies. Exercise isn’t a punishment, it’s an opportunity to look and feel healthier. Twenty minutes of cycling today can improve circulation and strengthen long forgotten muscles to improve joints, strength muscles and improve balance. How awful is that? Walking clubs, swim programs and fitness classes for all abilities are available around the area. Talk with your doctor about a safe exercise routine based on your personal abilities and interests, then grab a friend and check out exercise programs for seniors in Charlotte.
Some of us are limited in what we can do physically but that doesn’t have to stop us from improving our physical health. Healthier food choices are available. Try reducing fat, caffeine, additives and carbohydrates that can make you feel sluggish. Homemade meals are healthier than processed foods, so if you enjoy cooking, make simple meals that can be frozen in smaller portions and easily reheated later. Soups, pastas, rice dishes and meat, fish or vegetables in light sauces are great options. Hot meals ready to go are available at Harris Teeter and other supermarkets, Friendship Trays delivers meals right to your home, and senior centers offer reduced cost lunches along with social opportunities. Whatever your preference, don’t forget to invite a friend!
Remember to review your medications periodically. Some medications can increase lethargy or interact with other medications or food. Some may just need to be taken at a different time of day to avoid drowsiness. There may also be medications that can be changed or discontinued if side effects are causing problems. Always check with your doctor before making changes. Finally, acupuncture, biofeedback and reflexology may help in some cases. Talk with your doctor about alternative treatments to improve your health without adding to your medication list.