As we age, we may not be as active as we used to be. Maybe we have put on a few extra pounds, or we've developed health issues such as high blood pressure or diabetes.
The NDSU Extension Service has created Nourishing Boomers and Beyond, a program to provide North Dakotans age 50 and older with information and strategies to eat more nutritiously and be more physically active so they can reduce their risk of developing chronic diseases.
Extension agents will hold monthly classes in many rural North Dakota counties beginning in January 2014. Each month's class will focus on one topic, such as how to keep your eyes healthy. Other topics include how to keep your heart, brain, muscles, digestive system, skin, bones and joints healthy; how to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your diet; how to sort fact from fiction in claims for health products or services; where to go for reliable health and nutrition information; and how to deal with stress and mental health issues.
Visit www.ndsu.edu/boomers to see if a Nourishing Boomers and Beyond program is being held near you. Sign up for the free monthly newsletter and check out the self-paced online content.
Classes will include hands-on activities and time for discussion. Participants will receive material such as handouts and healthful recipes to take home.
If you aren't able to attend a class or want more information on the topic covered in a session, you can visit the program's website at www.ndsu.edu/boomers. Anyone can sign up for the free monthly newsletter by visiting the website or contacting your local Extension office. Participating county Extension offices also will have Facebook pages to interact with their clients.
"Our goal is to provide nutrition and overall wellness education and online support to help adults sustain a healthy lifestyle," says Julie Garden-Robinson, Extension food and nutrition specialist and project director.
The January lesson will focus on nutrition tips and physical activities to nourish and exercise your muscles. The website will include a workout guide with easy-to-follow strength, balance, and flexibility exercises that you can do anytime, and recipes that are good sources of protein and the nutrients you need for good health.
The site also will have SuperTracker, a program to help you find out what and how much to eat; track foods, physical activities and weight; and personalize your food and fitness plan with goal setting, virtual coaching and journaling.
"Good health is important for enjoying a high quality of life and for maintaining independence in later life," says Jane Strommen, Extension gerontology specialist and project co-director. "This program offers the tools to help us enhance our physical and mental health."
Future lesson topics include heart health in February, evaluating sources of health and nutrition information in March and eye health in April.
The project is supported by a Rural Health and Safety Education program grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
NDSU is recognized as one of the nation's top 108 public and private universities by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education.