3 Healthy and Fun Halloween Treats

Growing up, people connect Halloween with spookiness and sweet, sugar-filled treats. While candy is delicious and fun, it can also be addictive and set a precedent for improper eating. Candy in moderation is OK, but pillowcases filled to the brim are a bit excessive. The great news is that at home, you can still make sweet and delicious Halloween-themed treats, but they are healthy.

1. Apple Monsters

Who doesn't love an apple? To get the kiddos and adults enthusiastic about the fruit, consider mixing the traditional green apples with nut butter and strawberry slices for a spooky-inspired snack. Let your creative juices flow as you create unique and fun little faces. 

Ingredients:

  • Two green apples, quartered 
  • 32 sunflower seeds (teeth) 
  • Two to three strawberries, sliced (tongues) 
  • Sunflower butter 
  • Homemade googly eyes

Googly Eye Ingredients:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar 
  • ¼ teaspoon almond or vanilla extract 
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch 
  • 2 teaspoons non-dairy milk 
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup 
  • Mini non-dairy chocolate chips 

Googly Eye Instructions:

  1. Whisk the cornstarch and powdered sugar together. Add in all remaining ingredients except the chocolate chips. You want to mix until you have a thick paste. 
  2. Using a Ziploc or piping bag, squeeze out a tiny dot of the mix onto a baking sheet. Do not forget to line the sheet with wax paper.  
  3. Top each dot with a chocolate chip. Let the googly eyes set for a minimum of 24 hours. 

Putting It All Together:

  1. Create a mouth in each quartered apple chunk by cutting the middle out. Fill the gap with sunflower butter. 
  2. Place four sunflower seeds along the top of the cut, creating teeth. Don't worry about even spacing or gaps — these are monsters, after all. 
  3. To create the tongue, take a slice of strawberry and place it along the lower edge.  
  4. Finally, put one or two eyes at the top of the snack. Glue them in place with a bit more sunflower butter.

2. Orange Jack-O-Lanterns 

Many families make a day of picking pumpkins and carving jack-o-lanterns for Halloween. As part of the festivities, why not bring a creative, healthy snack. Oranges make the perfect mini pumpkin stand-in. However, do not fill the "pumpkin" with its guts until two hours before the party. 

Ingredients: 

  • Enough navel oranges for everyone 
  • A mix of your favorite fruits (grapes, cherries, apples, pineapple, etc.)

Instructions: 

  1. Using a sharp knife, slice off the top section of the oranges. Use the blade to separate the innards from the sides. 
  2. Remove the orange segments and set them aside for later. Carve a cute face into each hollowed-out orange. 
  3. Soak up the remaining juices by place a paper towel inside. Remove the towel and fill the oranges with your choice of fruit, including the orange segments from earlier.

3. "Candy Corn" Parfaits

If you are looking for another quick and easy Halloween treat, look no further than the "Candy Corn" parfait. Made with pineapple, orange slices, and whipped cream, no snack is sweeter than this. 

Ingredients: 

  • Mandarin oranges 
  • Pineapple chunks 
  • Candy Corn 
  • Whipped cream 
  • Mason jars or plastic cups

Instructions: 

  1. In a plastic cup or mason jar, layer in the fruit and whipped cream. The pineapple goes on the bottom, followed by the oranges, and is topped with whipped cream. 
  2. If so desired, you can place a single Candy Corn on the top.  

While candy is excellent in moderation, not every Halloween treat needs to center around a sugar high. Do you know of any other tasty and healthy Halloween treats? Leave a comment.

7 Pieces of Exercise Equipment Ideal for a Senior’s Home Gym

Maintaining workout routines as you age requires understanding your capabilities and knowing the safety concerns that most affect you. You will want to choose low-impact, efficient, and relatively safe equipment for people at an increased risk of injury. Thankfully, manufacturers and fitness enthusiasts have been aware of senior concerns for decades, meaning there are plenty of equipment and program options available for all those individuals who want to maintain a current habit or start anew.

