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Staying Active: Advice for Seniors Seeking a Healthy and Rewarding Lifestyle

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, nearly 20 percent of the total population will be in the 65-and-over age bracket by 2030. That means Americans are living longer, and they’re living healthier as they age. It’s certainly a heartening trend, but older adults must be well-positioned to take advantage of a longer, more robust lifespan than their parents enjoyed. That means taking control of your physical and mental health (and using some technology) so you can enjoy a healthy and enjoyable quality of life – the kind you’ve earned through years of hard work. 

Healthy environment


One of the most important steps toward a healthy and active senior lifestyle is a safe, well-ordered home environment, a living space that makes it possible for you to be you without feeling restrained by fear for your physical well-being. That means arranging each room so pathways are clear and unimpeded by tripping hazards. Furniture should be arranged so you have clear passage from room to room. Cords, shoes, rugs and general clutter should be disposed of or kept in a safe storage space. And establishing an uncluttered home will alleviate stress and anxiety, leaving you better able to focus on reading, doing crosswords or jigsaw puzzles, journaling, meditating and other activities that help maintain mental acuity. 

An organized home environment also makes it easier to engage in activities that’ll help you take control of the mental and physical aspects of your life. This includes exercising. You’ll have the space you need to enjoy cardio or strength-building exercises, or you can even incorporate an exercise like yoga and achieve the flexibility and enhanced range of motion it can confer. Yoga’s many poses improve spinal flexibility, giving you a strong core upon which to build. You can even use some yoga apps that are great for beginners like Daily Yoga and Down Dog.

Branch out

To continue on an improved wellness path, try branching out into other pursuits that you enjoy, like walking and gardening, and give interesting new forms of physical engagement a try, such as Tai chi, a relaxing and meditative form of exercise that improves cardiovascular health, supports the immune system, and helps seniors improve concentration. Exercise that can be done as part of a social group is one of the best ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle, so look into group yoga, swimming or water aerobics classes that are perfect for friends to enjoy together – it’s a lot more fun when people you love being around are involved!

Some seniors find that using a fitness tracker is a great way to monitor their progress and health as they engage in new activities. A fitness tracker can measure the basics like distance traveled and steps taken, but some of the newer devices can measure more advanced metrics like your heart rate and sleep quality. Smartwatches and fitness trackers can also help keep you safe while you work out. For example, the Apple Watch Series 4 has fall detection and will give you high and low heart rate notifications. If you prefer a lower-priced option, the Fitbit Blaze watch has GPS, a large display, and a battery that lasts up to five days

Healthcare coverage


As you age and enter the Medicare system, it’s important to understand your insurance options and how to get the coverage that best meets your needs. You may be aware that there are gaps in Medicare, though you can find ways to plug the gaps with Medicare Advantage, which provides dental and vision insurance, in addition to membership access to fitness facilities across the country. Do some research about plans available to learn more about various types of coverage and whether you could benefit.

Educate yourself

Few things engage your mind quite like learning about a subject you find really fascinating. Many seniors enjoy going back to school by enrolling in free online classes at local community colleges or online universities. Colleges in all 50 states offer such opportunities and many seniors are even able to earn degrees by taking advantage of free courses. Continuous learning keeps the brain active and healthy in many ways. In fact, your brain grows new cells and establishes new connections every time you learn something new. For older adults, learning strengthens memory and sharpens problem-solving abilities. In many cases, it even helps stave off the debilitating effects of Alzheimer’s and dementia. 

Social engagement

Studies have shown that older adults benefit significantly from regular social interaction. Spending time with friends is emotionally reinforcing and provides opportunities for physical activity (e.g., golf, walking) as do mentally stimulating games like bridge, bingo, Sudoku, chess and checkers. If you enjoy music, look into joining your church choir or a community-based musical group. 

There’s really no secret to leading a healthy mental and physical life as an older adult. Staying active is the key, and that can be difficult for many seniors. The important thing is to find ways to start small and build gradually, with the help and advice of a healthcare provider. You should have every expectation of enjoying a rich and fulfilling life as you age – after all, 65 is just a number.

Jason Lewis

is a personal trainer and the primary caretaker of his mom after her surgery. He created strongwell.org and enjoys curating fitness programs that cater to the needs of people over 65.

