You can become more centered and focused in everything you do. At least one study has shown an improved ability to multitask. Meditation has been linked to a number of things that lead to increased ability to focus, memory … Greater concentration is related to the increased energy meditation provides. it connects you with your real source of energy.
You become more aware of your body and tend to want more things that are better for yourself. Apply the Hippocratic oath -- "First, do no harm" -- to yourself. You just want to put good things in your body. That means "closest to what's natural. Becoming more intune with yourself allows you to see what nutrients your body needs and your desire for healthier foods and exercise may increase.
"Meditation puts you on the fast track to being happy," says Ronnie Newman, director of research and health promotion for the Art of Living Foundation. Studies have shown that brain signaling increases in the left side of the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for positive emotions, while activity decreases in the right side, responsible for negative emotions, Newman says. The other benefits of meditation, including increased self-awareness and acceptance, also contribute to improved overall well-being.Studies show that meditation changes brain physiology to slow aging. "Cognition seems to be preserved in meditators," says Sara Lazar, a researcher at Harvard University. Lazar adds that meditators also have more gray matter – literally, more brain cells. Lazar's colleague, Elizabeth Hoge, did a study that showed that meditators also have longer telomeres, the caps on chromosomes indicative of biological age (rather than chronological). That meditation lengthens life "may be a bit of a stretch," Hoge says. "But there is something about meditation that is associated with longer telomeres … [perhaps that] it reduces stress and its effects on the body."
The practice benefits cardiovascular and immune health. Meditation induces relaxation, which increases the compound nitric oxide that causes blood vessels to open up and subsequently, blood pressure to drop. One study, published in 2008 in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, showed that 40 of 60 high blood pressure patients who started meditating could stop taking their blood pressure medication. Meditation may also improves immunity. Studies have shown those that meditate tend to get sick less often. Meditation may be a new practice you want to explore to improve your awareness of body and mind.
Test an object's weight before attempting to lift a Christmas tree, heavy packages or luggage. Try pushing it with your foot. If it seems too heavy then take smaller loads, which are less likely to strain your back and are easier on arm and shoulder muscles.
Keep the load close to your body when lifting. Ask for help or use an assistive device to lift heavy objects.
Seek help from a physical therapist if your back pain lasts more than a few days or gets worse.
Holiday shopping can be stressful. Try to distribute the weight of shopping bags equally on both sides of your body.
Make frequent trips to the car to drop off purchases. Avoid prime shopping times to decrease wait times that can increase or exceed standing/walking time tolerances.
Plan your shopping trip ahead of time. Having a set list of gifts you intend to buy will help you plan for extra help, if needed, to carry purchases.
Exercise has benefits at all ages.
Don't worry if you feel like you haven't been part of organized exercising or if you stopped exercising for some reason. Being physically active can help you continue to do the things you enjoy and stay independent as you age. In addition, the right kind of regular exercise can reduce your chance of heart disease, diabetes, and falls.
An effective exercise program needs to be fun and keep you motivated. Think back to when you were a child. what type of things made you happy? Roller skating? Riding a bike? Running around with your friends? Swimming?
Keep up with your kids/grand kids
Manage a health condition
Improve your stamina
Your exercise program can also be a way for you to socialize. Taking exercise classes or exercising with a friend are both good ways to be social! There is probably a friend that would love a walking buddy, she/he just needs a little friendly nudge to get started.
You may have a hard time starting an exercise routine. Once you do start, though, you will begin to notice the benefits, including improved sleep and self-esteem. Studies have shown that those who exercise regularly sleep better.
Exercise and physical activity have so many benefits for your body. Exercise can make it easier to do the things you want to do, it can help with your balance and walking, help with feelings of depression or anxiety and improve your mood.
It also helps to maintain your thinking skills (cognitive function) as you get older and prevents or treats diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, breast and colon cancer, and osteoporosis.
Exercises can be grouped into four main categories, although many exercises fit into more than one category:
1. Aerobic exercise: This type of exercise increases your breathing and heart rate. These exercises help your heart, lungs, and blood vessels. They may prevent or delay many diseases, such as diabetes, colon and breast cancers, and heart disease.
Aerobic sports activities include brisk walking, jogging, swimming, biking, climbing, tennis, and basketball. Aerobic activities you can do every day include dancing, yard work, pushing your grandchild on a swing, and vacuuming.
2. Muscle strengthening: Improving your muscle strength can help you climb stairs, carry groceries, and stay independent.
You can build muscle strength by:
Lifting weights or using a resistance band, performing everyday activities, such as carrying a full laundry basket from the basement, carrying your smaller grandchildren, or lifting things in the garden.
3. Balancing exercises: Balance exercises help prevent falls, which is a concern for older adults. Many exercises that strengthen the muscles in the legs, hips, and lower back will improve your balance. It is often best to learn balance exercises from a physical therapist before starting on your own.
Balance exercises may include:
Standing on one foot
Standing on tiptoe to reach something on the top shelf
Walking up and down the stairs
4. Stretching exercises: stretching can help your body stay flexible. To stay limber:
Learn shoulder, upper arm, and calf stretches
Take yoga classes
Do everyday activities, such as making your bed or bending over to tie your shoes.
Everyday exercise is important to continue living a healthy and happy lifestyle.