Boomers: Five proven prac­tices to win the race against ag­ing

Maryland Independent - - Community Forum -

Naps, knit­ting and nuz­zling with the grand­chil­dren — the tra­di­tional im­age of re­tire­ment is be­ing chal­lenged by the more than 76 mil­lion baby boomers in the United States.

This vi­brant gen­er­a­tion wants to make the most out of their golden years, and while hob­bies and time with grand­kids are a pri­or­ity, they want more. To do so, they know that a proac­tive ap­proach to health and well­ness is a must.

Matt John­son, health and per­for­mance ex­pert and pres­i­dent of On Tar­get Liv­ing, ad­mires the tenac­ity boomers and all se­niors ex­hibit when it comes to main­tain­ing their health and well-be­ing. He sug­gests five in­cred­i­bly sim­ple, yet pow­er­ful ways to age health­fully, and keep those en­gines revving at peak per­for­mance, no mat­ter how vin­tage the model.

1. Take ad­van­tage of pit stops

“Lack of sleep is the fastest way to age the hu­man body,” said John­son. “Ad­di­tion­ally, ad­e­quate sleep is ex­tremely im­por­tant for a healthy brain. Deep REM sleep al­lows the mind to re­ju­ve­nate. Mem­ory, cre­ativ­ity and cog­ni­tive func­tion get re­freshed in this stage of sleep.”

He rec­om­mends three steps to achieve qual­ity sleep. First, go to bed at the cor­rect time to achieve eight hours of sleep. Sec­ond, un­plug and avoid dig­i­tal de­vices that put out stim­u­lat­ing blue light. Third, add the re­lax­ing min­eral mag­ne­sium to your rou­tine by tak­ing an Ep­som salt bath or foot bath once a week.

2. Fuel your ma­chine

“I like to tell peo­ple to think of nutrition as fuel for the body; with­out the cor­rect fuel, the en­gine and com­po­nents can’t work cor­rectly,” John­son said. “The most crit­i­cal nu­tri­ents that boomers don’t get enough of are su­per­greens and omega-3s. We know we all need to eat more green veg­gies, but did you know that up to 91 per­cent of the Amer­i­can pop­u­la­tion is de­fi­cient in omega-3s?”

He rec­om­mends ever y Boomer get 1,500 mg of EPA and DHA each day, such as 1 ta­ble­spoon of Nordic Nat­u­rals Arc­tic Cod Liver Oil Or­ange Fla­vor. It’s a high-qual­ity fish oil that of­fers an easy, safe way to add omega-3s to the diet. As for su­per­greens, he rec­om­mends spir­ulina and chlorella (types of al­gae), and frozen wheat­grass.

3. Get an oil change

Some oils are con­sid­ered healthy while oth­ers cause health prob­lems. John­son rec­om­mends: Adding: • Ex­tra vir­gin olive oil (EVOO) for salad dress­ings, bak­ing and low-tem­per­a­ture sautéing

• Vir­gin co­conut oil as a sub­sti­tute for but­ter and bak­ing oil

• Cod liver oil as a sup­ple­ment to get omega-3s (not for cook­ing) Re­mov­ing: • Vegetable oils like canola and soy­bean which are heav­ily pro­cessed and of­ten made with GMOs

4. Rev your en­gines daily

“The ben­e­fits of ex­er­cise are end­less, but the un­der­dog ben­e­fit is how it makes us feel and think,” John­son said. “You should move your body if you want to stay sharp and happy.”

Find an ex­er­cise pro­gram you en­joy, he sug­gested. “Ex­er­cise is the foun­tain of youth, but you shouldn’t do some­thing you don’t like. Make sure you move your body daily. If you are look­ing for sug­ges­tions, think about hir­ing a trainer to learn a set pro­gram. I think fo­cus­ing on form and tech­nique over in­ten­sity is the first step.”

5. Sched­ule reg­u­lar main­te­nance checks

“Play of­fense in­stead of de­fense with your health,” said John­son. “Mod­ern medicine is bet­ter than ever at early de­tec­tion and treat­ment.”

The key is to fo­cus on pre­ven­tion. “Use an­nual doc­tor vis­its to screen, ask ques­tions and mon­i­tor your risk fac­tors. Re­mem­ber, you can only get good an­swers if you ask good ques­tions,” he said.

Fi­nally, John­son re­minds peo­ple that anti-ag­ing doesn’t ex­ist. “We are all ag­ing — the key is to age well. This means to as­pire to qual­ity of life. We all have mo­ti­va­tors in our life: kids, grand­kids, spouses, ca­reers, pas­sions, etc. With­out your health, none of these can be en­joyed to the fullest.” Brand­point

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