5 Important Ways to Look After Your Mental Health and Feel Great Every Day

Look After Your Mental Health and Feel Great Every Day

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Did you know that you are more likely to experience a mental illness than diabetes, heart disease or cancer? Fortunately, there are many ways that you can care for your mental health and help prevent the onset of common mental disorders including depression and anxiety. By adding a few simple self-care practices to your schedule, you can become more resilient in the face of daily stress and keep your mind in top operating condition.

1. Amp Up Your Sleep Quality

Many people are not aware of this, but sleep is one of the most important determinants of a healthy mind. According to The Harvard Medical School, sleep disruption impairs thinking and emotion regulation. If you get up in the morning feeling unrested or tend to wake often during the night, you may benefit from improving your sleep hygiene. Try to avoid alcohol, nicotine and caffeine for several hours before bedtime since these substances can cause sleep disruptions. Keeping your bedroom dark, cool and free from distractions is also recommended to improve sleep quality.

2. Reduce Stress at Work

Work stress is the number one cause of chronic stress for people, wreaking havoc on our mental health. This is why it’s important to reduce the amount of stress you experience on the job. Eliminate as many interruptions as possible so that you can get your work done more easily. For example, only answer emails during certain hours or close the door to your office when you need to focus. Say “no” to tasks that aren’t in your job description or any optional requests that you just don’t have the time for.

When you’re faced with a tense meeting or have a lot of overwhelming tasks on your plate, try stopping for a few minutes of deep breathing. Don’t forget to take regular breaks to step away from your work. Better yet, take a quick walk outside through a nearby park to benefit from the rejuvenating effects of nature.

3. Learn How to Relax

Lounging on the couch and watching television can be an enjoyable way to wind down at the end of a stressful day. However, this can cause negative feelings of guilt for people who think they should be doing better things with their time. Instead, try meditation or yoga the next time you need to relax your mind. Due to the focus on deep breathing and mental awareness, these activities can actually change your brainwaves from excitatory to relaxation. Yoga has even been shown to increase levels of certain chemicals in the brain, which help us relax and fight stress.

4. Build a Support Network

As mentioned by Very Well Mind, social support plays a very important role in our mental health because it helps us deal with times of stress. In fact, poor social support has been linked to higher rates of depression and substance abuse. Social relationships can even improve your motivation to stick to new goals. So, part of your self-care lifestyle should involve building a social network by developing various social relationships. Try joining new groups in your community or talking to your neighbors when you’re out for a walk.

5. Care for Your Mental Health Through Addiction Recovery

Taking care of your mental health is even more important if you’re a recovering addict. Building a strong and healthy mind following addiction will help prevent relapse and make it much easier to adjust to your new, sober life. Picking up a hobby is a great way to do this. Hobbies provide an outlet for stress and act as an enjoyable distraction from negative thoughts. You could try painting, volunteering in your community, or joining a new sport. As mentioned before, meditation and yoga are also valuable tools for relaxing the mind and avoiding anxiety.

Although you may feel obligations to care for others in your life, don’t forget about the small steps you can take every day to care for your own health as well. If you need time to re-energize or relax, don’t be afraid to call off a meeting with friends so you can retreat into your meditation space. In the end, self-care is all about you.

5 Ways to Improve Memory After 50

Improve Memory After 50

How to Improve Memory After 50

George Burns once said, “By the time you’re eighty years old, you’ve learned everything. You only have to remember it.” How much can you remember now in midlife?

According to an article on The Guardian, memory loss can start as early as age 45. As the years go by, the effects can worsen.

By the time we’re eighty, we’ll likely struggle with absentminded queries (like where we put the phone) as well as major milestones (like when we got married.) This can be devastating for many people who want to keep their memories alive, not knowing if they’ll suddenly disappear into thin air.

However, this is not the time to give up and accept the fact that you’ll lose every single memory to age. At this stage in life, you have the opportunity to preserve your memory after 50 and even enhance it so those moments you hold dear aren’t lost to time.

Proactive choices made on a regular basis can help strengthen your memory skills, even during midlife.

Foods

Now, one of the easiest ways to improve your memory after 50 is to change your diet. We don’t mean overhauling your entire menu, but substituting a meal or two for something more mentally beneficial. Here are a few recommendations:

Eggs

For memory, eggs can be an asset. Why? They contain large amounts of choline, which helps form stronger mental cognition.

In fact, a study referenced by CNN even potentially found a link between higher levels of choline in midlife and a reduced risk of dementia.

For better brain function, they’re “eggs”actly what you need!

Salmon

Getting your omega-3s in can be a major deposit to your brain’s memory bank. Not all fish contain high-levels of omega-3s, but salmon is an exception.

According to Reader’s Digest 3.5 ounces contains 1.5 grams of omega-3s. For comparison, catfish only possesses 0.3 grams.

Guess the catfish is out of the bag now (or rather, the grocery bag!)

