Moderation Quality Life Forum Self-Care Series November, 2020
It’s November again and the holiday season is upcoming. Moderation is a golden rule to follow for healthy aging.
Moderation in Appetite
Several recently published studies on aging all seem to lead to the same conclusion: for healthy aging, moderation is crucial. Whether it concerns weight management, physical activity or alcohol and tobacco use, health experts urge people to consider their limitations and changing needs as they approach their senior years.
Moderation is Personal. Dietary and caloric needs vary from person to person. The first step to define moderation for you is to determine your body needs. You may track recommended target intakes for grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy, protein, and fat as well as the total number of calories you should consume each day. Or, in a simple way, make sure you eat a balanced diet at 80% full for each meal. In fact, there is no good foods or bad foods, eat all foods in moderation is a good rule to follow. A key to moderation is not becoming fixated on one part of life but, instead, taking a big-picture view so that assessing your overall balance of priorities is possible.
Tips on eating moderately –
Avoid emotional eating
Focus on quality food; eat 80% healthy and allow 20% treats/indulgence
Don’t get too hungry before a treat or party
Enjoy your favorite food slowly with each bite in small portions
Wait for at least 20 minutes before refill your plate
Stop eating at 80% full, which is the comfortably satisfied state
Follow the principle of variety, balance, and moderation in daily intake
If you enjoy alcohol, drinking alcoholic beverages in moderation
Moderation in Physical Activities
Experts recommend age-appropriate behavior when it comes to exercise. While physical activity is crucial for healthy aging – as it is for good health in general – there are limits to what many people can endure as they age. Of course, much depends on a person's fitness level, but certain precautions such as starting slow and dealing with pain and fear should be observed regardless.
Don't Overdo Exercise. It has become more exercise-obsessed (as well as weight-loss-obsessed) society today, as many believe that more miles on the road or hours in the gym means more benefits. However, this is not science-evident. Rather, a plenty of studies show a relatively small amount of exercise works wonders, which is a good news. Smaller doses of regular exercise can produce significant benefits, not only for the aging body but, equally as important, for the mind. As studies have shown, even less strenuous activities such as walking, bicycling or swimming can help improve heart health as well as cognitive abilities. For seniors, trying harder may not necessarily lead to better results.
Most people exercising to keep fit. If an individual exercise in moderation, exercising will become an integral part of the fitness plan. There are also certain adults taking exercise to an extreme level and holding themselves to certain unrealistic ideals. They take extreme dieting and exercising to challenge their body for a sense of ageless personal success. In such case, this is unhealthy and hurting the body. It might lead to certain injuries and malnutrition. Compulsive dieting and exercising may cause serious health problems.
Balancing health and fitness is something we should all be striving to do. It takes logic, common sense, critical thinking, and most importantly, avoiding the extreme. Enjoy your run, walk, ride and swim, but don’t exhaust your body. Nourish it with hydration, nutrition, and adequate rest. it is important to know your limits. When working out, go at a pace that you are totally comfortable with. Listen to your body is the key. Exercise moderately to maintain good health without pushing yourself past the point of your own endurance.
Tips for exercise moderately after age 60 –
Plan workout routine with a variety of activities and focus more on balance exercises
Balance out cardio and strength training, i.e., include 2 strength trainings weekly
Go with moderate intensity
Use active recovery days once a week or as needed
Listen to your body to regulate your activity level/type
All physical activities counts; keep busy and sit less
Moderation in Emotions
Holiday season may bring mixed emotions – happiness, sadness, joyfulness, loneliness, remembrance, stress, anger, and more. Our emotional intelligence (emotional regulation ability) play an important role in our well-being. Without a moderate emotion we cannot make proper judgments. Extreme emotions should be consciously self-regulated for psycho-social well-being and self-care.
Changes in emotions with age are complex. Late adulthood is not simply a time of emotional well-being and tranquility. Strong emotions exist and reactions to important life events may increase with age, rather than diminish. A study by Streubel and Kunzmann (2011) suggests that emotional arousal is a factor that needs more attention in aging research. In circumstances in which strong emotions are aroused, older adults may not be able to regulate their emotions as well as younger people.
Practice emotional regulation strategies for healthy aging
Awareness of your feelings and emotions
Identify the emotional upsetting trigger
Take a deep breath and accept your emotions
Focus on moderation, not suppression, of your emotions
Express yourself and unload your emotions when appropriate
Allow personal space emotionally
Practice relaxation and exercise for stress reduction; do not use alcohol or cigarette smoking
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Moderation is a golden rule to follow in life. Practice moderation in appetite, exercise, and emotions are beneficial for healthy aging.
Disclaimer: This information is for educational and informational purposes only. It is not medical advice. Consult your healthcare professional for personal conditions.
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