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8 Great Reasons To Hire A Personal Trainer

8 Great Reasons To Hire A Personal Trainer

If you’re considering hiring a personal trainer but you’re unsure whether or not it is the right decision for you then don’t worry, you’re definitely in the right place. Although it may feel as though it is a big step to take, it is definitely a step in the right direction. Whether you want to acheive a goal or you’re training for an event, personal trainers are a great way to up your game when it comes to fitness. To help you decide whether or not you want to hire a personal trainer, here are some great reasons to get started:

You’re New To Fitness And Need Guidance

If you are new to fitness and you think you need guidance in order to get off to the right start, hiring a personal trainer is a great idea. Not only will they be able to look at the level you’re currently at, but they will also be able to create a beginners plan that you can stick to it. Although it won’t be easy, you can trust that your personal trainer is not giving you more than they think you can handle. For more tips and guidance when it comes to getting started with fitness, you can visit this site here. 

You Want To Set Goals And Targets

For those that want to set goals and targets but have no idea how to get started, hiring a personal trainer is the best place to start. A personal trainer will be able to look at your current fitness level and analyse whether or not the targets you have set are achievable. If not, they will be able to help you set goals you know you can acheive with a little determination.  Using the information you have given them and your own personal strength, they will be able to put together a fitness plan that will help you reach the targets you set together. For tips and tricks when it comes to setting fitness goals, you can visit this site here. 

You’re Not Seeing The Results You Want

If you have been sticking to a fitness routine for a number of months and you’re not seeing the results you want, hiring a personal trainer is the best way to pinpoint where you’re going wrong. You need to be as honest as you possibly can when it comes to meeting with your trainer as they will be able to take a look at your life as it is, giving you pointers when it comes to improving your fitness. 

You Want To Quit Bad Habits

If you have bad habits that you want to stop, a personal trainer will help keep you motivated and focused. Although they can’t make you quit, they will do everything they can to ensure your habits are as healthy as they can possibly be. 

You’re Looking To Lose Weight And Start A Healthy Eating Plan

For those that are struggling when it comes to losing weight and eating healthy, personal trainers are a great way to help you keep your focus. Not only will they help you develop the perfect exercise plan, but they’ll help you when it comes to your diet pan too. 

You’re Considering A Career In Fitness 

If you are considering a career in fitness and you think you need a little extra push to help you get there, hiring a personal trainer could be a great career move. If you’re looking for something a little extra alongside your personal trainer sessions, you may also want to consider enrolling in one of the many online personal training courses that are available to you. Not only will this help give you an edge above the rest, but it will solidify what you’re learning in your personal training sessions. 

You’re Training For An Event

If you are training for a specific event, you need to be sure you’re doing as much as you possibly can and although it may only be for a short amount of time, a personal trainer could really help. 

You’re Recovering From An Injury

Finally, if you’re recovering from an injury and you’re looking for a little extra help to get you back into your old fitness routine, a personal trainer is your best possible option. They will be able to offer you advice and guidance, helping you get back to the level you were once at. 

Are you thinking of signing up to a personal trainer? What benefits could it bring to you? Let me know your thoughts and ideas in the comments section below.

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Top 10 Fitness Blogs for Beach Volleyball Players

Top 10 Fitness Blogs for Beach Volleyball Players

This has been a week of pleasant surprises and I just received another one: chape.fitness has been selected as one of the Top 10 Fitness Blogs for Beach Volleyball Players by beachvolleyballspace.com I am very honored to have been included in this list, among other great blogs, certainly greater than mine. If you follow this blog, you could say, Chape does not write about Beach Volley, what does he do on that list?

The truth is that no matter what sport you practice, you have to get fit. You will have to do specific training, but you can not forget the basics. I think the description offered in the list about this blog, perfectly summarizes what you can find here and certainly was the intention with which I started it.

Beach Volley Space is a great website where you´ll find anything related to Beach Volley: News about the best competitions in the world, the Olympics, events calendar, find beach volleyball groups near you, and interviews with the best world players like:

  • Tri Bourne (Berlin, 2014, Grand Slam, Gold; Toronto, 2016, World Tour Finals, Bronze; Qinzhou, 2018, FIVB 3-star, Gold).
  • Dain Blanton (Los Angeles, 1997, World Championships, Bronze; Sydney, 2000, Olympic Games, Gold).
  • Marketa Slukova (Ostrava, 2018, FIVB 4-star, Gold; Vienna, 2018, FIVB 5-star, Gold; Hamburg, 2018, World Tour Finals, Silver).
  • Brandie Wilkerson (Ostrava, 2018, FIVB 4-star, Silver; Warsaw, 2018, FIVB 4-star, Gold; Gstaad, 2018, FIVB 5-star, Bronze).
  • Megumi Murakami and Miki Ishii ( Asian Games, 2018, Silver; Gstaad, 2018, FIVB 5-star, 5th; Tokyo, 2018, FIVB 3-star, Bronze).