Walnuts

Walnuts are another great source of omega-3s. Actually, the levels of DHA (a type of omega-3) in walnuts have been known to aid cognitive function in adults and prevent decline later in life.

Not only that, they also play a role in maintaining a healthy heart by lowering the risk of high blood pressure.

These little guys are “nut”hing short of fantastic!

Mental Strategies

In order to build strong muscles, your body needs a proper workout. So does your brain. Here are some memory-boosting strategies that will help lift your brain power to new heights:

Mnemonic Devices

Need to remember a grocery list? What about a group of tasks you need to accomplish? Use a mnemonic device, which is simply just a condensed method for remembering lengthy information. T

he most common devices include acronyms, rhymes, and the Method of Loci.

In this method, you imagine each of the rooms in your house and associate everything you need to remember in one of the rooms.

So, do you need to buy copier paper? Place it in your mental computer room. What about toilet paper? Imagine your bathroom and place on a roll on the counter.

The Method of Loci may seem loco, but it really works!

Repetition/Assimilation

It may be difficult to recall the name of that caterer you hired last year or that co-worker you rarely talk to, but what about the person you just met?  You can choose to remember, just as you can choose to order a plate of salmon (which you might want to start doing more often!)

Memory isn’t typically thought of as a conscious choice, but when it’s something we label as important, we do choose to keep that information in our minds longer, since we’re more concerned with its retention.

And when we encounter issues with this retention, that’s when repetition becomes key.

Repeating a name back over and over can help the information sink in. By hearing it or writing it down, we familiarize ourselves with it so thoroughly, we don’t have to think about it anymore. This is crucial if we want a strong, durable memory, but it can only happen in conjunction with assimilation.

Assimilation is the process of associating current information with something previously learned in order to form a lasting connection.

In other words, repetition is the glue, but assimilation is the adhesive — nothing would stick without it. Finding as many similarities as possible is what helps our brain process the information more efficiently and make them easier to recall.

So make as many mental connections as possible. By doing so, you’ll create a delicate framework by which all your memories can be stored for future use.

Savor those Precious Memories

Our memory is sacred, and it should be treated as such. Filling our bodies with good food and increasing our mental capabilities with simple tricks are just some of the ways we can prolong our ability to recall our treasured memories. And by remembering the past clearly, we can continue to be our best selves well into our senior years.

For additional tips on memory and other health-related subjects, visit Beachbody.

Don’t worry — we’re easy to remember!

 

How to Achieve a Healthy Sex Life During Midlife

Sex Life During Midlife

When you’re thinking about your health, sex may not seem like a major focus during middle age.

Performance issues can often plague the experience and workday stressors take a lot more energy out of you than they did during your 20s.

That doesn’t mean you need to give up your favorite bedtime activity, however.

Despite what many people believe, sex can actually improve with age, especially for women.  A study referenced on Health found that women are more likely to enjoy sex in middle age because they’re more confident with their bodies and feel freer to experiment.

Men may have to worry about ED ruining the moment, but even they have been shown to be satisfied with their sex lives, up until their 90s according to The Telegraph.

Clearly, sex is not just for the young.

So what can be done to make your sex life during midlife more fulfilling?

Exercises

At any age, exercise is crucial for strengthening muscles and keeping our bodies in peak form. It can also be helpful in maintaining peak bedroom performance.

Weight-lifting

Need help between the thighs? Try working on the arms. Best Life recommends lifting weights, even small ones, two times a week.

Doing so will increase testosterone levels, which can likewise, increase sex drive.

But even if you don’t lift weights twice a week, do not give it up completely.

Best Life counts weightlifting as one of worst habits to neglect for people over 40 due to the loss of muscle mass known as sarcopenia. That’s why weight-lifting is key to keeping yourself healthy and sexually active as long as possible.

Kegel Exercises

Better sex requires help from all your muscles, not just the ones in your arms. In fact, squeezing your PC muscle, which runs from your pubic bone to your tailbone, can be a strong assistant in controlling your orgasm.

If you’re not in the mood for an entire workout, MindBodyGreen recommends doing a form of bathroom kegel exercise in which you stop the flow of urine before you have an empty bladder.

Your body will lift from the tight clench, benefiting your pelvic floor muscles.

Communication

Open communication is necessary for any relationship, whether that be romantic or non-romantic. Your partner and your doctor are two people that require direct, honest feedback from you about your sexual needs and dysfunctional issues.

Your Partner

You and your partner need to be on the same page when it comes to what you both enjoy in the bedroom. You’ve grown together and learned about each other’s personal preferences so it’s time to put that knowledge to good use.

This is one of the reasons sex gets better with age. Knowing and being able to give your partner exactly what they want can only come with time.

Not only that, having a comfort level with your partner encourages you to think outside of the box.

Try a little experimentation. Set up a dinner date or a lingerie night, or practice a new position. You and your partner have the potential to explore different avenues that can lead to higher satisfaction rates.

Yet, it’s important to speak honestly and listen attentively. You never know what you may come up with!

