Just because we are growing older does not mean we have to live as if we were on death’s door. If we want to live a long, vibrant life well into our senior years, we need to follow a healthy eating plan, get plenty of exercise, and generally take care of ourselves. The kind of lifestyle we live, the amount of exercise we get and the food we eat will help determine how long we live and how little we have to see our primary care physician.
Maintaining a healthy diet does not have to be about a long list of what to eat and what not to eat – that will only serve to put you off diets forever! Nor is it about starving yourself or depriving yourself of the foods you enjoy. Once you get the right perspective on following a healthy eating plan you will soon realize it’s more about eating smart in order to feel great and to have more energy. When you feel healthy, life can become so much more enjoyable in so many more ways. The secret is to learn the basics of nutrition and incorporate them into your daily diet.
It is far better to feel good and enjoy the vitality that good health brings rather than risk heart problems, high blood pressure, cholesterol, cancer, diabetes, kidney failure, liver problems and so much more. When you are suffering from a number of physical ailments, you experience more stress and depression and unpleasantness in your life. Wouldn’t you rather have a sharp memory, a healthy and active lifestyle and lots of energy?
These tips will be useful in getting you started on the road to following a healthy eating plan.
Start by making a list of all the foods you really like. Write down the fruits and vegetables, fish or yogurt, everything you can think of basically. Yes, that means jotting down the hamburgers and chocolate cake as well. Then start finding recipes that focus on fresh ingredients and shop in terms of color and freshness. Variety in food is good!
Don’t rush into making huge, dramatic changes in your eating habits. Accept that these things take time. But that does not mean you can keep gorging on ice cream and cookies. Start by taking small steps toward the big picture. You could add a colorful salad to your daily diet, a bowl of yogurt with fresh fruit for breakfast, vegetables for dinner and so forth.
When you set out to have fun with your diet you will find it becomes a whole lot easier to maintain a healthy diet plan. If you are going to constantly measure your food and count calories, the battle will be lost even before you begin. That’s not pessimism; that’s a fact!
When you add exercise to your daily routine, you are setting yourself up to enjoy the benefits of a long and healthy life. Find activities you like doing such as walking, jogging, cycling or even cleaning the house. Ever tried waltzing around with your vacuum cleaner or broom – great exercise!
No matter what the diet gurus teach you, a balanced diet that includes vitamins, minerals, protein, fiber, fat and carbohydrates is important to your staying healthy. Don’t ban foods from your healthy diet; you will immediately want to eat more of that particular food. Reduce portion size until the craving slowly dies down. Distract yourself with an interesting book or television program or some other activity. The feeling will pass.
Smaller meals and portions are very important. As the body ages the digestive system stops being all its cut out to be. You need to eat smaller meals and add a salad; a bowl of yogurt or fruit at the end of the meal will help you cut down on the meat and potatoes.
How you eat is also very important. If you live alone as most elderly people do, eating with other people may not be possible. In that case take time to chew your food, read a good book and don’t gulp food down. Drinking lots of water before the meal helps to lessen the craving for food.
Foods that are good for you include greens packed with all the goodness of life from calcium to zinc, vitamins, iron, potassium, magnesium and more. They help to strength your respiratory system. Add sweet vegetables like onions, yams, carrots, beets and corn to your diet. If you are a diabetic check with your doctor before making major changes to your diet. Eat as much fruit as you can, you will get fiber, antioxidants and vitamins galore. Drink plenty of water all through the day to help keep you strong and well lubricated. Finally, just concentrate on following a healthy eating plan and you will move toward living a long happy life.