Just to name a few…

An amazing website that you should not miss if you like Beach Volleyball. I am very happy that these guys have considered my blog as worthy of being followed by the fans and players of this beautiful sport all over the world.

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9 Reasons Why You’re Not Losing Weight

9 Reasons Why You’re Not Losing Weight

It takes a lot of effort and determination to get on the path towards losing weight. Depending on how badly you want it, it can mark a line in the sand of your life, a decision that changes your direction. So it would understandably be pretty disappointing if, despite your efforts, you didn’t end up losing weight. This is a problem that many people face. They think that they’re on the right path, yet they have nothing to show for it. The good news is that this happens as a result of one or more errors, which can be changed. Below, we take a look at some of the common reasons why you may not be losing weight, all of which can be changed and/or managed.

9 Reasons Why You’re Not Losing Weight

Source: Pexels.com

You’re Phoning It In

Most people understand that some physical exercise is required if you’re going to lose weight. So they join the gym, or buy running shoes, and go about the strenuous business of getting into shape. Only there’s an issue: they’re not doing anywhere near as much as they should be doing. They may be physically at the gym, but they’re not pushing their bodies. You don’t begin to magically get into shape just by walking through the front doors of the gym; it’s what you do while you’re there that counts. If you’re spending an hour at the gym, but only twenty minutes on the machines, and forty minutes on your phone/walking around, then you’ve only done twenty minutes of worthwhile work. You’ve got to push yourself.

You’re Not Mixing It Up

Similarly, you should also look at what types of exercising you’re doing. It’s best to have a varied routine. It’s fine to have your favourite routines, but make sure you’re throwing some others in there, too. You’ll make more weight loss gains from swimming, weights, and running, than you would, say, just running marathons.

You’re Eating the Wrong Foods

You could have the most varied workout routine in the world, yet still struggle to meet your weight goals, all because you’re simply not eating well enough. If motivating yourself to visit the gym is one of the main obstacles that you need to overcome, then the other should be cooking healthy meals. It’s much easier to eat quick to make, unhealthy meals, but they’re not going to help you. You might need to change how you think about cooking if you’re going to make long-lasting changes. Cooking doesn’t have to be a chore. It can be fun. Get some music playing, open a glass of wine, and go into the flow.

And Too Much Of It

As well as what you’re eating, you also need to take a look at how much of it you’re eating. There’s little value in cooking a relatively healthy meal, if you’re then going to eat the equivalent of three portions. If you can’t keep yourself from eating larger portions or snacking even after you’ve finished your meal, then look at eating smaller portions and then supplementing with shakes. Weight loss shakes can be a great way to avoid snacking throughout the day, and are also a good source of the nutrients you need. Plus, they’re simple enough to make, so don’t take up any time in your busy day.

Poor Sleeping Habits

There’s an often overlooked of losing weight: you need to sleep well. It’s when you’re at your most restful that your metabolism does the bulk of its work, and also, maintaining sleeping habits is an integral part of keeping stress at bay (which also affects weight loss, but more on that later). If you’re finding that you’re not getting a full night of rest as often as you’d like/need, then look at making some changes. Things like avoiding screen time before you hit the hay, and having an all-around relaxing evening — including drinking tea and listening to music — can help.

Source: Pexels.com

Underlying Medical Issues

If you’re finding weight especially difficult to shift, then it’s recommended that you visit a doctor, to see if there are any underlying reasons why it might not be coming off. An underactive thyroid and diabetes, amongst others, can cause weight gain/make it difficult to lose. You may need to work towards actively managing these conditions before you’re able to lose weight.

You’re Stressed

Stress is something else that makes it difficult to lose weight. This works in various ways. First, when you’re stressed, you’re more likely to have unhealthy eating habits. You’ll be less likely to cook meals, and instead opt for fast food options. It can also wreak havoc on your body, which will mean that it won’t work as well as it could do. Fortunately, stress is a medical condition which is, more or less, in your control. There are things you can to keep stress at bay in the first place. If you’re in the middle of a particularly stressful period, then you can look at meditation and yoga, two activities that have been shown to lower our stress levels.