Your Doctor

We all know how embarrassing it is to talk to your doctor about your sex life. It can be emasculating and downright uncomfortable.

That doesn’t mean you should shy away from asking the serious questions regarding your sex life.

By having a consultation with your doctor, you can address any issues with pain or complications with medications. Be specific. Finding the source of the problem is only achievable through remaining observant and admitting the truth about what you’re experiencing.

Relinquish any fears you may have going in and, in the long run, it can benefit both you and your partner.

Benefits

By adjusting your workout routine and having a conversation with your partner and doctor regarding your individual needs, you’ll reap many rewards, in and out of the bedroom.

In fact, here are 10 advantages to having a meaningful sex life after 50:

1.) Improved Self Esteem

2.) Better Sleep

3.) Greater Life Satisfaction

4.) Higher Marital Satisfaction

5.) Fewer Symptoms of Depression

6.) Lowered Risk of Prostate Cancer

7.) Less Stress

8.) More Youthful Appearance

9.) Stronger Immune System

10.) Longer Life

If and when you decide to have sex during midlife, you are not setting yourself up for failure. You’re choosing a path that will ultimately improve your relationship with your partner,  strengthen your body, and ease your mind.

So don’t give up on love; just keeping making it!

For even more tips on maintaining a healthy body and outlook on life in your 40s and 50s, check out Beachbody. We’re here to help!

 

How to Start Setting Goals in Midlife to Live Your Best Days

setting goals in midlife

How happy are we by the time we reach middle age?

Apparently, not much.

According to a survey conducted by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), people are the most unhappy in life between ages 50 and 54.

During our so-called “midlife crisis,” these facts may be rather sobering.

You see, in this phase of life, we start to reassess the goals we’ve set for ourselves during our youth. Getting the dream job, marrying our high school crush, and having three kids may have all have been miraculously achieved–or not–in the span of  4-5 decades.

Regardless, this is a point where we have to ask ourselves if we’re on the right track in life or if we need to alter course.

It’s Never Too Late to Begin Setting Goals in Midlife

One way to do that is by setting new goals for ourselves. It may seem counter-intuitive to make goals so late in life, but we’re living a lot longer in the modern age.

Goals give us the incentive to keep going throughout our entire lifetime. Middle age is as great a time as any to create new purpose in our lives.

But why should we set goals in the first place? 

The journal Psychological Science lists a study that found that gaining a life purpose “lowers risk of mortality.” These findings were apparently consistent across one’s lifetime, including middle age.

And that’s a good thing because happiness actually improves after middle age. In fact, after our 20s, our happiness levels peak again at age 69.

Even more encouraging is that people are often happiest in life during their 80s and even into their 90s.

In addition to living longer, we also gain psychological benefits from setting (and achieving) goals. We become more motivated, responsible, and accomplished which can lead us to reach out to others in new ways.

We also become better acquainted with ourselves because as we pursue what we want, we discover who we are. We’re driven to act by desire and necessity, and this overall forms our identity in life.

Maintaining a purposeful, clear direction for our future is one of the many factors that contribute to one’s overall happiness and health. It begs the question — what kind of goals should we be setting in middle-age?

Retirement

As we near retirement age, our focus tends to be on how much we’ve accrued in savings so we can live comfortably long after we’ve stopped working.

Craft specific goals that dictate how much you want to earn prior to retirement so that you can enjoy the life you’ve always dreamed of.

It may seem challenging to gauge how much the latter part of your life will cost, but calculating an estimation can give you at the very least a better understanding of how much you need and how you should shape your goals to achieve those ends.

Hobbies

Trying a new hobby, like painting or writing, can be a big boost to one’s sense of purpose.

If you find that work gets in the way, then start making goals that make your hobbies a priority. Even if it’s just choosing to garden, you can organize a few hours a week for planting, feeding, and growing your passion.

Fit your favorite hobby into your busy schedule and you may find yourself feeling happier, and more fulfilled, as a result.

Health

When we’re younger, we’re always setting goals for our physical health. An hour a day at the gym, 30 minutes of weights, 45 minutes of cardio.

As the years progress, however, our dedication to our physical health and strict fitness routine can decline.

Don’t worry about getting right back on the horse though — take it one step at a time. Discover a weekly routine that works for your body and your schedule. Even a 20 minute walk a day can reduce your risk of heart disease.

What Are You Waiting for? Starting Setting Goals Today!

Choosing to make goals in middle age is a smart move, for our brains and bodies. It can extend our lifespan and increase our happiness. Plus, it gives us purpose in a time when many of us are looking for just that.

So start today…and benefit your tomorrow.

Did you know that a healthier lifestyle makes everything better? Read on to discover how embracing healthy habits will improve your sleep, energy, and weight goals!

The Benefits of Exercise for Middle-Aged Men {Stats and Facts}

Benefits of Exercise for Middle-Aged Men

People think that your 40s and 50s are a time after your peak when your body starts to show signs of wear and tear. You see, by the time we’ve reached that milestone in our lives, we may not feel we have the energy or stamina to keep up with the younger crowd.

