Some more quick tips to help lead a healthy life.

Currently in the middle of writing an article on chair based exercises, in the meantime here are some more healthy living tips you might like to implement.

Exercise: Stand up straight. Yes this is an exercise but hopefully with a bit of practice it should become second nature. Standing up straight involves adopting the posture called neutral spine. If you think about your pelvis as a bucket you can tip it both ways and many people  have their spine in one of these two positions, tucked or tilted. To be in neutral spine, you want to be in between these positions.  You need to think of relaxing your shoulders down and back and there should be a  plumb line between ears, shoulders, hips and ankles. By adopting neutral spine you can help avoid back problems.

Eating: Ensure you get your five a day. I know everyone knows this by heart but did you know  it doesn’t necessarily need to be fresh? Frozen, dried, tinned (try to buy the ones without added sugar), stewed and juiced (but only the first glass) all count towards your 5 a day. Potatoes don’t count at all. Have a look at the NHS site 5 a day, what counts? and find out what counts as a portion of fruit or veg here at 5 a day portion sizes.

Mental wellbeing:  Keep in touch with friends and loved ones. It’s so much easier now to keep in touch with people – email, skype, text and phone to name just a few. Devoting time to maintaining friendships can benefit us and those we care about.

I hope you have found this article informative. If you have any questions on this article, or any questions about exercise and the over-50s please post a comment. By subscribing to this blog you will be informed of any new articles. You will not receive any spam email.

For more information on Personal Training please go here Whole Life Fitness, Personal Training for the over 50s. This will open a new browser window.

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Quick tips to help lead a healthy life. Day 5 of Self Care Week.

Exercise: We have covered cardiovascular and stretching, now you need to think about resistance work. The benefits of resistance work include the ability to move weight around such as climbing stairs and a decreased risk of fractures. You don’t have to join a gym or buy expensive equipment  have a look here for some resistance exercises you can do in your home.

Eating: Portion control. With the amount restaurants serve and the size of crisp bags it’s difficult to control portion sizes. When you are serving up lunch or supper try and ensure the vegetables are over half the plate before adding the meat and starch portions.  This is a great article on some portion control methods.

Mental wellbeing:  Accept and like yourself. No-one is perfect, value who you are and the strengths you have.

For more details of NHS Self Care Week 2011 and information to help make healthy lifestyle choices please visit NHS Choices.

I hope you have found this article informative. If you have any questions on this article, or any questions about exercise and the over-50s please post a comment. By subscribing to this blog you will be informed of any new articles. You will not receive any spam email.

For more information on Personal Training please go here Whole Life Fitness, Personal Training for the over 50s. This will open a new browser window.

Quick tips to help lead a healthy life. Day 4 of Self Care Week.

Exercise: It’s not just cardiovascular exercise you need to think about (i.e. swimming, walking, dancing) there is also resistance work and stretching. A good range of movement is needed for many everyday tasks such as tying shoelaces, gardening or reaching for something on a shelf. This is a simple stretching routine that can be done in the home.

Eating: Keep a food diary. This will help you become aware of your eating habits. If possible note down how you feel about an hour after eating and see if there is any link between you feeling lethargic or depressed and the food you have just eaten.

Mental wellbeing:  Smile. It’s hard to be in a bad mood if you are smiling,  try it and see.

For more details of NHS Self Care Week 2011 and information to help make healthy lifestyle choices please visit NHS Choices.

I hope you have found this article informative. If you have any questions on this article, or any questions about exercise and the over-50s please post a comment. By subscribing to this blog you will be informed of any new articles. You will not receive any spam email.

For more information on Personal Training please go here Whole Life Fitness, Personal Training for the over 50s. This will open a new browser window.

Quick tips to help lead a healthy life. Day 3 of Self Care Week.

Exercise: To ensure you stick to exercise try and find an activity you enjoy doing and rope a friend in to do it with you. This could be walking, swimming, tennis, badminton, table tennis, dancing, bowls, self-defence to name but a few. Get in contact with your local leisure centre and see what they can offer you.

Eating: If you want to change your diet and eat more healthily do it in small steps, that way you are more likely to make long-term sustainable changes.  Add a salad to your meal, drink water instead of soft drinks, change pudding to fruit.

Mental wellbeing:  Get enough sleep. Set a regular bedtime, avoid caffeine several hours before that time and have a wind down period which could be having a bath or reading a book.

For more details of NHS Self Care Week 2011 and information to help make healthy lifestyle choices please visit NHS Choices.

I hope you have found this article informative. If you have any questions on this article, or any questions about exercise and the over-50s please post a comment. By subscribing to this blog you will be informed of any new articles. You will not receive any spam email.

