ONE OF THE BEST and easiest paths to good health is through healthy eating and exercise. Yet, many wonder exactly what that may look like, especially for their senior loved ones. In truth, however, healthy nutrition and staying active does not have to be complicated. Below you’ll find recommendations for diet from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and on exercise, plus a tip or trick to make adding each one into your life a little easier.
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR A HEALTHY DIET
• Fruits and Vegetables. Adults need a variety of fruits and vegetables because of the high content of nutrients and fiber. Older adults especially need to increase their intake of fresh fruits and vegetable. Trick: Try eating one serving of fruits and vegetables for every color of the rainbow in a day.
• Whole Grain. You need at least three ounces of whole-grain cereals, breads, rice, pasta, or crackers every day. Trick: Make your senior loved one their own trail mix using a variety of their favorite whole-grain cereals.
• Lean Proteins. Lean meats help to keep your muscles strong and healthy. Tip: Vary your lean proteins by eating more fish, beans, and peas. These options are also sometimes easier to chew and digest for senior loved ones.
• Low-Fat Dairy. Dairy helps keep bones healthy. Eat three servings of low-fat or fat-free dairy like milk, cheese, or yogurt a day. Tip: Look for dairy that’s fortified with Vitamin D for an extra boost to overall health.
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR EXERCISE
Exercise helps your body stay young and wards off many diseases. Get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day! Trick: Start with a few minutes a day and increase your minutes every day. Tip: Your senior loved one should talk with his or her doctor before starting an exercise regimen.
This column is sponsored by Comfort Keepers of Polk County.
column by TRACY KELLEY
BIO: Tracy Kelley is the owner/operator of Comfort Keepers of Polk County. For over 14 years, she has been leading professional and extensively trained caregivers to help seniors of Central Florida maintain their quality of life. Her motto — and that of Comfort Keepers of Polk County — is “We get to help the hands that built America.” For more information about Comfort Keepers, visit lakeland-381.comfortkeepers.com or call (863) 701-9100.