By all accounts, however, somebody who keeps up their fitness routine, eats well, and doesn’t smoke can maintain a healthy body and mind throughout their lives.

In fact, researchers are starting to realize that it’s not the number that tells us how old we are, but something else entirely. According to Time, “the concept of biological age, as opposed to chronological age, is gaining traction.”

In other words, it’s the way our bodies function, not the age itself, that determines how healthy we are. And the choices we make often affect how our body responds to this aging.

One of the best, and most beneficial, choices we can make is sticking to a daily workout schedule.

That doesn’t mean going to the gym for an hour as that becomes increasingly harder to do over the years. It means adjusting to a schedule that fits your needs and accommodates your changing lifestyle.

So here are just a few of the benefits that exercise provides during your 40s and 50s.

The 3 Benefits of Exercise for Middle-Aged Men

1. Better Living Later

A remarkable study began in 1970 by the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and the Cooper Institute in Dallas, comparing the health of subjects in midlife to their health records from 1999-2009.

What they discovered was that subjects who were considered the least fit in middle age suffered from serious or chronic diseases earlier in life than those deemed the fittest.

While this may seem daunting to those that are already healthy, the fact is that if you continue your routine throughout your life, you have a greater chance of living longer without the pain and stress of chronic illnesses.

Keeping up the exercise now serves as a preventive measure, helping you maintain your lifestyle for a very long time. It means doing the things you want to do longer; and who doesn’t want that?

2. Decreased Mortality Rate

If you’ve never been one for exercise, that doesn’t mean you can’t start later in life and still reap the benefits.

Harvard Health Publishing references a study that asked American men and women between the ages of 45 and 64 if they possessed these four important health traits and habits: consumed five or more daily servings of fruits and vegetables, didn’t smoke, weren’t obese, and maintained regular exercise.

Out of the 15,708 people studied, only 1,344 possessed all four.

Fortunately, the study followed the subjects six years later and found that another 970 now possessed all four traits, increasing the amount to over 2000.

So what did this mean for their health? A 40% lowered death rate than the subjects who did not change their lifestyle.

So, not only can you live longer without disease, you can live longer, period.

It’s studies like this that continue to support the age-old adage — the sooner, the better.

3. Stronger Heart

Our heart is the vessel that pumps blood through our body, but we see our heart as so much more than that.

It’s a life-giving, love-bringing, warm-feeling organ that we associate with all the best aspects of ourselves and others. When we care about someone, we heart them.

You see, caring for yourself is caring about your heart.

study done by Dietrich Rothenbacher of the University of Heidelberg compared the differences of a group of 312 patients, ages 40-68, who suffered from coronary heart disease against 479 volunteers identical in age and sex.

The subjects who described themselves as being active throughout life saw a 60% decreased chance of getting heart disease while participants who said they started becoming active after age 40 saw a 55% decrease.

And if you think you have to start running to get results like this, just getting up and walking can have amazing benefits for your heart.

So treat your heart to a little bit of exercise. It’ll thank you for it.

It’s Never Too Late

By altering our exercise routine, even just slightly, it can have powerful repercussions down the line for our quality of life, longevity, and even just our heart.

And for additional help, Beachbody offers tips, reviews, and recipes that will have you feeling better than ever. It doesn’t take much to make a difference for your health.

So get up, get moving, and get living!

A Healthy Lifestyle Makes Everything Better

healthy lifestyle

When many people talk about the benefits of diet and exercise, they’ll talk about how they look better.

Other people will talk about how they’re better at sports and other activities.

However, you might be fine with your appearance already. You also might not be interested in becoming more athletic.

That doesn’t mean that diet and exercise won’t help you. It just means that you’ll focus more on all of the other benefits that you’ll get from diet and exercise.

Improved Sleep Cycle

Many people experience sleeping problems, especially as they get older.

However, there’s no reason to believe that these issues are inevitable. People of all ages will often note that when they exercise regularly, they’re able to fall asleep when they want and wake up after a full night’s sleep.

Also, regular exercise might help people sleep more effectively just because it burns off some of the surplus energy that they might have, making it easier for them to rest.

Finally, this effect might also be connected to the fact that exercise can help you stabilize your blood sugar levels.

One way or another, people who exercise will tend to have a healthier sleep cycle.

Cognitive Abilities

If you’ve reached your 40s and 50s, you’re probably worried about the effects of cognitive decline.

However, you’ll have more control over those symptoms than you might think. According to a huge portion of the research on the subject, if you exercise, you’ll be able to hold onto your cognitive abilities or even improve them all together.

There’s something very exciting about the fact that if you start moderately exercising for even two hours a week, you might have a better memory at age 45 than you did at age 25.

In fact, if you start exercising, it’s already possible to have a healthier body in your forties and fifties than you did in your twenties and thirties.! There’s also the possibility of having a healthier mind at the same point in your life.