For more information on Personal Training please go here Whole Life Fitness, Personal Training for the over 50s. This will open a new browser window.

Quick tips to help lead a healthy life. Day 2 of Self Care Week.

Today’s tips are all about planning ahead.

Exercise: Book your exercise session into your diary. Instead of waking up and vaguely planning to do some exercise pencil in 10/20/30 minute slots into your diary.  By making exercise part of your daily schedule  it can help prevent and reduce the effects of stress.

Eating: Menu Plan. This will help ensure you get your weekly requirement of fruit, vegetables and dairy. It also cuts down on impulse buying and therefore impulsive eating! For some great recipes and ideas try the NHS 5 a day meal planner.

Mental wellbeing:  Go outside every day, this will not only help you get your vitamin D dosage but fresh air and sunlight will lift your mood. Great activities to do outside are walking (thus covering the exercise angle!) or gardening.

For more details of NHS Self Care Week 2011 and information to help make healthy lifestyle choices please visit NHS Choices.

I hope you have found this article informative. If you have any questions on this article, or any questions about exercise and the over-50s please post a comment. By subscribing to this blog you will be informed of any new articles. You will not receive any spam email.

For more information on Personal Training please go here Whole Life Fitness, Personal Training for the over 50s. This will open a new browser window.



NHS Self Care Week 2011

The Department of Health described self-care in 2005 as “the actions people take for themselves, their children and their families to stay fit and maintain good physical and mental health; meet social and psychological needs; prevent illness or accidents; care for minor ailments and long-term conditions; and maintain health and wellbeing after an acute illness or discharge from hospital.”

In other words – looking after yourself and your family. It’s important that mental health is mentioned in this definition. Many people when asked to discuss health would mention exercise and good food choices but forget how important our mental wellbeing is to being healthy.

Every day this week I will be posting a short blog with 3 tips for exercise, healthy food choices and mental wellbeing. These will be ideas that are easy to incorporate into your daily life.

Exercise: Instead of taking the lift or escalator take the stairs. Walking up stairs uses multiple muscle groups and increases your heart rate. Don’t forget that the 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise you should aim to do per week can be broken down into 10minute chunks.

Food: Eat less salt. You should not be eating more than 6g of salt a day (if you are over 11, younger children should consume less) and salt is found in most processed foods.  Try to stop cooking with salt, instead add it later if you think it actually needs it. Whilst the body does need some salt an excessive intake of salt is an  important  factor in the development of high blood pressure.

Mental Health: Find time for you each day, even if it’s just 10 minutes, and do something you enjoy. Read a magazine, drink a cup of tea by yourself, go outside and get some fresh air.

For more details of NHS Self Care Week 2011 and information to help make healthy lifestyle choices please visit NHS Choices.

I hope you have found this article informative. If you have any questions on this article, or any questions about exercise and the over-50s please post a comment. By subscribing to this blog you will be informed of any new articles. You will not receive any spam email.

For more information on Personal Training please go here Whole Life Fitness, Personal Training for the over 50s. This will open a new browser window.

Walking your way to fitness.

Walking is an ideal activity, it’s free and requires no special equipment. According to the Physical Activity in Later Life survey done in 1999 half of all older adults walk at least a mile at least once a week. However the survey also reported that only 13% of men and 10% of women aged 50+ walk at an intensity suitable to benefit their health at least once a week.

Moderate intensity for walking would be at a pace that will be enough to elevate the heart rate and as a rule for walking, if you can’t have a conversation you are going to fast, if you can sing a song you are going to slow.

When you’re walking to get or stay fit you want to ensure your walking technique is good.

  • Stand up straight, you should not be leaning either forwards or backwards.
  • Keep your shoulders back, down and relaxed, this should also slightly lift your chest.
  • Keep your chin parallel to the ground and pulled in slightly.
  • Strike the ground first with your heel and roll through the step from heel to toe.
  • Pull your navel into your spine, which will recruit the stabilising muscles of the trunk and help maintain the correct posture.
To add power to your walk (and burn more calories) add in your arms. Bend your arms at the elbow at a 90-degree angle and swing them toward the center of your body.  They should not cross the midline and your hands should be partially curled but loosely as if holding a butterfly.

Remember you should do a warm up first which could be a 5 minute walk at an easy pace and when you have finished take the time to do some stretching.

Before starting any new exercise program please check with your doctor and clear any exercise changes with them.

I hope you have found this article informative. If you have any questions on this article, or any questions about exercise and the over-50s please post a comment. By subscribing to this blog you will be informed of any new articles. You will not receive any spam email.

For more information on Personal Training please go here Whole Life Fitness, Personal Training for the over 50s. This will open a new browser window.

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