Staying active as you age

| 17 Feb 2015 | 01:02

Senior Living

How to make healthy living a priority

Getting older can be a challenge. Staying on top of your health and fitness goals often becomes more difficult as you try to find enough time in the day to balance the schedules of work and life, and taking care of others. Here are three simple tips to overcoming these challenges to continue living a healthy, active lifestyle.

Get proper nutrition

Erica Wasser, registered nutritionist and nutrition coach, notes that taking a multivitamin is great for overall nutrition. She also suggests limiting processed or packaged foods by making meals that will last.

"Instead of cooking one chicken breast, cook three," says Wasser. "Add one to a salad, eat one with a side of steamed vegetables and use the last in a sandwich or wrap."

Smart snacking is also important. Focus on items like Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, almonds, seeds, vegetables and hard boiled eggs and try to avoid granola bars and 100-calorie packs by prewashing and cutting vegetables and fruit and premixing bags of nuts and seeds.

Settling on a routine of eating healthy, nutritious and protein-based meals and snacks will keep your energy up and your diet balanced.

Notice what your body tells you

Are your joints sore? Does your back hurt from sitting in a chair most of the day? If so, choose exercises that will keep you fit while minimizing the impact on your joints or back and improving muscle strength and stamina.

Check out the local community pool, or stop by a fitness facility to see what type of aqua instruction they offer. Yoga and Pilates and reformer Pilates can stretch your body, reducing back pain and limiting stress on joints under certain practices.

If you're used to a more active lifestyle, keep it up. Make sure you're taking the proper supplements to help your body recover quickly keep adding intensity to your workouts so they don't become stale.

Conquer inactivity

Don't confine yourself to your home after a long day. Go to a local mall and window shop or people watch with friends. Join a local exercise class or start a walking and talking group in your neighborhood.

"Being active doesn't have to mean completing a total body workout," says Wasser. "Anything that gets you up and moving can significantly add to your health and fitness." She also suggests scheduling daily or weekly activities to ensure you're held accountable.