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Posted December 21, 2010 | comments Leave a comment

Staying healthy and enjoying life over 50

In the New Year, people often wish each other "good health!" Good health enables us to enjoy life and accomplish our goals. As we move into the dynamic years of 50+, it is even more important to pamper ourselves with healthful foods and daily exercise.

Healthful foods need not be dull. Awaiting you in the produce section of your local market is a whole world of fruits and vegetables that are rich in color, flavor and fiber. Filling at least half of your plate with fruits and vegetables will also help you manage your calories and provide wonderful nutrients such as vitamins C and A. As we get older, we need fewer calories to maintain a healthy weight.

Usually on the opposite side of the store from the produce section you will find the wonderful world of dairy! Low fat milk, yogurt and cheese provide calcium to help maintain bone health. Three to four servings per day will pamper your bones as well as provide you with protein and other important nutrients.

Whole grains such as corn, brown rice, and whole wheat products round out any meal while providing fiber and B-vitamins. Choose a whole grain that might complement a nice serving of lean protein such as fish, beans, or poultry. Watch your portion sizes of these two food groups, they tend to be calorie dense!

Finally, think EXERCISE! Challenge yourself in the New Year to a daily exercise routine of at least 30 minutes per day, five days per week. Walking is a wonderful form of exercise. It can help lower blood pressure, achieve and maintain a healthy weight, reduce stress and anxiety, build strong bones, and improve muscle tone and strength.

Here's to good health in the New Year! Make it your No. 1 priority!

Here are some wonderful recipes for cooking with local foods from VCE:

http://pubs.ext.vt.edu/3001/3001-9027/3001-9027.pdf


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