Thanksgiving is a week away, then Christmas and New Year’s a month after that. For many people, this mean’s stopping whatever “healthy habits” they had developed in 2017. If it truly is a habit, then life continues as is regardless of the calendar. For those not so much a habit, then the insanity of the same cycle begins again. The gym is less crowded now, eating habits slack off since Halloween, and focus is now on Black Friday. The unfortunate part of all the “holiday cheer” is your body still requires the same attention now as it did in January, April, and June, when you tried to get in shape for the new year, spring break, and summer. For those in the over 60 community, another host of health risks continue to move forward when caring for the body slows or stops.
Dementia and memory problems don’t just happen overnight, they are progressive over months and possibly years. When you actually notice them and go to a doctor, it could be too late. Lack of exercise, poor diet, and inadequate sleep all are major contributors to when and how severe these diseases are when they strike. It starts with small lapses like forgetting why you walk into a room, or just a little off balance when stepping out of the car. You may think it’s a one-time occurrence, but much sooner than you realize it becomes a regular occurrence which you deem natural life changes. Yes, they are natural life changes, but you accelerated them due to health behavioral changes. Does all this mean gloom and doom with eminent death tomorrow?? The answer is, no.
We are all humans and prefer the path of least resistance. In saying that and as I write this in south Louisiana where we LOVE to eat, drink, and be merry year round; be mindful of what you do more as a 60+ population. Continue working on your fitness with balance, agility, and coordination exercises in the gym, at home, or with friends. Have a piece of cake or pie, just not everyday, same with a cocktail. Those who mix in moderation on a weekly basis do not overdose on food and booze during the holidays. Stroke and heart attack don’t wait for January 1 when you start the same resolutions that end on January 31.
You can’t undo years of abuse and neglect to yourself in one day, week, or month. You can begin to change the aging process each day and start TODAY!! Going cold turkey from daily dessert and 3 beers is hard. Start today by going down to 2 beers and skip dessert every-other-day. Soon you’ll see small changes and feel better which makes you want to do more. Practice standing on one leg for 10 seconds once a day, then add a second time a day next week. All of these small, easily accomplished adjustments reduce your risk of falls, injuries and disease. Before you know it, your doctor may smile more and possibly take you off one of the 10 pills you take each day.
To sum it up, health issues don’t wait for resolutions and a sunny day. They strike when you least expect it and the damage cannot be reversed. Literally make today the first day of the rest of your life by adjusting one small part of your health. 1, 5, 10 years from now, you’ll be happy you’re looking down at the ground and surrounded by friends wearing bright clothes, not them wearing black looking down at the ground where you’re buried.
For help with balance, agility, and coordination, try Movement Academy this year. We guarantee you’ll stay on your feet and make it a holiday season to remember!