Establishing a self-care routine has countless benefits. When
you eat nutritious foods, exercise your body, and get plenty of rest, it can positively impact your sense of well-being, lower your blood
pressure, improve your digestion, and even boost your immune system.
Further adding to this list, when you focus on self-care,
you go beyond just caring for yourself. The author Anne Lamott eloquently explains,
"When we care for ourselves as our very own beloved – with naps, healthy food,
clean sheets, a lovely cup of tea – we can begin to give in wildly generous
ways to the world, from abundance." Essentially, if you want to make a
difference to those around you, you must first care for yourself.
We're here to encourage you!
Self-care involves caring for your whole self: mind,
body, and soul. At RLC, we
believe these elements are so essential we're dedicating an article to each.
Last month we shared ways to boost your mental fitness. Today we're focusing on the body, and
next month we'll share a fun surprise to help uplift your soul. For now, let's
eat, sleep, and play our way to optimal health.
EAT // BRIGHTEN UP
Pull up a plate, and let's talk about food, which is the easiest
and most natural way to get the nutrients you need to age well. Eating the
right foods can boost your immune system and help alleviate stress. It's like nature's medicine, but how do you know if you're getting
the right mix of foods?
A quick way to assess
the quality of your diet is to look for color. Dietitians often suggest "eating
the rainbow" because colorful fruits and veggies have anti-inflammatory and
antioxidant effects that benefit different aspects of your health. By incorporating
multiple colors on your plate, you know you're getting a nice variety of
minerals and vitamins, which is key. Need some inspiration? Here's a helpful list of colorful foods
Red: beets, cherries, cranberries, pink grapefruit,
pomegranates, radicchio, radishes, raspberries, red apples, red grapes, red
peppers, red potatoes, rhubarb, strawberries, tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato
Orange & Yellow: squash,
apricots, cantaloupe, carrot, corn, grapefruit, lemons, mangoes, nectarines,
oranges, orange peppers, bananas, papaya, peaches, pineapple, pumpkin, summer
squash, sweet potatoes, tangerines, yams, yellow peppers
asparagus, avocados, broccoli, brussels sprouts, celery, collard greens,
cucumber, green beans, grapes, green onions, peppers, kale, kiwi, leeks, limes,
mustard greens, okra, pears, peas, lettuce, snow peas, spinach, sugar snap
Blue: & Purple: blackberries,
blueberries, currants, dates, eggplant, purple grapes, purple grape juice,
plums, prunes, purple figs, raisins, red cabbage
To learn more about helpful
superfoods to add into your daily diet, meet RLC's singing chef, Chef Garrett
Scanlan. Watch these videos to learn about his Top 5 Superfoods, and
enjoy his fun songs at the end of each video!
SLEEP // GET YOUR
Sleep is such a healing activity. It's when your body
truly relaxes and repairs itself from any cell damage that occurred during
the day. In fact, it's called "beauty rest" because your blood flow naturally increases
while you sleep, and your skin can rebuild its collagen and repair damage from
UV exposure, reducing wrinkles and age spots.
good night's sleep can also improve your concentration and memory formation and
refresh your immune system, which helps prevent disease. Wow, right?
How much sleep do you need for your body to perform these
mini-miracles? Sleep requirements vary from person to person. Most healthy
adults require seven to nine hours of sleep per night, but scientists now suggest
it's how you feel in the morning that's more important than a specific number
of hours. As we age, it's normal to experience changes in our sleeping
patterns, such as becoming sleepy earlier, waking up earlier, or experiencing
less deep sleep.
To find your magic number, aim for eight hours of sleep
per night. Keep a journal next to your bed and record how you feel each
morning. If you're consistently waking up feeling rested, you're in the sweet
spot. If you wake up feeling tired, try adjusting the amount of sleep you're
getting to see if that makes a difference. It may also help to record the
amount of caffeine, sugar, and exercise you're getting. Diet and exercise can
play a role in the quality of your sleep, and it may turn out that simply limiting
caffeine and increasing exercise could help you get better ZZZs.
PLAY // MAKE
may go without saying, exercising your body is important. It's a great way to
lower your risk of developing various health conditions, including heart
disease and dementia. Not only that but when your muscles are strong,
activities like getting up from a chair or opening a door are much easier.
like to suggest that "exercise" doesn't have to be a Jazzercise class or
lifting some iron. Anything that involves movement is exercise! The
secret is to keep moving and be consistent. Whether you stretch, walk, swim, dance, ride a bike, or play pool, any
amount of movement is good for your body and soul. And, even if you've never
been active, there's no time like the present to get started.
Always begin by talking to your doctor. Once you have the
green light to exercise, choose fun activities, so it feels like a treat. We're
all about fun at RLC! With the help of our lifestyle directors, our social calendars
are packed with exciting ways to move, such as hula-hooping, lip sync contests,
dances, and more.
you're interested in seeing what a day-in-the-life of RLC looks like, we'd love
to have you join us. Call a community near you to talk to one of our managers and RSVP
for a day to come play with us!
hope this article was helpful and you're inspired to eat, sleep, and play your
way to a healthier you. Next month we'll be sharing our best advice on ways to lift
your spirits. Soul-care is just as important as nurturing your mind and body.
So, be sure to check back for more great tips and inspiration to live well.