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Maintaining Health & Fitness in Your 60s

By: Elizabeth Grace - Updated: 8 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
Health Maintaining Fitness Exercise

Maintaining good health and fitness throughout life is an admirable goal, and with the easy access that we now have to health information, making wise choices about healthy living is easier than ever. Fitness experts get plenty of media coverage and health news is only a click away. With all of this information at our fingertips, there is really no good reason not to implement some of the health and fitness strategies into our lives.

Physical Wellness in Your 60s

Robust physical health is not at all out of each for those in their sixties, provided they are willing to put forth a reasonable amount of effort on their own behalf. Choosing to eat well and get at least 30 minutes of exercise daily (a brisk walk will do) can do wonders for both short and long term health.

The most current health information supports the notion of "use it or lose it," so staying fit and healthy requires getting up and moving about as much as possible. For those who find the idea of a 30 minute walk to be intimidating, three 10 minute walks over the course of the day can offer the same health benefits.

Cardiovascular health tends to be the biggest physical concern for many in their sixties, and with good reason. Men who have been able to stay reasonably healthy despite having a few unhealthy lifestyle habits (fatty diets, sedentary lifestyle, excessive alcohol consumption, etc.) may find that it all catches up with them in their 60s. Women, too, are at risk for heart attacks in their sixties as they've lost the protective benefits of pre-menopause oestrogen.

Fortunately, experts agree that it is never too late to improve heart health, so switching to a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, while grains, and lean protein (salmon is an especially good choice), exercising consistently, and taking steps to reduce stress can all make a difference.

Those who need to lose weight should begin with a physical exam and then with the approval of their GP, embark on a fitness plan that combines aerobic exercise and weight training. Medical information confirms that cardio and strength training are required for optimal fitness benefits, and by formulating fitness plans that incorporates both, safe and effective weight loss is the happy byproduct.

Gym memberships may be worth the investment, especially now that many health insurance companies have begun to offer discounts on preventative medicine measures to encourage people to stay healthy.

Emotional Wellness in Your 60s

Most people look toward retirement with gleeful anticipation, but oftentimes, the first few years after retirement can be emotionally difficult. Career is one of the ways by which people define themselves, so after the working years have been completed, some people may experience a bit of an identity crisis.

Depression, anxiety, and boredom may all increase in the sixties, leaving people feeling disappointed that the time they had so longed for fails to meet their expectations. Regular exercise can help to alleviate mild to moderate depression and anxiety, and finding meaningful activities can help make the retirement years happy and rewarding.

Living with Purpose in Your 60s

By the time that they are in their sixties, most people have lived enough to have a pretty god idea about their unique gifts and talents. With the responsibilities of child rearing and career behind them they are free to pursue endeavours that may have previously been out of reach.

Volunteerism is especially beneficial during this stage of life, since those over 60 not only have much to offer to others, but studies show that those who volunteer their time improve their own health in the process. Maintaining good health is about more than simply eating right and getting plenty of exercise; it's also about reaping the rewards of helping others and living with a sense of purpose.

People are living longer than ever before, and some of the main reasons for this increase in longevity are the advancements that have been made in health care, increased knowledge about what constitutes a healthy diet, and a dedication to living healthy lifestyles. A few generations ago, people were considered fortunate if they lived to dance at their grandchildren's weddings. Today, many have every intention of kicking up their heels as their great-grandkids say, "I do."

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