Sneaking Foods

By far and away, the most common reason why people don’t reach their weight loss goals is that they lack discipline. If you’re going to shift those extra pounds, then you need to recognize that you can’t have it all; those snacks and treats will have to go. People can convince themselves to eat just one sugary snack, but it’s the same as sneaking just one cigarette; it’s never just one. There might be a time in the future when you can eat more unhealthy foods, but in the early days, it’s best to have a “total ban” approach.

You’re Not Patient

Finally, remember to be patient! You might not have lost weight because you’re expecting results too quickly. You wouldn’t expect to have muscles the day after visiting the gym for the first time. It’s only when we commit to living our good habits that the results eventually begin to show. So stick with it — it’ll happen!

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Why You Need Rest and Sleep to Get the Most Out of Your Workout

Why You Need Rest and Sleep to Get the Most Out of Your Workout

You may be ready to push yourself to lift heavier weights or run faster times, but it takes more than determination to reach your goals. It may be counterintuitive, but what you may actually need is sleep. Building a stronger, healthier body is a continuing process in which the body needs time to heal, build, and rejuvenate. While your time in the gym is essential, you need sleep to hit your full potential.

Sleep for Muscle Recovery and Enhanced Performance

Heavy training or even a new workout can create micro-tears in the muscle tissue. We’re all well acquainted with rest days—the days you don’t push your body. Muscle recovery does take place on rest days, bit it during sleep that rebuilding goes into high gear.

The repair of micro-tears requires the presence of human growth hormone, which gets released in it’s heaviest doses during slow wave sleep. Your typical seven hours of sleep is consists of five or six 60 to 90-minute sleep cycles. Human growth hormone reaches its peak during the first cycle and, while released in all subsequent cycles, the amount released steadily goes down throughout the night.

If you cut your sleep cycle short or even if you go to bed late, the release of human growth hormone gets altered. Without enough sleep, your muscles don’t spend enough time in slow wave sleep to repair themselves as they should. And, as you age, your body gets less efficient at the release and use of growth hormone, which makes getting enough sleep that much more important.

Adequate sleep can also enhance your athletic performance. Stanford’s men’s basketball team improved their sprint times, free throw percentages, and three-point field goal percentages by extending their sleep time. Their moods stabilized and players reported more satisfaction in all aspects of their lives.

You may not be an elite athlete, but sleep will help you get more out of your workouts and improve your performance on the court, road, or field.

Why You Need Rest and Sleep to Get the Most Out of Your Workout

Sleep Better and Smarter

You need sleep, but how do you get more? And what about quality? Not all sleep is the same. Your body needs to enter all sleep stages to fully recover. It’s not always as easy as closing your eyes, but there are ways to train your mind and body to fall and stay asleep.

  • Create the Right Conditions: Check your mattress. If it looks more like a canoe than a bed, it’s time for something new. You want a model that’s comfortable, firm enough for your weight, and reduces motion transferal, especially if you share your bed with a partner.

  • Set a Bedtime: As simple as this sounds, a consistent bedtime is one of the easiest but most powerful ways to enhance your sleep. For the best results, go to bed at the same time on weekdays and weekends so you’re not behind on sleep come Monday morning.

  • Use a Routine: You’re not a kid anymore, but that doesn’t mean a bedtime routine can’t lull you to sleep. Routines act as a trigger that sets the brain in motion and starts the sleep cycle.

  • Eat Better and More Consistently: Meal timing plays a part in the onset of the sleep cycle. Eat your meals at regular times and evenly spaced throughout the day. Dinner should be eaten early, but keep it light to prevent uncomfortable indigestion or heartburn.

Conclusion

Muscle repair, energy levels, and appetite control all rely on sleep. It acts as a foundation on which you can build an active lifestyle. When you’re getting at least seven hours, your body can function as it was intended. Move sleep higher on your priority list and start building habits that will support your workout goals.

Amy Highland

Amy Highland

Amy Highland is a sleep expert at SleepHelp.org. Her preferred research topics are health and wellness, so Amy's a regular reader of Scientific American and Nature. She loves taking naps during thunderstorms and cuddling up with a blanket, book, and cats.