Wellness, an expanded idea of health, [i]and a fairly new concept to some, is finding its' way into many households today. With cancer, heart disease, and stroke being the three leading causes of death in America, more individuals are tuning into their health more and making better choices when it comes to taking care of their bodies.
As we age, we naturally deplete ourselves of water, minerals, and vitamins. Therefore, if we keep in mind how important it is to continuously replenish our bodies then it helps us age better.
"We constantly have stresses in our lives whether they are good stressors or bad stressors and eating proper nutrients and staying well hydrated also helps us in being able to manage that stress," says Charmaine Vazquez, Health Educator, MS.
Vazquez also emphasizes the importance of daily exercise, meditating, and breathing practices because according to her, "They all help with the overall health and wellness of the human body".
Other techniques that Vazquez recommends and say she feels passionate about, is adding the practice of Yoga, Polarity, and Reflexology, in our daily regime as we age.
"One of the natural things as humans that we crave for is, touch and comfort. Therefore, having the opportunity to be able to share a touch with someone whether it's through, massage, polarity, or even Yoga, you satisfy that sense and that natural desire that we have. And as we age our lives change. Our children leave the home, because they grow up. They may go further away from us, our grandchildren maybe further away from us, so practicing in a healthy natural way, safe-healthy touch is good for the mind and the body," said Vazquez.
According to Vazquez, there are various reasons why our joints, tendons, ligaments and muscles get tight and dehydrated, and for that she recommends a good deep tissue massage to help loosen up the muscles and relax them. "Moreover, any toxins that we have in our muscles, or in our joints, polarity as well as massage therapy, and yoga help to detox the body, along with water and nutrients that we put in them." Said Vazquez.
"Depending on what is going on in one's life, working out in the gym, whether it is cardio, is extremely important for the heart, it's going to keep you healthy," said Vazquez. Scientifically women have smaller hearts that beat faster than men, so for women practicing yoga, helps in a sense because it helps calm women down and relax them", said Vazquez.
"However, larger hearts also come along with the possible risk of having heart disease or other heart disorders," added Vazquez. Vazquez says this is why cardio is extremely important. Most cardio exercises can be done in the gym or on the street."Jogging in your neighborhood or in your home jumping on a trampoline, is just a couple of examples," she said.
Lifting weights is also extremely important for any age range according to Vazquez. "The weight training helps our muscles to continue to grow. We don't want our muscles to not grow and be small. We want them to be long and lengthy. Our muscles help us with everything. Our muscles help us sit up, stand up, get out of the bed, therefore we want to continuously have muscle and we don’t want to just put the weights down because we are aging. Instead, we want to continue to use the weights. It all depends on the type of weight training an individual does." Said Vazquez.
According to Vazquez, "Recent studies have shown that weight training is really good for persons with Parkinson Disease. Studies have also shown that boxing as a workout actually helps individuals with Parkinson," said Vazquez.
Whatever your choice of exercise or workout is, just remember as we age how important it is to maintain a healthy body by being determined and staying consistent exercising dailyin order to live a full, energetic, and meaningful life.
[i] Thomas D. Fahey, Paul M. Insel, Walton T. Roth; Seventh Edition 2007; Fit & Well: Core Concepts and Labs in Physical Fitness and Wellness.