I have recently run into a few articles and received some correspondences that lead me to believe that it is the perfect time for sharing a few simple things to increase health and enrich life. First, let’s look at movement.
Our bodies are made to move. Whether you walk, run, do tai chi or yoga, movement benefits our well-being. Without sufficient movement, muscle mass is lost, and at an astounding rate. The average person loses about 0.5-1% annually after the age of 35, this percentage accelerates after the age of 60 to about 3-8% according to the U.S. National Institute of Health. The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends 150 minutes of varied moderate physical activity per week or 75 minutes of high intensity vigorous cardio activity plus two days of strength training (weights or resistance, or body weight moving). Dancing is one way to utilize your own body weight in movement for building strength and muscle mass. Tai Chi is another method. Also, dancing moves body weight, and that is so much fun!!
We often hear that drinking water when you are thirsty is sufficient. While that is true for younger individuals, as people age there is a tendency to be under hydrated and part of the cause for this dehydration is the loss of muscle mass. Muscle holds more water than fat, so to lose muscle mass is to risk loss of hydration. So, building muscle and drinking sufficient fluids will help. Besides just drinking water, eating vegetables and drinking veggie smoothies is a wonderful way to hydrate healthfully. Vegetables hold a great deal of water and can significantly aid in health and hydration.
Walking barefoot improves foot circulation, balance and nerve sensitivity in our feet. It is recommended to walk barefoot to improve foot health and balance. Other benefits include range of motion improvement in feet and ankles, strengthening of the muscles and ligaments, stronger leg muscles and increased support of the lower back. Start walking barefoot in short sessions of 15-20 minutes and gradually add time as it benefits you. It is recommended if you have any foot pain, neuropathy or diabetes, or other
serious health problems to check with your doctor before starting a barefoot walking regimen.
Get some sun! With caution, at the right time and sun screen protection, sunlight helps you wake up, recharge and regulate throughout the day. The sun cues your body about when to stay awake, affects mood and keeps you alert and engaged throughout the day. Sara Mednick, professor of cognitive science at the University of California, advises 15 to 30 minutes of early day light (the wakening sunlight), and the same time spent in the late afternoon and evening sunlight (the calming rays). She also recommends use of a light box if you cannot get out into the sunlight in her book, “The Power of Downstate: Recharge Your Life Using Your Body’s Own Restorative Systems.” This exposure to sunlight affects your suprachiasmatic nucleus, the brain’s “clock,” which controls and supports natural circadian rhythm necessary for healthy sleep.
Dump most of the protein and nutrition bars on the market due to excess sugar in their ingredients. Do eat eggs, they are packed with vitamins and minerals in a low-calorie, tasty food. Their cholesterol level is no longer considered a risk and only slightly related to dangerous cholesterol levels in our blood stream per the American Heart Association.
Eat good snacks, like berries, Greek yogurt, and almonds. They are full of antioxidants (almonds), anthocyanins for memory (berries) and probiotics and calcium (Greek yogurt).
So let’s make a smoothie with berries, almonds and Greek yogurt, put it in a container with a straw and walk and dance our way outside in the morning sunlight to celebrate life and health! Maybe we can even safely do that barefoot!
For more information visit the National Institute of Health’s Center for Complimentary and Integrative Health at https://www.nccih.nih.gov/, an excellent resource for evidence based holistic health and well-being. It is my go-to for scientifically based health and well-being interventions. My contact information is below should you have a question. Feel free to leave comments and share information through the email noted below. Visit us on Facebook at A Sandy Place!
Until we meet again, here’s to your well-being!
Sandra L. Place, www.sandyplace.com email@example.com