Healthy and Slim

Perfect Body

Retirement could kill you if you don’t start exercising. Try these 6 expert tips to launch a healthy habit.

You know you need to do it, and you promise to start tomorrow. But the road from the sofa to the gym, pool or yoga studio can prove insurmountable when the day dawns. You’re just not into exercise. And you’re not alone.

Only about one in five adults exercise regularly, and that number drops to 12% for people over age 65. Working adults say the main barrier is lack of time. But having more free time, combined with a lack of structure in retirement, can also make committing to exercise a challenge.

“People’s schedules up until retirement have a lot of activity built in,” said Dr. Katie Hill, chief medical officer of Nudj Health, a Pasadena-based company that works with physicians to improve the health of older patients. 

“You’re walking to and from the car, walking around the office, getting out from your desk, going to meetings, going to lunch,” said Hill. “Our external schedules help give us structure. A lot of that goes away in retirement. Physical activity levels are no longer baked into your routine and a lot of sitting happens.”

Add to that the pull of powerful forces, including fear of falling or injury, believing that exercise is for the young and it’s too late to start, the appeal of more sedentary activities, and a feeling of having earned the right to relax and do what you please; all of these can put movement low on the priority list.

“Those who are lifelong exercisers are likely to continue into later life,” said Margie E. Lachman, a psychologist at Brandeis University and lead author of When Adults Don’t Exercise: Behavioral Strategies to Increase Physical Activity in Sedentary Middle-Aged and Older Adults. 

“In contrast, to start exercising later in life requires one to decide how, what, and when

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A positive body image will boost mental health

 A happy young woman. (Courtesy)

In a society bombarded with unrealistic beauty standards, embracing and loving our bodies becomes an empowering journey towards holistic well-being. True wellness encompasses physical, mental and emotional health, and it begins with cultivating a positive relationship with our bodies.

Studies have shown that body acceptance plays a significant role in overall well-being. Research published in the Journal of Counseling Psychology showed that individuals who practice self-acceptance and have positive body image experience higher levels of self-esteem, life satisfaction and happiness. By embracing our bodies, we foster a healthier mindset that positively impacts our mental and emotional health.

Negative body image can have detrimental effects on mental health, according to research published in the Journal of Health Psychology. The study showed that poor body image is associated with increased levels of depression, anxiety and unhealthy eating habits. On the other hand, a positive body image correlates with higher levels of self-esteem and reduced risk of mental health disorders.

Body acceptance contributes to healthier behaviours and overall physical well-being. According to the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, individuals who have a positive body image are more likely to engage in regular physical activity, adopt balanced eating habits and have better self-care practices.

If you even think about it, by embracing your body you are more likely to prioritise care and that boils down to even what you eat, what you allow yourself to see and hear. Data highlights the need to challenge unrealistic beauty standards and redefine our perception of beauty.

Research from the Dove Global Beauty and Confidence report reveals that only four per cent of women around the world consider themselves to be beautiful, indicating a widespread struggle with body dissatisfaction. By accepting our body and celebrating diversity,

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