1. Elliptical

Cardio is an excellent way to burn calories and maintain mobility. While many people use treadmills in their daily workouts, seniors should try an elliptical — a stationary cardio machine that mimics the movements of walking or cross-country skiing. The elliptical is low-impact and integrates safety mechanisms into the exercise with arm levers, adjustable resistance, and heart rate monitoring.

2. Recumbent Bike (Stationary or Standard) 

Cycling is and has always been an excellent cardiovascular exercise. While a traditional bicycle or stationary bike is a perfect option for people of all ages, some seniors may struggle to get on and off it without risking injury.  

A recumbent bike eliminates the typical obstacles of a traditional setup with a chair-like design, lower configuration, and fewer obstacles when getting on or off. Recumbents come in both stationary and standard models. Fixed options are the best for people with balance or confidence concerns. However, the standard mobile option comes in two and three-wheeled designs.

3. Lat Pull-Down Machine

Rounded posture, aches, and unaligned backs often occur among seniors because of weakening muscles and decreasing back strength. A lat pull-down machine is an excellent tool for strengthening the upper back muscles.  

The exercise requires the user to be seated. You place both hands on the bar and pull it down, either in front or behind you. The weight can be adjusted to suit your current fitness level.

4. Stability Ball

As people age, balance can become a significant concern. Core muscles are responsible for not only balance but also posture. A stability ball provides a unique and productive experience for those looking to build core strength. Because the ball is low to the ground, there is minimal risk of injury. Additionally, seniors can use the exercise tool for more than balancing routines; stretching is also great to increase flexibility.

5. Rowing Machine

Another excellent tool for building core strength is the rowing machine. Through resistance, posture, and movement, the device helps strengthen the core; it is also a low-impact form of exercise and entirely customizable. You can choose the set amount, repetition, and appropriate pressure for your current capabilities, all while increasing your endurance, working your muscles, and improving your flexibility through repetitive stretching.

6. Yoga Mat

No one said your home gym had to be expensive. Yoga is a beneficial and life-affirming exercise program incorporating flexibility, mobility, balance, breathing, and mindfulness. The only piece of equipment required is a yoga mat, which is also beneficial for other floor exercises. Another excellent program for seniors is Pilates, which is like yoga.

7. Wrist or Ankle Weights

Are you looking for more of a challenge when jogging, walking, or using the elliptical? If so, consider wrist or ankle weights. They are very light — only one to three pounds — and can be worn or carried. The best thing is the weights add just enough resistance to a low-impact workout without adding so much to become cumbersome or add stress to the joints. 

Any of the above equipment would be excellent additions to a senior's home gym. However, only you know your current abilities, so be safe.

6 Home Remedies To Manage Arthritis Pain

Arthritis stems from one of two medical conditions: osteoarthritis — the degeneration of cartilage and bone — or rheumatoid arthritis — an autoimmune disease. While medical professionals can prescribe pain relievers and other medications to help combat symptoms, most suggest combining medicine and natural approaches for relief. There are several options for treating your arthritis at home without depending on prescriptions or over-the-counter products alone.

1. Exercise

Exercise can seem counterintuitive to those with arthritis because it involves impact and absorption at the joints. However, the appropriate form of exercise can promote flexibility while strengthening the fundamental muscles around affected bones and cartilage.   

When starting an exercise regimen, you should talk with your doctor about appropriate exercises, and you need to consider your current level of physical activity and health. People with arthritis will want to focus on low-impact workouts, which include:  

  • Cycling  
  • Walking  
  • Water activities  
  • Tai chi  
  • Yoga

2. Weight Management

Managing your weight can have a significant impact on your arthritis. The heavier you are, the more pressure you place on critical joints, including the knees, hips, and ankles. With degenerative conditions like osteoarthritis, obesity can increase the rate of deterioration. The American College of Rheumatology and the Arthritis Foundation suggests losing weight can have significant benefits on arthritic conditions, such as:  

  • Decreasing pain  
  • Improving mobility  
  • Preventing future damage  

Before delving into a weight loss journey, consult your primary physician to set goals. Your doctor can help determine a healthy target weight and design an effective program. 

