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Healthy Living Today:

Top 10 Lessons

A few months into the coronavirus crisis, we have learned and been reminded of so much important information about Health and Fitness. Particularly after 50.

If it helps to find a silver lining, let’s share just 10 things that have come up since all this started – and draw inspiration from them to carry on with a healthy lifestyle.

  1. We’ve gotta keep moving, even if our options have changed.

Carlos, a friend in New York City, has been a personal trainer for decades. As he told us, “Keep your body and mind as healthy as possible so you can deal with the stress of the world we’re living in today. “We have to keep on living. We have to keep moving.”

  • A simple way to do that: Stop sitting so much.

Get up and walk around the house during commercials. Put on some music and dance. Work in your garden. It all counts.

  • Remember 150. World and US standards say most adults need 150 minutes of moderately vigorous aerobic activity a week, plus at least two sessions of resistance training.
  • Everyone can, in fact, adapt easily with technology.

How many times have we been told that “older” people are afraid of technology? We have seen how false that is, as so many of you quickly started working out via Zoom or other online video services.

“I am open to new things – I am NOT an old fogey,” Helen, 74, told us after she overcome her dislike for electronic devices so she could continue her workout habits.

  • Walking is great for everybody – and every mind and spirit, too. Have you noticed how the bike trails and sidewalks and hiking spots are busier than ever with people out getting a walk? It’s good for their energy levels, endurance, mood and creativity, too. As Thoreau said, “The moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow.”
  • We are craving the connections that exercise provides. Being a part of a community is important to maintaining good exercise and nutrition habits. We’ve all been spending more time at home, of course, but gyms and studios still help us maintain our social bonds through online workouts and other activities and now that we’re open again you can choose to come and see us as well.

As Jean, 64, put it: “I love to see my friends on there and say hi. I wouldn’t want to give it up.”

  • We’re reading more – whether it’s “bucket list” classics, nonfiction about pandemics and social issues, or fun “beach reads” to escape. Reading improves our memory, brain function, and decision-making abilities. It reduces stress and helps us fall asleep.
  • We’re practicing yoga, Pilates and tai chi. Did you know that 10 million Americans over 50 practice yoga regularly? And that was before more gyms and studios started offering it online! If you’re interested in Learning Tai Chi contacts us and you can join us or we will help you setup your own Tai Chi group.
  • We’re focusing on broader wellness. We’ve been forcefully reminded that our wellbeing involves more than physical exercise. It also encompasses emotional, cognitive, social and spiritual health, among other aspects.
  1. Fitness isn’t merely possible – it’s necessary for better living.

“Exercise is vital for functional longevity, no matter how you do it,” says Dan Ritchie, PhD, president and cofounder of the Functional Aging Institute. “You can’t afford to take two months off.”

Which takes us back to the top: We’ve gotta keep moving!

At Project Body Smart we live by the following guidelines.

Exercise for health and function.

Eat real whole foods as much as you can. Avoid highly processed foods when you can.

Manage your stress. Breathe and Chill Out often.

Get good quality sleep. Make an effort to set yourself up with a good sleep prep ritual.

Take good quality supplements to fill in any gaps in your diet and to help you keep a strong immune system.

If you need us to expand on any of the above please let us know.

We’re here for you now and in the future, with a variety of activities and approaches to helping you reach your fitness and healthy-living goals. Contact us for more information or comment below with feedback or questions.

Gordon Palmer – Registered Personal Trainer, Functional Aging Specialist, Precision Nutrition Coach. Training and Fitness Coordinator at Global Fitness and Racquet Centre.

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