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Time for a refresher course on improving health and longevity

My friend Barbara is tired of obeying the rules that have been laid out for seniors regarding diet and exercise.

“At my age, I think I’ve earned the right to eat anything I want,” she tells me, “and I don’t like to exercise either.”

I questioned her about her quality of life and making her senior years the best ones possible. I’m not sure if I won her over, but I shared with her the topics that have been covered here in the Senior Class column.

“Keep moving” has been the advice to seniors for decades. We’re told to limit the number of hours that we sit and watch TV. Now the experts warn that inactivity is not good, even if you have exercised in the morning, a person needs to stand and walk as much as possible during the remainder of the day. This aids metabolism, blood pressure and cardiovascular health.

The foods we eat can influence how we feel, and some anti-aging foods are medicine in disguise. If we stick to eating fruits and vegetables that are high in color, they will help protect against some diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and prostate problems, according to studies done at Tufts University.

Some powerful food items to be sure to include in your diet are broccoli, kale, blueberries, cranberries, yellow squash, red grapes, spinach and others; so go for the color.

Just because we’re seniors we can’t rest on our laurels; we should continue to engage in activities that challenge both mind and body, if we want to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Having home projects, learning a new game, working on puzzles, and doing yard work are but a few suggestions for starters.

While adding certain foods to your diet has its reward, we should also keep an eye on our calorie intake — not only to avoid weight gain but also to improve metabolic rate, which has anti-aging benefits. Eliminating the obvious fattening foods doesn’t mean cutting out all of your favorites as well, but rather cutting down on portion size, a key factor to reducing calories.

Rounding out the “to do list” here is a reminder about good posture and the rewards it brings, such as to help prevent balance problems and falling.

If we place a high value on our golden years, we are sure to look and feel our best.

Las Vegas resident Carolyn Schneider is the author of the book “Bing: On the Road to Elko” about her uncle Bing Crosby and his 15 years as a Nevada cattle rancher. She may be reached at 702-240-8570 or artist71635@msn.com to order the book.

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