Break Habits; Age Smarter

June 7, 2012
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The following is a guest blog from George Shaw who has written for a number of health and education blogs for seniors. He currently works for the Texas nursing home website, SeniorHomesTexas.com.

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The following is a guest blog from George Shaw who has written for a number of health and education blogs for seniors. He currently works for the Texas nursing home website, SeniorHomesTexas.com.

 
Weight loss goals aren’t only for younger generation’s New Year’s Resolutions, they’re also vitally important for people in all stages of aging. A recent study released by UCLA’s Neurology Department found that most people over the age of 50 lose .5% of their brain mass every year, and the top three ways to combat brain loss are to:
  • exercise regularly (to stimulate blood flow to all parts of your body)
  • eat plenty of grains (to add healthy fiber for well-rounded digestion)
  • have creative habits (to stimulate both your brain and your soul)
We’ve all said it. Our goal is to drop extra pounds and get back in shape. Really! Unfortunately, it seems that no matter how much we want to accomplish our weight loss goal, junk food and old habits win out, time to exercise is harder to find, and before we know it, we’ve muddled through another year without attaining those goals and, consequently, it effects other ares of our health. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

How to Change Your Habits – And Your Life

If you are really serious about changing those bad health habits and losing extra pounds there are a few things you can do – but it will take some focus. And, you may even need to enlist the help of your family and friends.

  1. First, in order to really be able to make progress, you have to decide you are going to make the necessary changes and stick to them. One way to truly be sure that you will stay on course is to write down the changes that you wish to achieve. This will help you in seeing just exactly what you want to do and where you want to end up.
     
  2. Next, you need to let your loved ones know that you are serious about making some positive health related changes. This will help in attaining their support and encouragement – and it might also prevent them from offering you unhealthy foods when you are spending time together. In addition, you will likely find a great deal of encouragement and support from them as they will want to see you succeed. Ask them to join you for walks or hikes. Make it a group effort.
     
  3. You should also maintain a positive outlook on the new changes you are initiating. Sure, there will times when you get discouraged and the temptation of junk food may seem to get the best of you – but continue to keep your mind focused on the goal you are trying to achieve.

Replace Bad Habits with Good Habits
When making healthy life changes, you will also need to replace former unhealthy habits with better ones. For example, rather than spending time going out for expensive and high calorie meals, it might be better to spend your time cooking healthy food and then taking a nice walk after dinner.

In order to make sure that you maintain your good habits for the long term, you will need to stay committed and consistent. This will entail taking regular daily actions for breaking your former bad habits and subsequently turning around and regularly taking part in more healthy habits.

You could also help to move yourself forward by allowing some type of reward for taking small (but successful) actions towards making the desired changes in your life. It is the continuous daily actions that will help you in not just getting to where you want to go, but keeping you there.