The desire for youthful energy never leaves and is capable of staying with you well until your later years. Boomers are, however, faced with the old adage, “use it or lose it.” It’s no wonder boomers are keen to put passion back into their lives and fight the effects of aging. True we are living in a society with an obesity epidemic and what a better motivator than living an independent life well into ones retirement with an increased zest and ability to perform activities of daily living with greater ease and function.
How do function and aging co-exist and blend with fitness? They are a twin-ship, even if we don’t see them that way. No one wants to feel and look old before their time. Much of what we blame on aging: weakness, decreased range of motion and obesity can be reversed in 30 days. How do we look and feel younger in 30 days? Through a blissful discipline called Functional Fitness.
Americans are getting older every minute and life expectancy is ever-increasing. People leading full productive lives after the age of retirement are no longer a “wow.” Most baby boomers want to live active lives and learn how to enjoy a fulfilling active life. You’re as fit as your body is functional. Contrary to popular opinion, not even all young people are limber, for keeping flexibility relies on regular stretching. However flexibility, one of the three primary components of physical fitness, is extremely important to attaining a healthy life. Without flexibility, simple activities, such as reaching and bending become painful. True, muscles shorten with age, but according to the National Foundation for anti-aging, “most aging is premature.” Here are 10 tips to help you stay younger, fitter and functional.
1- Drink six to eight glasses of water each day. Hydrate skin, nourish it, and prevent wrinkles.
2- Stretch and strengthen your legs. Doing calf raises and tiptoe walking every other day improves circulation and helps prevents spider veins.
3- Incorporate upper-body exercises. Lift mini dumbbells, and stretch back muscles. This protects against osteoporosis.
4- Strengthen your abs five days a week. Sit-ups enhance blood flow to vital organs, repairing tissue damage.
5- Add aerobic exercise. Keep your heart and lungs youthful and fit.
6 – Choose aerobics that enhance brain power. Jogging, bicycling, and speed walking sharpen memory and increase attention span.
7- Use diaphragmatic breathing. Inhale through your nose so debris and pollutants are filtered from the air. Make your belly rise, and then fall slowly, exhaling through pursed lips. Relaxed breathing decreases levels of stress hormones that accelerate aging.
8- Eat baked, broiled, or grilled salmon two times per week. Its omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins combat disease-causing free radicals.
9- Try colorful vegetables. Dr. Roy Vartabedian, author of “Nutripoints,” and Nutrition Expert for Functional Fitness starring Suzanne Andrews, ® recommends spinach, broccoli and romaine lettuce daily with lunch and dinner. Dark green vegetables have cancer-fighting properties and vitamin C to boost your immune system. Tomatoes are also on this “fighter veggies” list.
10- Enjoy fresh fruit for dessert. Dr. Vartabedian suggests cantaloupe, guava, and papaya. These also combat the cell damage that causes premature aging.
About the Author: Suzanne Andrews, founder of Functional Fitness, approved by the National Educational Telecommunications Association for syndication on PBS TV and licensed occupational therapy practitioner, specializes in therapeutically proven techniques to improve function through fitness. Offering real life fitness solutions for real life challenges, she instructs you how to decrease joint pain, improve balance, thicken bones, boost energy and once again live life to the fullest. Learn how to get Functional Fitness starring Suzanne Andrews® on your local PBS station and enter to win a FREE set of 8 Functional Fitness DVD’s. Details at http://www.healthwiseexercise.com/contact.php