Healthy nutrition and physical activity are keys to a long and healthy life, staving off disease and staying independent in your own home. Eating nutrient-dense foods and balancing energy intake paired with the necessary physical activity to maintain a healthy and vibrant body and healthy body weight is essential at all stages of life.
Make the most of your food choices
Older adults need plenty of nutrients but fewer calories, so it’s important to make every bite count. Foods that are full of vitamins and minerals are the best way to get what you need. Avoid empty calories like white bread, cakes, cookies, and other items that are highly processed and filled with refined flours and added sugars because these may, contribute to food cravings and have limited nutritional value beyond extra calories.
I started asking some of my older adult clients and previous clients how they make sure to nourish their body and give it all the nutrients it needs to live a vibrant life.
I met Dan well over a decade ago, he was enrolled in an exercise class for older adults that I was teaching. I got to know Dan over the years when he came to class twice a week over the course of ten years or more. When he moved out of the Portland area I learned about him building planter boxes to start a vegetable garden next to his home, all fenced in to keep the deer from eating his harvest. A few years ago when he came into the city he brought me some beautiful kale out of his garden. I visited him in the past and was able to see his work in person.
Dan is an 86 year young active ager and takes an active interest in his health and wellbeing. He understands that his aging body needs plenty of nutrients but fewer calories, so it’s important to make every bite count. Foods that are full of vitamins and minerals are the best way to get what you need. Dan likes to share some pictures here.
Vegetables freshly picked from the garden hold the most nutrients.
Add a touch of spice
Limiting salt is important as you get older to reduce or avoid high blood pressure. Fresh and dried herbs and spices, such as basil, oregano, and parsley add flavor without the salt.
Dan continues to exercise, I bug him when he does not. He walks in his neighborhood and uses the treadmill. Now that he is fully vaccinated he is going back to the gym in his small town. His exercise regimen consists of resistance training five days a week. His weekly exercising plan includes lower and upper body resistance training, and core strength and stability training which takes him about 50 minutes. Daily physical activity includes maintaining his garden, his home and doing all the cooking and cleaning himself.