3. Diet

As always, a healthy and balanced diet is the key to optimum health. A rich diet comprised primarily of fruits, vegetables, and whole foods can boost immune system strength and coordination. While there is evidence suggesting a strong correlation between rheumatoid arthritis and dietary choices, some studies also support the use of a diet to improve the lives of those with osteoarthritis.  

When assessing your current diet, there are several items to limit or stay away from, including processed foods, red meat, added sugars, saturated fats, and salt. As for the foods you want to include:  

  • Fatty fish (high in omega-3s)  
  • Turmeric dishes  
  • Tofu  
  • Edamame  
  • Dairy  
  • Broccoli  
  • Citrus fruits  
  • Nuts

4. Mindfulness

As a chronic pain condition, arthritis leads to stress, anxiety, and sometimes depression. The National Institutes of Health offer several studies and examples of how mindfulness can improve the mentality and physical condition of those with arthritis, especially rheumatoid arthritis.  

When you meditate, you help your body relax. When your body is relaxed, the brain has less need to produce fight-or-flight hormones, including cortisol — the stress hormone. Meditation, then, can inhibit the body's inflammatory responses by controlling unhelpful chemical reactions, potentially curbing arthritis pain.

5. Acupuncture

Practitioners of acupuncture — an ancient Chinese medical treatment — believe that inserting thin needles into precise locations on the body can help reroute energies and balance the body's meridians. With limited research-backed evidence, it is challenging to prescribe acupuncture as a definitive treatment for arthritis. Still, there is enough circumstantial evidence to suggest the practice can help some patients.

6. Herbal Supplements

While not backed by scientific research, some evidence suggests that herbs can help with arthritis symptoms. Some of the most popular herbs include:  

  • Ginko  
  • Bromelain  
  • Boswellia  
  • Thunder god vine  
  • Devil's claw  
  • Stinging nettle  

Arthritis is a chronic pain condition, but several home remedies and options can help relieve symptoms. If you are interested in trying one of the above methods to manage arthritis symptoms, talk to your doctor first. 

Do you have any suggestions for arthritis pain relief? Leave a comment. 

6 Natural Ways To Alleviate Symptoms of Menopause

For most women, menopause will begin in their late 40s or early 50s, lasting for a few years. While not all women will experience severe menopausal symptoms, nearly two-thirds will. The symptoms include:

  • Irritability 

  • Mood swings 

  • Night sweats 

  • Tiredness 

  • Hot flashes 

If that wasn’t enough, menopausal women have an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, and osteoporosis. Because of the increased risks and predictable symptoms, most women look for relief from their doctors. However, not all women want to turn to prescriptions or OTC medicines to help combat symptoms. Thankfully, there are several natural ways to reduce the severity of menopause.

1. Diet and Weight Management 

Menopause leads to several hormonal changes that can weaken bones, meaning calcium and vitamin D are crucial nutrients during menopausal years. While there are many sources of both essential nutrients, some of the most beneficial are: 

  • Natural sunlight  

  • Leafy greens (Kale, spinach, collard greens) 

  • Calcium-fortified foods 

  • Oily fish 

  • Eggs 

  • Cod liver oil 

While menopause commonly leads to weight gain because of hormonal changes, genetics, aging, and lifestyle choices, excess body fat around the waist increases the risk of heart disease and diabetes. Aside from reducing severe health risks, women who lose at least 10% of their body weight can eliminate uncomfortable menopausal symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats.

2. Exercise 

Exercise is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. While it might not have any effect on hot flashes, several studies suggest the positive impact of consistent workouts, including: 

  • Improved energy 

  • Better sleep 

  • Decreased stress 

  • Healthier joints 

  • Improved metabolism 

  • Reduced risks of diabetes, heart disease, cancer, stroke, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, anxiety

3. Hydration

A common side effect of menopause is dryness and dehydration; the assumed cause is decreasing estrogen levels. Menopausal women should consume at least eight to 12 glasses of water per day to reduce the likelihood of dehydration, dryness, and bloating.  

Drinking enough water can also help with weight management and loss. When you drink enough water, you are more likely to feel fuller longer. Additionally, water can increase your metabolism.

