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There is a misconception that retirement indicates old age. Retirement is only given to your work but not for your body. This is best stage of life where you get some time to focus on your body. Being fit and healthy after retirement will help you to enjoy life to the fullest. I would like to present an insight and few tips on how to stay fit after 60â€™s.
Never think you are old or aged but instead try to listen to your body. Love yourself. Self love will help to love others in a better way. Focus on your lifestyle. Healthy eating, Physical activity, positive thinking etc; are the basic lifestyle modifications. Choose one area and try to focus on that. Keep your steps small but consistent.
Physical functioning of the body begins to slow down at this age. Metabolic rate comes down. Focus on eating small meals number of times in a day. Plan at least six meals in a day that is three main course meals Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner and three snacks.
Whole grains and unrefined carbohydrates are the best sources of energy. 80% of our calories from INDIAN diet come from carbohydrates. These are the major sources of energy for the body. Carbohydrates convert into glucose and utilised by the body to do work. So be very careful while selecting carbohydrates. Grains, pulses, legumes, millets are the major sources of carbohydrates. With the advent of westernization we started processing the basic grains for easy use and for easy energy. This created a huge problem to health and we ended up with type two diabetes. All your sources of carbohydrates should be whole. They should have fibre in them. Prefer eating unpolished rice, pulses as whole than split. Make sure at least you have one meal made with millets. They are slow burning carbohydrates and are good for diabetic people.
Eating good quality protein is must. Proteins are the building blocks of human beings. They are present all over the body from cellular level to structural level. Eating protein rich food helps to increase metabolism, improves immunity, support bony structures, delays aging. Nuts, seeds, sprouts, beans, lean meat, fish, egg, milk and curd are the best sources of protein. Few people suffer with food allergies or indigestion. Avoid the allergic food as much as possible. To overcome indigestion issue rotating the food is best option. Do not eat same kinds of nuts, seeds, sprouts, and beans daily. Instead try to include different proteins in a day. 0.8gm of protein per kg body weight is recommended daily.
Be cautious while using Fats. There is a myth that fats make us fat, but no, sugar makes us fat. Serum cholesterol is not directly connected to the dietary fat. We need fat to insulate our body; every organ is cushioned with fat. Fat soluble vitamins like A, D,E, K are absorbed into the body only with help of fat. Fat is also required for the better bioavailability of phyto nutrients and carotenoids . These nutrients play a major role in preventing cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Focus on eating healthy fats from sesame seeds (unrefined cold pressed sesame seed oil for cooking), olive oil, coconut oil, rice bran oil, ghee, flax seed oil. We also get good fat from nuts, egg and fish. Limit eating fats present in deep fried, processed, refined and ready to eat food. As the fats present in them gets hydrogenated and this kind of fat is not suitable for your body. Body cannot process this fat and hence results in serum triglycerides.
Be liberal with vegetables and play with fruits. They are the natureâ€™s gift to humans. They are packed with vitamins, phyto nutrients, carotenoids, flavours. These are all essential for bodily functions. Vitamin B,C, E are very rich is yellow, orange and green coloured fruits. They help us to stay hydrated, free of toxins and they all are excellent antioxidants. The more colourful your plate looks the more colourful your retired life is going to be. Aim to eat at least a cup of raw vegetables salad and two fruits in a day. Limit the consumption of high sugary fruits like mango, pineapple, chikoo, custard apple.
Apart from healthy eating, being physically fit is also most important. The more we move our body the more active it becomes. Physical activity helps to release endorphins. These endorphins release out your stress from the body. Make sure to have at least 45 minutes of physical activity per day. Select the activity which you enjoy most and suits your body. Stay hydrated always during physical activity. You can also split your activity to two times a day 20-22 minutes per session or three times a day with even less time per session. Short span exercises best suits for people with arthritis, spondylitis or any structural issues.
Finally I want to emphasise on maintaining a healthy lifestyle. We are now loaded with information, but to put this in action we need strong motivation. Self love is the key to motivation. This body has put a lot of effort to succeed although your career, now this is the time to take care of it. Simple love and accept your body for healthy aging.
Take home Message:
Always be young at heart.
Eat whole grains, pulses and legumes. Include them in daily diet. Avoid refined, processed ready to eat foods and deep fried foods.
Good quality protein is must for disease free aging.
Be smart while selecting fat. Omega 3 rich fats (nuts, seeds, fish) are good for heart health. Never over heat fats above their boiling point.
Remember 5+2 = 5 serving of vegetables + 2 serving of fruits is must for daily dose of vitamins and minerals.
Be physically active.
Self love is not selfishness it is self respect.
MS Applied Nutrition (U.S.A)
Certified Food and Spirit Practitioner