Visiting Angels, Punta Gorda Blog

Spring into an Active Lifestyle

We all know that physical activity and wholesome nutrition is essential for healthy aging. Exercise can prevent, and even reverse, many chronic diseases that older adults face. However, despite the strong evidence that physical activity is positively associated with healthy aging, many older adults remain inactive. According to the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control, nearly 31 million adults over the age of 50 are sedentary.

woman stretching outsideA study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information found that regular exercise is safe for both healthy and frail older adults, and the risks for developing chronic disease, such as cardiovascular disease, obesity, and osteoporosis, are decreased through regular physical activity. Engaging in physical activity doesn’t mean spending hours each day in the gym, or signing up for a marathon. Participating in any amount of physical activity is better than remaining idle on the couch, and still offers some health benefits. With spring on our mind, here are a few tips to help you reap the many health benefits of an active lifestyle.

Fuel Your Body

An active lifestyle starts with the nutrition that you put into your body. Without the proper nutrients, you won’t have the energy to engage in physical activity. Junk foods, filled with sugar and empty calories, only add to a sedentary lifestyle because they create a tired feeling. While you’re busy spring cleaning, spring clean your pantry and empty it of large amounts of sugary snacks, such as cookies, soda pop, sweets, and even “granola bars” which often contain hidden sugar. Fill your pantry with fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats. As you feed your body healthy foods, you’ll have more energy to pursue physical activity. In return, the more you engage in physical activity, the more your body will crave healthy foods instead of junk foods.

Head Outdoors

There’s something about being outside that invigorates the body and mind. One of the simplest ways to add more physical activity into your daily life is to go for a brisk walk around your neighborhood. Gardening is another great outdoor activity. You’ll be sure to work up a sweat while weeding or planting new flowers. Dust off your tennis racket or golf clubs and enjoy a friendly competition with friends. Join a walking club or bike club in your community. Explore nature trails nearby. Perfect your balance with tai chi or yoga in the park. Keep cool by going for a swim. There’s no single type of activity that’s deemed “the best.” “The best” physical activity is what brings you joy while keeping you moving.

Set Realistic Goals

Many of us struggle to meet a health-related goal because we set unrealistic expectations. We read a health article or meet with our doctor and make a vow to make radical lifestyle changes. We have good intentions, but it’s unrealistic to go from completely sedentary to running a triathlon in a few weeks. Instead of setting yourself up for failure, set a realistic goal for yourself. Realistic goals are specific, measurable, and achievable. For instance, if you want to be “more active,” your goal might be “I will go for a walk around my neighborhood for fifteen minutes, three times a week, for the next four weeks.” As you work towards this goal, you can easily keep track of your progress. At the end of four weeks, you can reevaluate your goal. Did you achieve it? Was it too easy or too difficult to achieve? Then, adapt your goal based on your progress.

Seek Accountability

Along with setting realistic goals, having someone to keep you accountable can help you stay motivated to reaching your activity goals. If no one knows that you’ve set a goal to add more activity, then you can easily let yourself off the hook when you don’t achieve your goal. However, if your spouse, friend, or neighbor knows your specific goal, they can encourage you and help keep you accountable. You’ll be less likely to eat an extra cookie or watch television instead of going for your walk when you know that someone is going to ask you about it. Better yet, you can form an accountability partnership with your spouse, friend, or neighbor and help each other stay on track towards meeting your goals.

Visiting Angels Punta Gorda wants all seniors to enjoy the health benefits from living an active lifestyle. We are here to help you achieve your goals. Whether you’re looking for someone to assist you on a walk around your neighborhood, or you need a companion to accompany you as you try tai chi in the park, our caregivers are here for you. We are more than just light housekeeping and a shower aide. Our compassionate caregivers go above and beyond in order to provide quality care for their clients. If you’re ready to spring into an active lifestyle with the assistance of Visiting Angels Punta Gorda, please contact us today by calling 941-347-8288 Punta Gorda or 239-226-1620 Lee County.

Each Visiting Angels agency is a franchise that is independently owned and operated. The Franchisor, Living Assistance Services Inc., does not control or manage the day to day business operations of any Visiting Angels franchised agency.