4. Trigger Foods

Some women might be surprised to learn that certain foods can trigger adverse menopausal side effects, such as mood swings, night sweats, and hot flashes. While there are several common triggers, including alcohol, caffeine, spicy and sugary foods, every woman is different. 

It would be best if you kept a symptom diary to track your trigger foods. Write down everything you eat and how you feel after the meal. You want to keep track for several weeks to determine likely food triggers.

5. Phytoestrogens

Phytoestrogens mimic the effect of estrogen in the body, meaning foods rich in these compounds can help balance hormones during menopause. Women in many Asian countries consume diets rich in phytoestrogens, and many experts credit that to why women in such countries rarely experience hot flashes. 

The phytoestrogen content can vary by food and processing method. Some of the foods with the highest phytoestrogen content include: 

  • Soybeans 

  • Soy products 

  • Tofu 

  • Flaxseeds 

  • Tempeh 

  • Linseeds 

  • Beans 

  • Sesame seeds 

6. Supplements

While the evidence is limited, many women stand by the use of natural supplements for treating menopausal symptoms. Some of the most popular supplements include: 

  • Black cohosh 

  • Phytoestrogens 

  • Probiotics 

  • Prebiotics 

  • DHEA-S 

  • Kava 

  • Dong Quai 

  • Evening primrose oil 

Menopause is a natural part of life, but its symptoms can be challenging. By making a few lifestyle and dietary changes, you can curb the severity of symptoms. However, you should always consult your doctor before making any drastic life choices. 

How do you cope with the symptoms of menopause? Leave a comment.

The Benefits of Pilates for Seniors

I feel like I maintain my health pretty well for a gal of my age, but lately, I’ve been discovering that the workouts I used to do are a little too … vigorous for me. All that jumping around I used to do is no longer possible (unless I want to risk breaking a hip or dislocating a knee).

At first, I was a little disappointed that I couldn’t do my favorite high-impact exercise routines anymore. I was under the impression that without jumping around like a maniac, I wouldn’t be able to achieve a high calorie burn. Boy was I ever wrong! I’ve discovered a new workout that gets my sweat dripping without my feet ever leaving the ground at the same time. It’s called Pilates.

I know, I know, Pilates is nothing new. But it’s one of those classic workouts that many of us have abandoned because we somehow thought it was old-fashioned or less effective than doing 50 burpees within a 10-minute time span. Thankfully, I have rediscovered why Pilates is so great and so effective for those of us with “advanced age.” Here are some of the top benefits of Pilates for seniors.

It Increases Flexibility and Strength

Try bending down and touching your toes. If this is hard for you to do, or if you only get as far as your knees, you could benefit from Pilates. With an emphasis on controlled movements and small ranges of motion, Pilates is very effective at increasing flexibility while also boosting your strength.

It Improves Mobility

Mobility is a little bit different from flexibility. Mobility primarily involves the major joints you use to get around and perform everyday actions. If you’re anything like me, you probably feel a little stiff in the hips, back, and knees.

Unfortunately, when you’re struggling with mobility, the tendency is to want to restrict your movements as much as possible because it hurts to move. But being sedentary will only make mobility issues worse. Pilates, on the other hand, gently guides your body through a variety of movements that can help improve mobility and get blood flow to key joints that might otherwise remain stiff.

It Is Gentle and Easy to Modify

Unlike high-impact workouts or HIIT routines, Pilates is gentle on the body and won’t tax your joints. It’s also easy to modify Pilates movements to fit your unique fitness and flexibility levels. One of the things I love most about Pilates is that it has virtually no impact. It’s also appropriate for individuals with high blood pressure, diabetes, osteoporosis and other conditions commonly experienced by seniors.

It Helps Prevents Falls

If you’re prone to falling, don’t underestimate the importance of a good Pilates routine. Pilates improves core strength, posture, and balance so you’re less likely to fall. It can also strengthen the core and legs so you’re steadier on your feet and have the muscular strength to hold yourself upright.

It Makes You Feel Good!

One of my favorite Pilates benefits is the way I feel after a workout. Once I learned that exercise doesn’t have to be painful, it became much easier for me to stay active and maintain my physical health into my senior years. Exercising releases feel-good hormones, including endorphins that give us energy and help us avoid depression and mood swings.

