Swim or square, they’re both good

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Aging Well with Patricia Harringtion

These past few weeks I have finally been able to achieve a healthier lifestyle by making better food choices and getting more active. I have heard it to be said that people who have quit smoking needed to quit a number of times before they were able to succeed. 

Well, I think it is true for changing habits to become healthier other ways too. I have reduced my intake of junk food and baked goodies and I have eaten a great deal more vegetables, protein, fruit and berries. 

Other changes that have become good habits for me are starting each day with a warm lemon water drink (apparently it cleanses the liver so it can work better), I now top off most meals with a green tea, and I am drinking lots more water than I was before. I also eat a lot more probiotics so they can help keep healthy bacteria in the body.

At first I needed to read what I should cook every meal and I faithfully followed a plan, but after getting into the habit of cooking the meals and knowing what to not include I have developed a healthier sense for meal planning. 

Was it a pain at first? Yes. Did it get easier? Absolutely. I have also been able to stop eating every time I watch TV. In fact, I do not eat after supper most of the time which has been a huge step for me. 

The other aspect I needed to work on was moving more. I needed to get more active. I do not feel that I have achieved this as well – yet. I have been enjoying more walks with the dog as I have shared before, but I have also been able to take part in an AquaFit class at the YMCA. I find this a very fun way of getting a workout. I love the water, I love music and I enjoy being around other people like me t is a very comfortable setting. 

I have been invited to a Square Dancing group in the past, but time has not permitted this. I did come across a brochure for Modern Square Dancing though and I must say it sure does look like a very effective activity that can help people improve their health. 

When I reviewed this brochure I realized that for people who attend Modern Square Dancing on a regular basis their risk for falling is reduced a great deal. Why? When people Square Dance they are getting many benefits to be able to age well through socializing, stress relief, improved balance, exercise and improved bone health. 

Each of these benefits help to reduce our risk of falling.  What a fun way to improve health.  I also learned that the Cumberland Twirlers will celebrate their 40th anniversary this coming May.  Congratulations to the club.

There was also a website for people who may like to learn more at “Try Dancing” www.squaredance.ns.ca  The season runs September to May so it is a good time to check it out and be able to plan for September as well.

If you would like to ask any questions about healthy activities or reduce the chances of having a fall, please give our Seniors Health Center a call at 597-7150 or toll free at 1-877-916-7150.


Patricia Harrington is the district manager, senior's health, for the Cumberland Health Authority.


Organizations: YMCA, Seniors Health Center, Cumberland Health Authority

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