Higher Energy Levels

Lots of people are afraid of having no energy when they get older.

Yet, those in their forties and fifties who exercise will often have higher energy levels than their sedentary younger friends.

You see, many people fantasize about having youthful energy levels again. If you’re a person who isn’t very physically active, you might be able to regain what you used to have just by incorporating more activity into your life.

Improved State of Mind

When people start a new diet and exercise program, they will almost always mention that they feel better.

Others will usually notice that the people in question always seem to be in a good mood.

Obviously, you’ll need to find the right exercise program for you in order to get those benefits.

Even though some struggle with staying in a good mood, there’s something tremendously helpful about being able to get to that place as a result of something as simple as diet and exercise.

The Power of Exercise

There have been many new promising treatments over the years that turned out to be somewhat disappointing. But there’s no denying that experts are still enthusiastic about the health benefits of exercise.

It’s been said that if there was a medication that offered as many health benefits as exercise, it would be one of the greatest medical advances in history! It’s important for people to use the tools that they already have.

Beachbody and similar systems might be able to help you stay motivated. You don’t need to start running marathons in order to get all of these health benefits and more. You just need consistency and support.

Middle-Aged Men’s Health: How to Get in Shape and Boost Energy

middle-aged men's health

As many men reach their middle-aged years during their 40s and 50s, they also realize that their “middles” begin to swell up a bit.

Whether it’s from a few too many beers, a lack of exercise, or just simply a slowing metabolism, these pounds and inches can creep in faster than many of us would like to admit.

And, there is no pleasant way to find out that you have begun to top the scales: Your pants don’t fit, the belt doesn’t buckle like it used to, or you go in for your annual physical and discover the numbers on the scale have crept up yet a few more pounds.

The good news, however, is there are ways to prevent the pounds from increasing and get yourself in the best shape of your life! This is all while boosting your energy and stamina.

In fact, the following are five great tips that will get you started on your road to the health and fitness you desire.

5 Tips to Improve Middle-Aged Men’s Health

Get A Physical

The first and most important part of any new physical regime is to get cleared by your doctor to ensure there are no underlying health issues that could put you at risk.

After your check up, you’ll have the confidence to move forward and start putting in the work!

Determine The Plan – Including Both Nutrition & Workouts 

As they say, weight loss is 80% in the kitchen and 20% in the gym.

That’s absolutely true.

While cutting calories is a solution, going to the gym and eating a diet you can reasonably stick with long-term is an even better one. Actually, there are many great programs that can offer guidance and support. Beachbody is recently rising to the top as one of the best.

Why?

Because it’s a reasonable plan that the average person can live with while also including support for both nutrition and workouts. The makers of this program realize that those elements go hand-in-hand to losing weight and being healthy.

Choose A Program That Fits Your Goals 

Select a program that aligns with your lifestyle and goals. Are you looking to lose 10 pounds or 100-200 pounds? Tone up? Lose fat?

It’s important to identify a workout program and, subsequently, a diet style that meets your specific needs and will help you reach your desired goals.

Beachbody has approved over 20+ workout programs at all different fitness levels. This assures that you’ll find something that works for you regardless of your current fitness level.

As your body gets stronger and in shape, you can simply advance to a more challenging level to continue pushing yourself to greater heights!

Make Your Expectations Reasonable

Aim to keep your expectations reasonable to stay the course.

For example, saying that you will go to the gym for 2 hours a day is unrealistic, especially if it’s been a while. You have work, family, and other life commitments to balance.

So, setting yourself up with something so unreasonable will set you up for failure, frustration, and discouragement.

Instead, select a Beachbody approved program, all of which have workouts lasting from 20 – 60 minutes and are usually done 3-6 times per week. This includes days for rest and recovery.

Many of these programs are doable in terms of effort and time. Have at it!

Learn to Control Your Portions

Many programs emphasize great, fancy workouts or extreme eating plans. Although this may work short-term, it’s not a sustainable way to live.

In other words, it’s not a good lifestyle change.

Counting calories is often a grey area for many dieters as every source says that people need a different amount of calories. Some say 1,800 for the average male, some say, 2,000 – 2,500 for an active male.

Others say 2,000 is standard for an adult male or female.

The conflicting information can be confusing.

Rather than counting calories, simply control your portions. Pour your food into premeasured containers till the food is even at the top, dump it onto your plate and eat.

In fact, measure long enough and you will be able to simply eyeball your food and know what a “portion” is.

It’s Never too Late to Start the Path towards Better Health

These are just a few tips for middle-aged men’s health that will help start you on your path to great fitness, even in your 40s and 50s!

Remember to stick with it. Results will not come overnight, but they will be worth the effort!

Top 5 Health and Fitness Tips for Men in their 40s

fitness tips for men in their 40s

Keeping a high fitness level is important at any age. Yet, men face a critical turning point in their lives once they get past their physical peaks.