If you aren’t yet convinced that Pilates is right for you, give it a try! You have nothing to lose and a new favorite workout to gain. Try finding a Pilates class at a gym near you or simply turn on your TV and find a Pilates class on YouTube that you can complete in the comfort of your own home. Your body will thank you!

Your Heartburn Might Be Acid Reflux

Raise your hand if you’ve ever experienced heartburn. If you could see me right now, you’d notice my hand is raised very high! If I even look at certain foods (especially fatty foods and carbonated beverages), I can feel that familiar burning in my esophagus.

It turns out heartburn is a very common condition that impacts an estimated one out of every five people. It is described as a painful or burning sensation that begins in the upper part of the abdomen and moves upward. Many people experience this unpleasant sensation after eating certain foods. It can also be triggered by wearing clothing that’s too tight around the midsection or by lying down too soon after eating.

But what if you’re actually dealing with acid reflux rather than heartburn? If you’re wondering what the difference is between the two, here’s a brief overview of what acid reflux is and how it differs from heartburn.

What You Should Know About Acid Reflux

Acid reflux is a condition that happens when stomach acids and potentially other contents from your stomach make their way back up through your esophagus. As you can imagine, this can be very painful and irritating. But more than that, they can be damaging to your body and your overall health.

The reason stomach acid comes back up through the esophagus in people who have acid reflux is often because the sphincter in the lower esophagus doesn’t work properly. Whether it’s weakened or damaged, the sphincter fails to close all the way and allows the harmful contents of the stomach to come up where they don’t belong.

Another common cause of acid reflux is a hiatal hernia, which is an abnormality in the stomach that occurs when the upper portion of the stomach and the lower esophageal sphincter move upward into the diaphragm area. The diaphragm normally keeps the stomach separated from the chest, but in cases where a hiatal hernia is present, the diaphragm can’t prevent stomach acid from rising up into the esophagus.

Other potential causes of acid reflux disease include:

  • Smoking

  • Pregnancy

  • Carbonated beverages

  • Spicy foods

  • Being overweight or obese

  • Taking too much ibuprofen, aspirin, or some blood pressure medications

  • Lying down or bending over immediately after eating a heavy meal

  • Snacking or eating too close to bedtime

  • Drinking too much alcohol

Generally, eating a healthy diet low in processed foods and sweets can help minimize the symptoms of acid reflux.

Symptoms of Acid Reflux

But what if you’re not sure whether you have acid reflux or something else? Well, here are some common acid reflux symptoms to look for:

  • Sour taste in your mouth

  • Burning sensation rising from your stomach into your chest

  • Regurgitation of food (this often happens when burping)

  • Difficulty swallowing food

  • Dyspepsia (a burning sensation in the middle part of your stomach)

  • Frequent bloating

  • Chronic upset stomach

  • Excessive burping or vomiting

  • Feeling uncomfortably full

  • Dry cough

  • Chronic sore throat (especially in the mornings)

  • Asthma symptoms

These are all common symptoms of acid reflux. If you ever experience a tightening or squeezing sensation in the chest, or heartburn that seems different than usual, you may want to seek emergency treatment, as you might actually be experiencing a heart attack!

Acid Reflux Treatments

There are a few things you can do to minimize your acid reflux symptoms and improve your quality of life. They include:

  • Medication prescribed by a doctor

  • Surgery

  • Lifestyle changes (including losing weight and eating a healthy diet)

  • Quitting smoking

  • Avoiding late meals

  • Sleeping on an incline

  • Avoiding carbonated beverages

I have found great relief from my acid reflux symptoms, and I have confidence you can, too! You may want to begin by making lifestyle changes, then visiting your doctor if your symptoms don’t improve or if they’re already severe. You’ll be amazed at how much better you feel when you’re not dealing with acid reflux anymore!

Reduce These Six Foods To Fight Your Battle With the Bloat

Do you notice you feel gassy, bloated, or overly full, especially after a meal? That feeling stems from gas or air accumulation in the stomach and digestive system. While bloating can occur with the menstrual cycle or with certain medications, often the foods we eat create this uncomfortable sensation. Check out this list of foods to avoid when you need to keep the bloat at bay.

