GET A SPRING IN YOUR STEP!
Seniors, there is no time like spring to embark on a path to better health. As the days get longer and the sun gets warmer, most of us long to enjoy the outdoors, stretch our legs and get back into the world after hibernating during the long, cold winter. Spring is the perfect time to think about your health and wellbeing.
Think of and treat your body like you would treat a car. Cars wouldn’t last if we didn’t take them in for regular maintenance, check the oil, put air in the tires or fill the gas tank. We can’t expect our bodies to perform optimally if we don’t take care of them. Here are six steps to better health:
#1. SCHEDULE CHECKUP
Visit all of your doctors, the optometrist, dentist and if you are having trouble hearing your friends, it is probably time to get your hearing checked. Also, check your weight, cholesterol, blood pressure and glucose levels. Spring is a good time as well to book your colonoscopy, stress test or any other major test you may need. ALWAYS discuss any significant changes in your health with your doctor prior to starting any new exercise routine.
Lastly, don’t forget to review your financial health as well! Spring is a great time of year to make sure your income streams are healthy and can meet your needs for the upcoming year. Questions to ask yourself: If you haven’t signed up for Social Security, is this my year? Do I need another source of income to make the money and the month match? Have I investigated a Reverse Mortgage? Check in with your financial advisor to determine what course of action is in your best interest.
#2. GET MOVING
Visit a local gym for open-swim sessions or a water aquatic class. Enroll in a Tai Chi or Yoga class, both will help with your balance. Most importantly, start your exercises program slowly. It is very easy to over-do-it, especially when you have been hibernating all winter.
Not a gym person? Don’t underestimate the benefits of walking! Walking has been proven to help control blood sugar, support heart health, improve bone density, improve your sleep and get your endorphins flowing, which can reduce stress and depression. If you desire more stimulation, vary where you walk by checking out different neighborhoods, trails or parks. If you don’t like to walk alone, try joining a walking or hiking club. Remember, if you are walking at dusk or dawn, wear reflective clothing or carry a flashlight.
#3. MAKE FRIENDS
Find a buddy or buddies to exercise with. For many, exercise is a great opportunity for socializing. Exercising with others makes exercising seem easier, more enjoyable and it provides accountability. When your friends are waiting for you, you show up! Many seniors speak of life-long friendships that were forged on golf courses or tennis courts.
Have enough friends and family and long for a little peace and quiet? Quiet time can be rejuvenating…take up Yoga or begin a meditation practice. Meditation does not have to be practiced at an ashram; you can easily meditate while sitting on a park bench enjoying the sun!
#4. CHECK YOUR EQUIPMENT
Just like you replace the windshield wipers on your car, you may need to update to your exercise gear. Treat yourself to a good pair of walking shoes or sneakers. Besides being comfortable, they will offer support and assist your balance, preventing unwanted falls. New footwear will allow you to walk longer, faster and reduce fatigue.
Do you need a little extra support while you walk? Try walking poles. Walking poles engage your upper torso, increasing upper body strength. They have been proven to offer more support than a walking stick or cane.
Remember to dress for the weather. It is cold at night and chilly in the morning in Spring. Dress in layers. Light weight gloves, hats and scarves will ward off the early morning chill and make your walk more enjoyable. While shopping, don’t forget to pick up a comfortable light weight rain coat and a refillable water bottle to assure you stay hydrated.
#5. STAY HYDRATED/ EAT WELL
Drink plenty of water, at least eight glasses a day. If you are thirsty, you are already on your way to becoming dehydrated. Dehydration will affect your memory, mood, concentration and being dehydrated increases your risk of falling.
Enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables that are in season like asparagus, strawberries, lettuce and peaches. Eat lighter, enjoy fresh salads and ask your doctor about reducing your intake of red meat or adding healthy fats like avocado and Olive Oil?
#6. BE SAFE/ HAVE FUN
If you suffer from Asthma or allergies, be mindful of the weather report and pollen counts. On days where it is not safe to exercise outdoors, you can still maintain your exercise routine by walking inside at a nearby Mall.
Seniors, get a spring in your step this season! Review your physical and financial health. As always, we at United Northern Mortgage Bankers, Ltd. are here to answer any of your reverse mortgage questions.