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Self-Care

Strong body = strong mind = stronger you

older couple jogging

According to Buddha, “To keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.”

We could dig up more sage bits of wisdom, but you get the idea.

Age is a reason to get active, not the opposite

We talked last time about those two new patients, both in their early 40s, who were athletic and active, and yet had reached a point from the normal wear and tear of life where they could no longer dress without help.

The trap, of course, is to accept these kinds of stories as an excuse to take it easy and become sedentary – “time to act my age”.

Our joints were designed to move, our muscles to work, our cardiovascular system to pump. Our early ancestors were hunter-gatherers, always on the move, having to either chase down or forage dinner. Humans were not designed to be sedentary for long periods or eat the modern processed foods that we do.

You can make your heart stronger

Your heart, like any other muscle, can continue to strengthen and adapt with regular exercise at practically any age.

When activity gets your heart pumping, it forces adaption. Do that regularly and with greater intensity and that adaption happens faster. That’s why regular exercise, particularly vigorous cardio, is so good for your heart health.

And then there is sarcopenia, the loss of muscle due to the natural aging process. It begins by about 40. Regular weight training, even light to moderate, helps maintain muscle mass and keep your bones strong and joints limber as you age.

All this is why it is so important to do a well-rounded mix of cardio and weight training.

And don’t forget the kitchen

But exercise is only half of the equation – the other is in the kitchen.

We have written many times before about the need to avoid those processed foods loaded with excessive amounts of bad fats, added sugar and salt, in favour of wholesome whole and fresh foods. This can also have a big positive impact on your mental clarity, mood, sleep habits, and energy levels.

Canada’s new Food Guide is an excellent place to start, paired up with a user-friendly app to track what you eat like MyFitnessPal.

What is your why?

The trick is finding that one thing, your why, that will motivate you to make positive changes in your life.

For most of us, that thing is family. You can’t take care of others unless you take care of yourself, first. If you are in poor health, it limits what you can do with loved ones, how well you can support them and be there for them.

You also owe it to yourself. Don’t you want to get the most out of life, and remain vital enough to age with grace and cross all those things off your bucket list?

We can help you get started

We know it can be a challenge to get started and stick with it, to get comfortable with hitting the gym and making sense of healthy eating. But you don’t have to do this alone. We can connect you with trainers and other resources in the Kanata area that we have worked with ourselves.

Don’t forget about your spine in all this. A healthy spine is key to your ability to be active. Don’t ignore the signs (chronic pain, numbness, tingling, loss of mobility and/or range of motion) that it may need an examination. If you suffer any of these symptoms, not just in your spine/neck, but down your legs and/or to your fingers as well, we may be able to address the root cause here in our Kanata chiropractic clinic.

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