Beans

While beans are a staple of a healthy diet because of their rich fiber content, they can also cause unwanted abdominal gas. Sugars that naturally occur in beans ferment when they come in contact with digestive bacteria, resulting in that familiar gassy feeling.

Some people find that soaking dry beans rather than eating canned beans helps with this issue. You can also swap out your favorite beans for rice or quinoa as a side dish. If you can't live without beans, black and pinto varieties are the easiest to digest for most people.

Gum and Hard Candy

While not technically a food, chewing gum can cause bloating because we tend to swallow air. The same phenomenon occurs when sucking on hard candy. If you use mints or gum to keep your breath fresh, you might not realize this hygiene habit results in a gas increase that can cause flatulence, swelling and even pain.

Processed Foods

Most snacks and meals that come in packages are packed with sodium, one of the leading causes of belly bloat. Some of the saltiest options include canned soup, baked goods, deli meats, fast food, sauces and salad dressings.

Processed foods also tend to be high in fat, which causes bloating because it moves slowly through the digestive system. Pizza, fast food, meats, cheeses and baked goods are the biggest culprits in this category. Saturated fat should represent no more than about 10% of your daily caloric intake. In other words, if you eat about 2,200 calories a day, limit fatty foods to less than 220 calories. 

If you tend to grab convenience foods on the go, look for healthy options such as dried fruits, nuts and rice crackers. I like to package them in small sandwich bags and throw them in my purse so I can snack during the workday or on an outing. Not only will you notice less bloating, but your overall health also will likely improve if you cut out processed foods. 

Onions and Garlic

While these savory veggies add flavor to all types of dishes, they can also make you feel bloated. Garlic and onions contain fibers called fructans that contribute to the development of gas in the GI tract. For a similar taste without the risk of bloating, try trading your garlic and onions for chives, basil, fennel, leaks, collard greens or celery.

Carbonated Beverages

You already know that sugary sodas are bad for your health, but even diet versions of carbonated beverages can lead to bloating. Reduce your consumption of beverages with bubbles if you tend to experience gas. Better choices include fruit juice, tea, coffee and, of course, good old-fashioned water.

Whole Grains

If you boost your intake of whole grains because of their health benefits, you may notice increased bloating. While brown rice, barley, oats and other whole grains are full of fiber, as well as nutritious ingredients, the fiber content also causes gas during the digestive process. Dietary experts recommend slowly increasing the number of whole grains you eat rather than switching from white bread and rice overnight. 

If eliminating these items from your diet doesn't solve your bloating issue, see your health care provider. He or she can determine whether underlying health problems may be causing excessive gas. 

6 Reasons Why I Keep a Health Journal ( Every Senior Should)

A health journal is exactly what it sounds like: a diary for recording information about your health. Writing in it doesn’t take long, and the benefits are amazing. Aging doesn’t have to be some big mystery. Journaling about your health is like having a map to guide you to personal wellbeing.

1. Alleviates Inflammation and Pain

Some foods, movements or lifestyle habits make pain and inflammation worse. There are also good foods, such as turmeric, that have powerful anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects for many seniors. The key is to figure out what helps and hurts you personally. That’s where your health diary comes in.

2. Teaches You What Your Body Likes

I’m a big believer in listening to your body. By keeping a health journal, you can find out if certain things are triggering mood changes, anxiety, pain or sleep problems. You can also discover positive triggers that help you sleep better, feel happier and stay healthier. For example, if you notice that valerian tea helps you sleep like a baby, then you’ve discovered an important secret for your health!

3. Makes You Happier

Natural foods and positive activities have the power to improve your mood. Many people feel less stressed or depressed when they follow a Mediterranean diet of fresh fish, lean meats, olive oil, fruit, herbs and lots of leafy green veggies. Exercising — even if it’s just going for a walk in the morning — can be another key to feeling happy and energized. Your health journal keeps track of things that help you wake up with a smile.

4. Helps You Make Smart Decisions About Your Health

I love my health journal. It turns me into a detective. After a few weeks or months, I can see “clues” that warn me when something is going to make my body hurt, make me irritable, or mess with my immune system. That way, I can avoid many of the aches and pains that are supposedly “normal” in aging.

