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Mindful : February 2019
1 STAY CONNECTED Maybe your kids are older and you aren’t in touch with parents around school as much, or you no longer go to an office daily. Staying in touch with others may require more planning now, but social engagement is vital. Studies suggest up to one in five adults feels chronically lonely, and that loneliness correlates with poorer health. Whatever it takes, diligently carve out time with family, friends, or community. 2 CARE FOR YOUR MIND Ongoing learning may help prevent cog nitive decline as you age. Sustain old hobbies, try out new ones, or take a class. If you are not working as much, consider volunteering or using your experience to offer consulting services in your community. Address mental health concerns if they arise; the risk for depression increases with age. Less computer and television time also cor- relates with better mental (and physical) health. 3 REEVALUATE 3 YOUR DIET The body’s needs change throughout our lives, and our diets should reflect this. Maybe you used to be able to eat or drink whatever you wanted, but now spicy foods upset your stomach, your alcohol tolerance has dropped, or you gain weight more easily. Mindfulness is a useful tool for exploring your habits with food and supporting steady steps toward creating new ones that meet your needs today. 4 MOVE MORE Muscle mass starts reced- ing as early as age 30, but exercise can counteract that. One study found that just 30 minutes of intense interval training three times a week restored the cellular health of muscles deg raded by aging. Exercise also supports bone density, balance, agility, helps you sleep better, and can stave off depression. And consider this: Age-related weight gain is often misattributed to a changing metabolism, when it may stem from less- ened physical activity. Even 10 minutes, several times weekly, improves your mood in the moment, and also increases mental and physical fitness in the long run. So, get moving! 5 FIND YOUR SLEEP 5 FORMULA Sleep needs and patterns change throughout our lives. You may find your- self requiring more sleep, or perhaps less. Maybe a 20-minute midday nap is now what keeps you bal- anced. The quality of your sleep is also undermined by excessive alcohol, caffeine, and screen use, and can be affected by health issues like menopausal symptoms, heartburn, or medications. And guess what? Sleep often improves with reg u- lar meditation. 6 PRACTICE 6 MINDFULNESS Stress is one of the biggest health-risk factors in our lives, greatly impacting both mental and physi- cal health. Mindfulness meditation is one of the best mindful md 28 mindful February 2019