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Bruce Springsteen fans from Asbury Park and beyond blog about The Boss
Blog: Tips for healthy aging
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The writers of this blog are not music critics, and they don't consider a second (or third, fourth or fifth) mortgage to be a perfectly reasonable course of action to pay for front-row tickets, but despite being a whole lot more middle aged than ...
Bruce Springsteen
The writers of this blog are not music critics, and they don't consider a second (or third, fourth or fifth) mortgage to be a perfectly reasonable course of action to pay for front-row tickets, but despite being a whole lot more middle aged than they were when they first put Born in the U.S.A. or The River down on the turntable, still feels like Bruce has something -- OK, a lot of things -- to say about our country and the way we live our lives, things that not a lot of other artists are saying. And whether he's talking about the knife that can cut this pain from your heart, the house that's waiting for you to walk in or what that flag flying over the courthouse means, he's nailing down feelings that are so universal that they can raise your spirits and break your heart at the same time. Plus, lets face it, the man rocks.
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Autumn is an opportunity to acknowledge the positives of aging and for senior adults to improve their physical and mental health. As individuals age, it's essential that they take charge of their own health, stay active, and maintain their independence. TOPS Club, Inc. (Take Off Pounds Sensibly), the nonprofit weight-loss support organization, offers tips for adults to keep their bodies and minds healthy.
Physical Activity
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about one-third of adults over the age of 65 experience at least one fall each year. Muscle strength, reaction time, and stability can also decline dramatically after the age of 50. With these age-related factors, it's essential that senior adults remain active to maintain their mobility, prevent falls, and make everyday tasks easier. Senior adults should focus on these four areas of exercise:
• Endurance – The National Institute on Aging (NIA) suggests that senior adults participate in at least 30 minutes of physical activity that increases their heart rate, such as walking, jogging, biking, swimming, or raking, every day. If you don't have a 30-minute time frame to spare or if you're just starting to exercise, you can break your workout into 10-minute increments.
• Strength – It's also essential that older adults continue working their muscles, so they can easily get up from a chair, climb stairs, carry groceries, and perform other daily tasks. According to the NIA, senior adults should exercise their major muscle groups at least two days per week for 30 minutes. Weights, resistance bands, and other common objects, like soup cans, can be used to train muscles. If you're new to weightlifting, start light and gradually increase the amount of weight.
• Balance – Improving your balance can reduce the risk of falling. When you're starting out, you may need to use a chair or wall as support. Balance exercises, such as standing on one foot, walking heel-to-toe, and practicing standing up and sitting down without using your hands, can be done anytime and anywhere.
• Flexibility – Don't forget to stretch, so you can continue to move freely and maintain your range of motion. Having and maintaining flexibility makes tying shoes, reaching items on a shelf, and other actions easier. The NIA recommends that older adults stretch three to five times each workout session, slowly stretching to a position and holding it for 10 to 30 seconds.
Healthy Eating
It's essential to maintain proper nutrition as you age. MyPlate, a plan introduced by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), is a reminder to fill half of the plate with fruits and vegetables and the remainder with lean protein and grains. Here are some tips for balanced meals from ChooseMyPlate.gov:
• Vegetables – Vegetables should have a large presence on your plate because they provide vitamins and minerals. There are many options to make sure you consume enough servings each day – fresh or frozen vegetables, vegetable soup, and canned vegetables labeled "low sodium" or "no salt added."
• Fruits – Fruits offer essential nutrients, including potassium, fiber, vitamin C, and folic acid. To incorporate more fruits into your diet, keep a bowl of fruit on the counter, purchase dried or frozen fruits, top your cereal with bananas, peaches, or strawberries, or toss some with a salad.
• Whole grains – Choose whole grains such as barley, popcorn, quinoa, pilaf, brown rice, whole-wheat pasta, and bulgur. When purchasing products, select options that include whole grain first on the ingredient list.
• Fat-free or low-fat dairy – Pair your meals with skim or one percent milk. These options offer calcium, vitamin D, potassium, and more. Individuals can include more low-fat dairy in their diets by substituting ingredients – plain yogurt instead of sour cream, fat-free milk instead of cream, and ricotta cheese instead of cream cheese.
• Protein – Choose proteins, such as lean beef and pork, chicken, turkey, nuts, eggs, beans, peas, and soy products. Prepare a seafood meal twice a week.
• Water – It's essential for older adults to be conscious of how much water they're consuming. The NIA explains that as a person ages, they begin to experience a loss of the thirst sensation. Don't wait until you feel thirsty to have a drink. Incorporate water into your daily diet. Consume foods that increase water intake – soup, oranges, watermelon, tomatoes, and leafy, green vegetables. Take a bottle of water with you when you leave home. Drink before and during workouts.
Mind Matters
There are many activities that older adults can do to keep their minds sharp. Here are some ideas:
• Stay mentally active. Play games that challenge your mind – Sudoku, crossword puzzles, chess, cards, and memory games. Continue your education by taking classes, learning a new hobby, attending lectures, and more. Stray from the norm by reading a new section in the newspaper or taking an alternative route to a familiar location.
• Keep a journal. An effective way to boost your memory is to write down the things you want to remember.
• Get enough sleep. The NIA suggests that older adults get seven to nine hours of sleep each night to increase alertness and boost brain function.
• Be social. According to the Mayo Clinic, social interaction can help fend off depression and stress, which can contribute to memory loss. Look for opportunities to spend time with others – go for lunch, volunteer, join a social group, and participate in other shared activities.

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