Boomers: Big-impact health activities you can do in 15 minutes or less
Published 6:00 pm Thursday, March 1, 2012
(ARA) – The American baby boomer generation isn’t content sitting still – they live full lives working, traveling and pursuing their favorite hobbies. Age is only a number for this determined group whose population is pushing an estimated 78 million. If you are one of the many active baby boomers, you understand your health is a priority, but that doesn’t mean you want to spend long hours each day making sure you stay well. Luckily some of the best things you can do for yourself only take a matter of minutes each day.
Dr. Wendy Bazilian (wendybazilian.com), a doctor of public health, registered dietitian and author of “The SuperFoodsRx Diet: Lose Weight with the Power of SuperNutrients,” knows the importance of optimizing health for baby boomers. Simple healthy activities, when done on a daily basis, can have a huge cumulative effect on health and wellness. Here are four big-impact health activities from Dr. Bazilian that you can do in 15 minutes or less:
1. Be flexible with gentle stretches
Stretching might seem like a basic physical activity, but its positive effects can be substantial. Especially for boomers, stretching for five to 15 minutes each day can help keep muscles and joints flexible, and help increase overall body health. Plus as you age, stretching can help maintain your mobility levels and decrease the risks of falls. Try gentle stretches to get your blood flowing in the morning or before you take a walk. Want to try something different? Yoga blends stretching and strength for a wonderful workout for people of all ages.
Time requirement: 15 minutes or less
2. Get an oil change – in your kitchen
The right kind of oils can benefit your health and wellness, and the wrong ones can put you at risk for high cholesterol, heart disease and even cancer. Cooking healthy means stocking your pantry with the right kinds of oils so you can enjoy the foods you love the right way. Two to keep on hand are extra virgin olive oil and organic grapeseed oil. Olive oil contains monounsaturated fats which can help boost healthy HDL cholesterol while at the same time help to reduce unhealthy LDL cholesterol levels. Lower cooking temperatures or cool/room temperature usage is best. Organic grapeseed oil has a more neutral flavor and a high smoke point, allowing for higher temperature cooking while using a lighter hand in measures with this healthier cooking oil.
Time requirement: five minutes or less
3. Consider taking an omega-3 fish oil supplement
Recently, there’s been a lot of talk about omega-3 essential fatty acids and their ability to prevent common disease as well as benefit brain and overall health. Because you can only get these essential fats through what you eat, Americans often don’t get as much as they need. Include food sources like wild salmon and sardines, as well as plant sources like walnuts and flaxseeds. Luckily, you can fill a nutritional gap by incorporating a high-quality fish oil supplement into your daily routine. A high-quality supplement can mean more benefit to your health; Ultimate Omega-D3 from Nordic Naturals is a good example and great option.
Time requirement: two minutes or less
4. Eat more fresh fruits and veggies each day
Few foods can provide the high levels of nutrients your body needs than fresh produce, yet more than 80 percent of us are not getting enough. It’s important to aim to make half your plate fruits and vegetables at meals every day. And try to incorporate fresh fruits and veggies daily, and don’t forget about frozen and dried options without added sugars or preservatives. They’re super nutrient-rich, too. The tasty options are endless – from berries, apples, bananas, and cherries to broccoli, tomatoes, carrots, cabbage, and kale. Be adventurous and try a new recipe that features a veggie you’ve never had before. Or, taste local flavors by visiting your neighborhood farmers market. Whether for a snack or with a meal, fresh produce is great for any baby boomer’s diet.
Time requirement: five minutes or less