But even if it can be difficult to get into shape, there are effective ways to craft a healthy lifestyle. This is essentially important for helping anyone get the most out of their 40s.

Instead of drastic overhauls and overly stringent regimens, men who create a realistic yet challenging workout routine will best position themselves to stay fit deep into their lives.

For anyone hoping to increase fitness and health levels, the following tips and guidelines can be a great starting point.

Health and Fitness Tips for Men in their 40s

Find a Good Fit for Your Body 

Not everyone is meant to be a marathon runner or a triathlon participant. By the time we’re in our 40s, many of us have to deal with any number of minor (or major) physical limitations, particularly with joint problems.

While running remains a terrific option for cardio, cycling can often be the better fit for anyone who deals with joint pain or lingering injuries. With less pressure placed on joints, cycling can give you all of the benefits of running without the unnecessary bodily stress.

After all, gutting out a few runs a week is admirable for someone who has joint issues. But being able to comfortably string together four or five cycling sessions a week is much better for your short and long-term health.

Cycling is not the only way to get some cardio without stressing out ailing joints.

For a truly low-impact cardio workout, it’s tough to beat the overall advantages of swimming. Swimmers show an increase in lung capacity while still burning plenty of calories. Consequently, this improves heart performance, weight loss, and other enhancements.

From P90 to Tai Cheng, there are also countless low-impact exercise classes you can join, providing plenty of opportunities to create a personalized routine built to last.

A range of Beachbody streaming classes can even let you find the right fit for both body and lifestyle. You’re able to workout wherever you are, ensuring that you rarely have a good excuse to skip a workout.

Time to Take Your Diet Seriously 

Many of us fly through our teens, 20s and 30s without having to worry too much about a healthy diet. This is especially for anyone who regularly stays active.

But that’s not a trend that remains intact for the long haul. You see, diet plays an increasingly important role in staying healthy as we age.

In fact, one of the biggest changes can be in relation to sodium levels. Older men are more susceptible to retaining water and developing heart disease associated with salt intake.

So, it’s important to find foods that are good substitutions for high-sodium meals. This is a simple and effective way to encourage long-term heart health without having to make any dramatic changes.

Additionally, you want to watch your fat intake. Make sure that you’re consuming more of the good fats – your mono- and polyunsaturated fats – and less of the bad ones – saturated fats!

Yet, many men also turn to supplements to make sure they’re getting all of the daily vitamins they need. Taking supplements to guarantee your body has enough Vitamin C, Vitamin E and zinc has shown to have benefits like helping to ward off ailments like age-related macular degeneration.

Let’s talk about bone health: there’s a big misconception that osteoporosis is mostly an issue facing women. But it can be just as big of a problem for men who don’t consume enough calcium.

An easy way to give your body a major boost is with the various protein shakes and hydration-enhancement products available through programs like Beachbody. They can easily help your body get into a healthy routine.

Otherwise, getting back to basics and making sure you eat enough vegetables – particularly the dark green variety – is an important step to toward getting the right nutrition.

Lengthen Stretching Routines 

It’s not exactly a secret that we get less and less limber as we get older. However, most don’t bother to make any changes in stretching to take this into consideration.

While experts suggest that those under 40 hold stretches for 30 seconds or so, older men should actually hold stretches up to a full minute. This ensure muscles are appropriately stretched out to perform at their best!

Actually, taking the time to properly stretch limbs can end up having a snowball effect on a workout. You’ll make them easier to get through and more effective in general.

Consistency and Being Realistic 

One of the biggest workout mistakes we often make is being inconsistent in our approach. We don’t make it a priority!  Unfortunately, this is a great way to limit your chances of truly getting into shape.

It’s great to test your endurance occasionally with an epic workout…we’re not stopping you from that! But, you’re much better off focusing on finding regular times and workouts you can easily slip into your everyday life.

Some men in their 40s try to force their way into a 5 a.m. workout regimen that’s not conducive to their existing lifestyle. Others will jump straight into a heavy workout that is not sustainable.

These unrealistic goals often end in defeat; ultimately increasing the likelihood of giving up entirely.

Instead, remaining patient with the process is much more important than attempting to be a workout hero. Successful workout routines are built around gradual and incremental increases in difficulty.

Get the Right Equipment 

Finding the appropriate equipment that will help keep you in shape has multiple advantages.

For starters, good sneakers are invaluable to just about anyone who wants to take health and fitness seriously. The last thing you need is another excuse not to workout, and those old sneakers that give you blisters when you hike or jog are sending the wrong message.

While you definitely don’t need to buy the most expensive and hippest sneakers on the market, having a comfortable pair that you don’t even have to think about is essential if you’re planning on doing most land-based workouts.

Also, many minor joint issues and physical ailments can be helped with simple items like a back, knee or ankle brace. Additionally, it isn’t a bad idea to make some sort of appropriate investment in your equipment, as this type of financial commitment can act as encouragement to stick with a workout routine.

In the grand scheme of things, spending a small amount extra to have the right equipment could turn out to be a very small price to pay if it increases your long-term health and fitness outlook.

