Staying Well During the Holidays and Beyond
Your health does not take a break during the holidays, and health-full nutrition, daily physical activity and exercise are still required for your body to function at an optimum level and to make it through the holidays without significant weight gain, and for maintaining our health, function and fitness.
Choose real food, especially whole food plant based, and avoid manufactured foods loaded with sugar, sodium, saturated and hydrogenated fats and ingredients you cannot even pronounce. Pay attention to portion sizes and calories, and read the labels.
Dry weather, furnaces are back on and the air is dry in the home which increases the risk for dehydration. Signs of dehydration are headache, dizziness, low blood pressure, stiff muscles and joints, slowing down digestion, and increased risk for falling. In addition to all those sweet and alcohol drinks, make sure to keep up with your water intake.
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine determined that an adequate daily fluid intake is:
About 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids for men
About 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for women
The New Exercise Recommendations
Exercise is essential for good health and function, boost your mood, sharpens your focus, reduces your stress, and improves your sleep. Important for older adults is that physical activity can help you stay independent as you age, reduce symptoms of arthritis, anxiety, and depression, and help keep diabetes and high blood pressure under control.
Key Guidelines for Adults
Adults should move more and sit less throughout the day. Some physical activity is better than none. Adults who sit less and do any amount of moderate-to- vigorous physical activity gain some health benefits. For substantial health benefits, adults should do at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) to 300 minutes (5 hours) a week of moderate-intensity, or 75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes) to 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity, or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity. Preferably, aerobic activity should be spread throughout the week. Additional health benefits are gained by engaging in physical activity beyond the equivalent of 300 minutes (5 hours) of moderate-intensity physical activity a week. Adults should also do muscle-strengthening activities of moderate or greater intensity and that involve all major muscle groups on 2 or more days a week, as these activities provide additional health benefits.
Key Guidelines for Older Adults
The key guidelines for adults also apply to older adults. In addition, the following key guidelines are just for older adults: As part of their weekly physical activity, older adults should do multicomponent physical activity that includes balance training as well as aerobic and muscle- strengthening activities. Older adults should determine their level of effort for physical activity relative to their level of fitness. Older adults with chronic conditions should understand whether and how their conditions affect their ability to do regular physical activity safely. When older adults cannot do 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity a week because of chronic conditions, they should be as physically active as their abilities and conditions allow.