A gorgeous beach day on Naples Beach - June 11, 2023!
Classes such as Yoga and Pilates are fantastic because they incorporate strength and stretching into each pose.
Our lifestyles involve more sitting than ever.
The less we move, the tighter our muscles become, and as a result, many people suffer from pain and dysfunction, commonly associated with office based work and a generally sedentary lifestyle.
Often those in pain turn to physical therapy and massage which offers much needed relief, until old patterns begin to repeat themselves again and the pain or muscle tension inevitably returns.
Enter your daily stretching routine!
Stretching is a cost free, self-empowering, time efficient and simple way to maintain healthy muscles.
A comprehensive five-minute stretching routine could potentially change posture, reduce pain, promote tissue repair, lubricate stiff joints and improve training recovery.
The physical benefits of safe stretching are undeniable and are too often ignored by...
A gorgeous start to Summer 2022 - Sunset on the Caloosahatchee River in Fort Myers, Florida - June 21, 2022. Photo Courtesy of Charly Caldwell II.
I reviewed some discouraging statistics in an article from The American College of Sports Medicine.
Did you know that only 1 out of every 10 Americans over 50 exercises enough to gain any cardiovascular benefit?
For the past decade, research has estimated that about half of the physical decline associated with aging may be because of inactivity.
Furthermore, people over 65 in particular require adequate fitness levels to help maintain an independent lifestyle, recover from illness and reduce their risks of injury and disease.
It's also been well documented that it is never too late to get fit.
The human body responds to exercise, no matter what its age, and there are many health benefits.
Conversely, without regular exercise, people over 50 can experience a range of health problems including:
A georgeous February day in the Botanical Gardens of Lakes Park, Fort Myers, Florida. Photo Courtesy of Charly Caldwell II.
People often ask me how much exercise they really need.
The answer depends on several factors, but primarily I tell them to consider their current health status and fitness goals.
A tedious answer, I know, but the amount of exercise someone needs and/or is capable of in order to shed 10 pounds is very different from the amount someone needs who simply wants to keep their cholesterol in check and their heart healthy.
The Institute of Medicine recommends:
“At least 60 minutes each day of moderately intense physical activity to prevent weight gain and achieve the full health benefits of activity,” a recommendation further endorsed by the American Council on Exercise.
An hour of physical activity each day appears to be the magic number to optimize health and reduce the risk of various disease processes including heart disease and cancer.
While an hour...
Enjoy a beautiful December, Southwest Florida Sunset on Naples Beach. Photo Courtesy of Charly Caldwell II
It only takes one pound – ONE – of extra weight to add 10 pounds of additional pressure to your feet and ankles.
Coupled with the estimated 77 per cent of American’s suffering from an over-pronating foot (the foot collapse inward and downward), and the 83 per cent of American’s who report they would be more active if they didn’t suffer chronic foot pain, makes the importance of proper footwear imperative.
Whether you have an over-pronating foot or not, here are 5 bad shoe choices that directly affect our daily health and wellbeing.
Be happy - like this amazing, personable & friendly duck - Piedmont Park - July 2021. Photo courtesy of Charly Caldwell II
Just like the lyrics of a Pharrell Williams’ song, “sunshine she’s here, you can take a break”, I’m “happy because that’s what I wanna do.”
It takes thought and practice but anyone can choose to be happy.
In fact, it takes effort to be unhappy.
People often ask how I can be so happy. I strongly believe that mental health requires just as much attention and concentrated effort as physical health.
The problem is, most people pay very little attention to it.
As with physical health, this neglect will catch up with you eventually, especially in a pandemic.
Here are a few things I practice to keep my mind as healthy and resilient as my body: (Give it a try, you might just find yourself smiling more. )
Every day I meditate for at least 10 minutes, preferably 20.
I started meditating about 5 years...
Enjoy a gorgeous September beach run! Naples Beach, Florida. Photo Courtesy of Charly Caldwell II
We hear the term ‘holistic health’ a lot these days. This refers to processes that positively impact the mind as well as the body.
When we talk about a holistic approach to health, we might consider physical activity as one element, because we know that regular exercise positively affects the body.
However, this activity can promote dual aspects of our well-being because exercise benefits not only the physical body, but also mental and emotional well-being.
The World Health Organization describes mental health as:
“a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community”.
By this definition, it is apparent that mental health and physical health are interconnected
When we are suffering...
Fresh off of a 5k run, enjoying nature at its finest in Lakes Park, Florida. Photo courtesy of Charly Caldwell II
As life expectancies continue to rise, quality of life in our later years is becoming increasingly important. Therefore, keeping our minds as well as our bodies healthy is a priority.
Here are 3 strategies you can start today to keep your brain sharp:
1) Exercise your brain.
Like the body, the brain benefits from being used and challenged — from being ‘kept in shape’.
Challenging the brain with new activities can create new pathways within the brain that can act as alternate routes if some neurons (nerve cells) are damaged.
You could try:
Running through the beautiful gardens of Lakes Park, and spotted this beauty -> it's Queens Wreath! Photo courtesy of Charly Caldwell II.
It’s much easier to stick to a nutritious, healthy meal plan when you already have all the ingredients at home.
Mapping out a weekly meal plan and writing down what to buy before grocery shopping can eliminate impulse buys and poor food choices.
One of the first steps for anyone on a mission to achieve a healthier lifestyle is to learn how to food shop.
Running through the gardens of Lakes Park in Fort Myers, Florida, spotted this beauty in bloom -> it's Queens Wreath! Photo courtesy of Charly Caldwell II.
Stocking the pantry and fridge with wholesome, nutritious foods provides you with healthy options and provides more variety to mix and match meals and snacks throughout the week.