Conclusion

Regardless of which tips you bring to your everyday life, it’s important to keep in mind that a positive lifestyle change is what yields the best overall benefits.

At the heart of the process is your personal mindset and ability to project over the longer term, which is why those who see the bigger picture tend to be at a distinct advantage.

But if you’re able to adopt a lifestyle you can honestly see yourself living six months or a year down the road, you’ll be well on your way to staying fit no matter what the aging process throws at you.

 

The True Rewards of Staying in Shape in Your 40s and 50s

staying in shape

 

Staying in shape comes with many obvious benefits, although much of the upside has nothing to do with physical appearance.

Keeping off unwanted pounds is always helpful for your long-term health outlook, especially for those in their 40s and 50s. Yet, there is a long list of other benefits that go hand-in-hand with keeping fit.

From improvements in work and social life to having the stamina to stay energized, maintaining a workout routine can have a strong impact no matter your lifestyle.

In fact, here are some of the huge true rewards of staying in shape today for tomorrow!

Regular exercise leads to improved sleep patterns

Tossing and turning at night can create a vicious cycle that leads to a drop in energy with increased irritability.

It also can make it harder to mentally prepare for a workout. Bad habits could form that would prevent a person from getting in shape.

The good news is, successfully implementing a workout regimen can easily turn the tide, resulting in longer and better sleep.

In fact, many researchers see regular exercise as an essential part of setting your circadian rhythm and ensuring that you have the type of fulfilling sleep that can push you through the lulls of the average day.

Though there are no bad times to squeeze in a workout, different times of the day offer different advantages. While working out early in the morning can have a very positive impact on sleep, a good workout in the evening can be the best way to help you sleep soundly throughout the night.

But even if you can’t workout during these times for greater results, any consistent physical activity will do. You’ll experience improved sleep along with the correlating benefits.

With options to workout from anywhere you choose thanks to the Team Beachbody program, you can pop in a DVD or stream a workout video even on the go. In other words, you’ll  always have the availability to keep the ball rolling.

The key is to put together a realistic workout routine that you can envision sticking with for at least a few months, as that’s the tipping point when even novice exercisers start to experience significant improvements in sleep.

Increased focus and energy

Aligning with improved sleep patterns, anyone who stays in shape with consistent exercise can elevate energy levels and retain a high level of focus.

Thanks to the brain’s ability to improve performance with enhanced blood flow, working out can provide an improvement in mental acuity, particularly in the first two or three hours after a workout.

This can pay major dividends. Whether as a parent who needs a mental boost or you’re preparing for a major work presentation, exercise provides that focus you need.

In today’s age, it’s common to pound caffeinated beverages to ramp up energy levels. Yet, getting the blood flowing through exercise is a more natural and effective way to improve your everyday performance.

These benefits also encourage social activity many of us might skip in favor of a comfortable spot on the couch.

A natural way to manage certain conditions

The physical advantages of working out are well-established when it comes to improving health conditions. These include lowering the risk of stroke, cancer and diabetes, and other ailments.

That’s reason alone to workout!  However, there are many mental health benefits that can also be a game-changer.

The Mayo Clinic singles out depression as a very common condition that can be countered by consistently sliding in a 30-minute workout into a daily routine.

The release of endorphins and other brain chemicals also act as a natural mood-enhancer. The help to blunt the impact of stress while having a positive influence on your libido.

You may not intend for exercising to be a therapeutic experience, but the benefits easily spill into a healthier, mental lifestyle.

Improves memory and learning

Improved blood flow to your brain has a short-term impact on focus and energy. But the bigger impact is an enhanced ability to learn!

A workout routine can encourage brain cells to forge new connections, which is a foundation for how we learn new things. The type of workout you do also make a big difference. The more complicated your routines, the more positive effects it has on your internal learning mechanisms.

Mixing in more mentally demanding workouts that require coordination (e.g. dance class, basketball), forces your brain to be more alert. This can lead to improved cerebral performance at any age.

There have also been plenty of links found between staying in shape and memory, a connection that gets more and more important as we age past our physical and mental peaks.

Staying in shape boosts your immune system

Anyone with a busy schedule knows one thing above all else: there is no time for a sick day.

One of the less talked about benefits of staying in shape is the increase in levels of immunoglobulins, which are vital antibodies that help stave off illnesses like colds and flus.

Paired with clear improvements in sleep and energy, a jolt to the immune system can help you overcome these viruses. You’re better apt to recover, taking less sick days and simply feeling better…sooner.

So, while an improvement in immunoglobulins isn’t a good reason to forego a flu shot, it’s another health advantage linked to your workout routine.

Conclusion

Thanks to the wide-ranging enhancements associated with staying in shape, it’s always a good time to restart a workout regimen.

With a wave of internal benefits that run parallel to the physical impact, keeping fit tends to create a trickle-down effect that can positively impact nearly all aspects of your life.

