Take ... For Seniors
Many people think snacks are junk food,
though it doesn’t have to be that way. Snacking can be part of a balanced
diet. Eating small portions between meals provides your body with energy to
keep you going throughout the day.
Try to keep your snack portions small
and less than 250 calories. Spacing out meals and snacks can help prevent
weight gain. The Nutrition Facts Label on packaged foods will help you
figure the calories and nutrients that are in one portion size.
More foods are now being packaged in
single-serving portions, making it easier for you to keep track of how much
you’re eating. But you still want to be careful about what kinds of food
you choose to snack on!
Sugary and fattening sweets like cookies
and candy lack nutrients. Many salty foods – like chips – can dehydrate
you. These foods should be eaten in moderation.
For healthy and filling snacks, try:
Fresh or frozen fruit, or a handful
of dried fruit, such as raisins.
Raw vegetables – carrots, celery,
red and green pepper – cut and portioned in small plastic bags. Try
filling celery with peanut butter or low-fat cottage cheese, or dipping
your vegetables in low-fat dressing.
A whole-wheat English muffin with
apple butter and a cup of herbal tea.
A slice of angel-food cake with
non-fat whipped topping.
Whole-grain crackers (could be
topped with cheese or peanut butter).
Non-fat cottage cheese or yogurt
A handful of nuts, dried fruit or
trail-mix (or make your own mix by buying the ingredients you like).
A smoothie (blend nonfat milk and/or
yogurt with fruit).
So forget the bag of chips or candy bar
and reach for a handful of nuts and raisins. You'll get extra fiber,
vitamins, and minerals, all for about 50 calories.
With proper portions and healthy food
choices, snacking can enhance, rather than hurt your diet.
How Walking Buffs
You lace up your walking shoes, stretch,
and set out on a brisk walk … all with the goal of being fit and healthy.
What you might not know is that your walk benefits your mind just as much as
your body. Recent research finds that physical activity is good for mental
Simple forms of steady exercise, such as
walking, give you the best mental boost. Walking improves your ability to
make decisions, solve problems, and focus. Even small doses of walking, like
a 15-minute trek, can increase your brain power.
These benefits are not just short term.
The mental perks continue long after your body has cooled down from a walk.
Perk Up by Walking
When life gets you down, walking can
ease some of the burdens and relieve sadness or anxiety. Here’s why:
Aerobic activity releases hormones
like adrenaline in your body. These hormones are key players in your
nervous system and in boosting your mood.
Endorphins also release in your body
during activity. They help relieve pain and create a sense of
Try to find time for brain breaks each
day by walking. Remember, you can break your treks up into several short
Expand Your Outlook
Many people use walking as a time to
pray, meditate, or just think. Alone time spent walking can help you gain
perspective and balance.
If you walk with a friend or family
member, you also can enrich your mind by talking about issues of interest.
Intelligent banter sharpens your wit; this, in turn, increases your mental
skill. It’s enjoyable to plan what topics the day's walk will explore.
Walking beefs up your mind in many ways.
Here are more benefits:
Exercise helps you sleep better.
Restful nights are essential for clear thought processes.
As you continue to walk, you’ll
deepen your self-motivation and personal will. This can help you muster
the mental drive you need each day.
The point is this: Any time you can
dedicate to walking is time your brain and mind need for clarity and
strength. When you feel overwhelmed, find the time to walk. You’ll get
quick relief from your mental load and long-term enhancement to your mental