Healthy Eating for Older Adults

In honor of National Nutrition Month we would like to educate you on healthy eating for older adults.

ErnteEating a variety of foods from all food groups can help you get the nutrients your body needs as you age. A healthy eating plan emphasizes fruit, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat or fat-free dairy; includes lean meat, poultry, fish, beans, eggs and nuts; and is low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium) and added sugars.

Eating right doesn’t have to be complicated. Start with these recommendations from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans:

  • Eat fruits and vegetables. They can be fresh, frozen or canned. Eat more dark green vegetables like leafy greens or broccoli and orange vegetables like carrots and sweet potatoes.
  • Vary your protein choices with more fish, beans and peas.
  • Eat at least three ounces of whole-grain cereals, breads, crackers, rice or pasta every day.
  • Have three servings of low-fat or fat-free dairy (milk, yogurt or cheese) that are fortified with vitamin D to help keep your bones healthy.
  • Make the fats you eat healthy ones (polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats). Switch from solid fats to oils when preparing food.

Add Physical Activity

Balancing physical activity and a healthful diet is your best recipe for health and fitness. Set a goal to be physically active at least 30 minutes every day. You can break up your physical activity into 10-minute sessions throughout the day.

If you are currently inactive, start with a few minutes of activity, such as walking, and gradually increase this time as you become stronger. Check with your healthcare provider before beginning a new physical activity program.

For more information on eating right or National Nutrition Month go to www.eatright.org.

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Physical Activity vs. Exercise

“I don’t understand. I am busy and active with tasks all day long, but I just can’t seem to lose any weight.”

A common misconception is that physical activity and exercise are one and the same. While these terms are often used interchangeably, there is a very important difference in the purpose and outcomes.

Physical activity is defined as the process of exerting energy for a task. Exercise is physical activity that is planned, structured and repetitive for the purpose of conditioning the body. Exercise is prolonged physical activity that is of a higher duration than typical daily tasks.

Many of us get physical activity during working hours or at home with chores. During this time the heart rate is increased above the resting state, but only for a few minutes. We work hard for a short interval followed by rest, allowing the heart rate to lower again. Incorporating this type of physical activity into your day is encouraged and beneficial. However, when it comes to a goal of improving cardiovascular health or weight management, your body needs planned and structured exercise.

According to the American College of Sports Medicine, adults are to accumulate 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise each week. An example of this would be to ride a bike for 30 minutes for days per week. It is also acceptable to accumulate this in short 10-minute bouts throughout the week. More exercise, 300 minutes per week, is recommended to improve health status or to reduce body weight.

Adults should also incorporate resistance training to improve muscular strength and endurance. Increased lean muscle tissue boosts the metabolism so that the body burns more calories even in the resting state. Strong muscles allow you to more easily complete regular daily activities, reduce fall risk and create an appearance of a toned body.

The annual New Year, New You community wellness challenge begins Monday. Get your co-workers, friends, or family together and form a team to compete within our community for a healthier lifestyle. The challenge is a great opportunity to start or support your current personal wellness plan through motivation, accountability, variety and education.

Registration information can be found at http://www.jrmcnd.com or call the Jamestown Regional Medical Center Wellness Center at 701-952-4891 for details.

JRMC U: Fitness

Wednesday, September 19th Noon – 1 pm
FREE lunch

Please RSVP. Space is limited to the first 40 registrants.

Presenter will be Emily Kjelland, MA, RCEP, CES, NSCA-CPT,
Yoga & Pilates Instructor
Cardiac Rehab & Wellness Coordinator