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Great Health Practices for Older Folks

Many of my massage clients have reached “senior” status. Hooray for the discounts we all now receive! Good health and longevity have become our prime focus. Insurance premium rates, whether individual coverage or group coverage, is a large concern especially for those on fixed incomes. Prescription medications can take a real bite out of one’s expenses, so maintaining optimal health as a goal cannot be understated.

For older folks I see six necessary factors that will insure optimal health and vitality and lower our health care costs. Exercise is a must. Movement tones and strengthens muscles and keeps joints and tissues bathed in nutrient rich and healing fluids. It supports the immune system to more quickly mobilize waste products from the body.

A diet rich in raw fruits and vegetables is a must for great health and sustained energy. Fruits and vegetables contain vital phytonutrients (plant based nutrients) including vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and plant proteins that support our body’s building blocks. Choosing foods in rainbow colors will provide the variety of nutrients we need. Having a salad everyday full of lots of raw veggies is ideal. Increasing fruits and vegetables in the diet will help to stabilize weight. When I underwent my major dental reconstruction, I had to consume my foods in soft or liquid form for quite a while. So I made fresh fruit smoothies, fresh vegetable juices in my blender, and food-processed my stir-fries with chicken or fish and lots of veggies. I had lots of energy and lost 23 pounds without trying! This is the magnificent power of health fruits and vegetables bring to the human body.

Massage on a regular basis supports many great things the body needs. It’s nurturing, of course, but increases the speed of waste removal enhancing the detoxification pathways of the immune system. It tones skin and muscles and encourages deep breathing bringing in vital oxygen that assists in removing accumulated acids that generate disease.

Sweating regularly with exercise is great. I also recommend Far Infrared Sauna (FIR). This sauna provides dry heat at a lower temperature so sweat doesn’t compete in a moist environment. Sweating mobilizes fats that collect toxic metals and other wastes and moves them out. Sweating regularly is a must. Low FIR sauna temperatures provide a great way for older folks to sweat when exercise and movement may be limited.

Adequate rest is a must. This is when our bodies heal, recover, and resupply our cells without stress. Everyone requires a different level of sleep, so listen to your own specific cues.

Spiritual support is a must. By this I mean family, friends, church, community involvement, or other means that provide you with validation, trust, and encouragement to be your best.

These are all great things to include in our daily lives at any age. For us older folks, incorporating at least these six practices will begin to bring us good health, energy, and long lasting vitality.

Krystle Shapiro, LMT, MSHN owns NewTritionally Yours! nutrition education and classes. She can be reached at 208/290-6760.

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