5 Health Tips for an Enjoyable Retirement

health tips for retirement

Retirement is one of those things most people start dreaming about somewhere in their mid to late career.

Whether your ideal retirement looks like a reclining chair on a sunny deck, finally traveling the world, or a cozy corner with all the books you can read, actually enjoying your retirement requires you to get there in relatively good health.

If you don’t want to spend your senior years in and out of the hospital and worrying about when it’s time to move to an assisted living facility, the time is now to prepare for a healthy body while you still have time to make a few changes to your course.

Most people want to be mobile, active, and fairly energetic for at least the first decade or so of retirement. Your health is worth a lot more than just what it can offer you today. The better you take care of yourself now, the less you’ll have to worry when you finally have the free time to start working on your bucket list.

While we all eventually wind down, a healthy body means you can “live it up” in retirement in a way that simply isn’t possible for the sickly and frail.

So, here are five useful health tips for retirement that will help you maintain an enjoyable lifestyle for years to come.

1) Don’t Let Your Muscles Atrophy

First things first, your muscles are how you interact with the world by moving yourself and objects in your environment around.

There’s no independence in old age without muscle mass and, unfortunately, decades at a desk job aren’t exactly great for building up the muscle you’ll need to take care of yourself in retirement.

To ensure both your independence and ability to rearrange your own furniture at will, it’s vital that you build up and maintain a healthy collection of muscles now.

Go for a Full-Body Workout

Because you’re preparing to build up a stockpile of muscles, your best bet is to go for the full-body workout. Walking and running are a great place to start but the gym’s workout equipment is a great resource to help you focus on muscles that are more difficult to work out safely on your own.

Remember that your arms and legs are not the only muscles. The muscles in your back and core have a lot to do with lifting and moving power and a combination of leg and back muscles control your stability.

2) Keep Brushing and Flossing

Some people think about the food they’ll eat in retirement…other’s don’t.

No matter which category you fall into, no doubt you’re still expecting to enjoy a few delicious steaks, hamburgers, cakes and ice cream over your final few decades. Of course, that’s going to be a problem if your teeth start to fail you. Who wants to have dentures before they’re 80, or at all if it can be avoided?

If you want to be able to chew anything you desire, eat sweets, and deal with various food temperatures in your old age, it’s best to kick up the oral hygiene routine right now. Brushing your teeth is something most adults do but not everyone does it on a regular basis. Also, you might be surprised how few people bother to floss.

To keep your teeth in top condition for the next several decades, make sure to brush every day at bedtime and consider brushing during the day as well. As for flossing, if you hate the string, try a water pick or a bag of handy flossers.

3) Build a Balanced Diet

Speaking of what you eat, the other thing that can get in the way of an enjoyable retirement is a bad diet today.

If you wreck your gut by overindulging in pizza, fast food, greasy takeout, and frozen/packet meals, you probably won’t be in good condition to comfortably digest the rich foods most people enjoy after their working life is over.

Every person over the age of 40 must begin to think seriously about their personal health concerns, the needs of their digestive system, and adjust their diet accordingly. If you have to cut the sodium, look into more flavorful spices to make up the deficit. Garlic thins the blood, blueberries are an antioxidant, and salmon has Omega 3 which is great for almost everything.

Whether you need to watch your cholesterol, consume more fiber, or cut the red meat for a while, make sure to take care of your nutrition and intestinal health.

4) Work on Balance and Flexibility

One of the biggest risks for retirees is falling. While osteoporosis is more common in women, everyone is at risk and should be screened for early signs around the age of 60. Until, before, and after that point, you should be working on your balance and flexibility.

Most people lose a certain amount of muscle mass as they age, reducing their ability to stay stable and regain balance if it’s temporarily lost. The more you work on your stabilizing leg, core muscles and the ability to stretch and catch yourself in the event of a stumble, the less likely you are to really hurt yourself.

While it may not seem vital now, starting your balance workouts early and maintaining them is a great way to prevent falls later on.

5) Stretching Your Eyes

Finally, let’s talk about your eyes. The eye is a truly amazing organ with an organic lens that thickens and thins, allowing us to focus on objects that are closer or further away.

As we age, like all voluntary physical reactions, this response slows down. Many people start to form cataracts after the age of 50 – something that can be prevented if caught well in advance –  and most begin to lose range both close-up and far-away.

The best way to take care of your eyes is to get an annual checkup and remember to stretch them out. Spend at least half an hour each day looking at things, alternating between near and far. If you wear glasses, take them off for this exercise.

By keeping your eyes limber, you can slow down the deterioration caused by age.

These Health Tips for Retirement Are Well within Your Grasp

Aging is a challenge but it doesn’t have to spoil your fun. If you’re looking forward to an active and enjoyable retirement, getting there is a matter of taking care of yourself on the journey.

Keep your muscles strong, your teeth clean, your eyes active, and your digestive system in check. As a result, you’ll be able to eat steak and go on adventures well into your retirement years.

Enjoy!