3. Restore range of motion. If you have to stand on tiptoe to reach something in a cupboard that used to be easier to grab, work on stretching upward to restore your ability to reach into that cupboard.
4. Keep a sense of humor. Many boomers stop laughing as they age. Continue to see the funny side of life, to enjoy a good joke or a comedy. Don't let the years make you too serious.
5. Stay away from fast food. Do your own cooking and enjoy the taste of home cooked food. Sit down and eat your meals rather than gulping them down so you're not just putting calories in your body. If you don't have regular relaxed and nutritious meals, your hormonal system never gets to stabilize, so digestion becomes less than optimal.
6. Falls are one of the biggest causes of disability as we get older. Often, it's because our balance has deteriorated. While physical activity helps maintain balance, you also can do regular balance-specific exercises, like standing on one leg, then the other; or closing your eyes and turning in a circle, trying to stop at the exact place you started.
7. Keep socializing. Being around people not only keeps your social skills sharp, it makes you better at communicating with others. Spending too much time alone, reading or watching TV, can become a habit that leads to isolation; which makes us grow older faster.
8. Stretch often. A lot of boomers don't stretch, but it's important for warding off a lot of issues, including muscle atrophy. Put together a 10-minute stretch routine and do it every evening before going to bed.
9. Learn something new every few months. Sign up for a community college course or research a new subject. This forces your brain to make new pathways, maintaining or even increasing your mental sharpness.
10. Don't buy into the myth that getting older makes you useless. That belief leads to depression. Do things that make others see that age is not a barrier to competence. Run for local office. Volunteer to help out at cultural or sporting events. Be visible, so that everyone knows you're a valuable member of your community.
Wina Sturgeon is an active boomer, based in Salt Lake City, who mountain bikes, skates on both ice blades and wheels, lifts weights and runs to stay in shape.
(c) 2011, Adventure Sports Weekly (adventuresportsweekly.com)
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