5. Keeps You in Control of Aging

I don’t like it when people make decisions for me without asking me first, and I really don’t like feeling helpless. That’s what’s amazing about journaling. It gives you a measure of control over your health. Your family history may not let you avoid gout completely, but you can definitely figure out ways to have fewer gout attacks and better mobility.

6. Makes It Easier for Your Doctor To Pinpoint Health Problems

Always take your health diary with you when you have a doctor’s appointment. The details in there can help your doctor discover the underlying cause for symptoms. For example, instead of instantly responding to a rise in blood pressure with medication, the doctor may see lifestyle clues that you can change instead.

An Easy Way to Journal About Your Health

Keeping a health journal doesn’t need to be complicated. Some people prefer good old-fashioned pen and paper. Others use modern smartphone apps to make things easier. What should you keep track of?

  • Foods you eat (including snacks)
  • Vitamins or supplements
  • Medications
  • Amount of water you drink
  • Sleep quantity and quality
  • Exercise
  • Illnesses or health problems
  • Pain or inflammation
  • Energy levels
  • Mood
  • Digestive health and/or bowel habits

Don't forget to include details about surgeries or new treatments. Whatever works for you, I highly recommend getting into the habit of journaling about your health. It can help you stay active and feel great as you get older!

Staying Mobile Into Old Age

Mobility is something you need to maintain as you age. Failing to focus on your mobility and to take action to sustain it means increasing discomfort and limiting independence. While regaining mobility after significant losses is challenging, you can do it, and focusing on healthy habits before losing mobility can mean you reduce the amount of decline you experience.

Staying Active To Maintain Mobility

While there is little to be done to negate natural decline, there is a lot you can do to minimize the effects. Human biology is not designed for prolonged athleticism. Your body takes on a use-it-or-lose-it approach to function as you age, meaning you need to use it to prolong mobility.

One thing many seniors overestimate is how much physical activity is necessary to repair mobility or maintain it. Experts suggest that seniors receive at least 30 minutes of moderate activity per day, including walking. Additionally, you do not have to perform that 30 minutes consecutively. You can do 15 minutes in the morning and another 15 in the afternoon or evening.

The best way to fight decline is to avoid a sedentary lifestyle. Get outside and walk. Go to the grocery store. If you can, take a yoga class. Stay active to stay healthy.

Visiting Your Doctor Shouldn’t Become Optional

Many people hate going to the doctor; the feeling can stem from a fear or anxiety issue. Visiting your doctor is one of those things that you should want to do. Granted, many people have bad memories about hospitals and doctors’ offices, but in the grand scheme, a physician is there to help improve your health and prevent future problems.

People who routinely visit with their doctors experience less preventable health disorders because these problems are typically caught early. Additionally, from a mobility standpoint, your doctor can address mobility issues early, potentially slowing or preventing significant decline.

Additionally, if you have been living a sedentary life for many years, you should speak to your physician before starting any program. Getting into a fitness regimen that your body is not ready for can do more damage than good. So, talk to a professional about where you should be starting.

Balancing and Bodyweight Exercises Might Be the Best Options

As people age, their balance tends to fade. Many seniors get into life-threatening situations because they become off-balance and fall. While medical alert devices can help and do provide life-saving services, it is best to avoid falling altogether.

Balancing and bodyweight exercises can help seniors maintain mobility, control, and confidence in their movements. Yoga, Pilates, and other activities are excellent forms of low-impact exercises that help older individuals maintain flexibility and mobility.

Finding Support and Motivation

Exercise is a challenge for anyone at any age. The primary difficulty is committing to the activity, so finding support through groups, family, or friends is often the best motivation. If you do not have family close by to support your newfound life goals, consider looking into senior centers in your area, many will offer exercise classes and groups.

Maintaining your mobility as you age should be a priority, and it essentially comes down to remaining active and healthy. Keep in touch with your doctor, find local groups, and focus on mental and physical wellness.

What are your best tips for maintaining mobility as you age? Leave a comment below.