Being an Active Participant in Life Challenge Health & Wellness Over 50s Lifestyle

Unlocking Life’s Potential: 3 Essential Keys to Active Participation

April 7, 2024

The first week of the ‘Being an Active Participant in Life Challenge’ is completed. During the week I shared prompts to encourage an active lifestyle in mind, body and spirit on my Instagram and in the Women Living Well After 50 Facebook Group.

During this first week I also wanted to make the point that to participate fully in life you need a good foundation to work from. That means that you need a good health and wellness base. If you aren’t feeling healthy on the inside and have a body that will support your activity then that affects how you enjoy life. In this post, I’m sharing the 3 Essential Keys to Active Participation.

To be an active participant in life you need a good foundation

Unlocking Life’s Potential: Three Essential Keys to Active Participation

There are several ways to unlock your potential to be an active participant in life however in this post, I’m detailing what I believe are the 3 essential keys. These 3 keys provide the strong foundation to being an active participant in life. They are simple and you already know them – but do you implement them in your life?

Key 1: Keep moving your body

Daily movement for 30 minutes is a must. But you can’t stop there – your body needs a variety of functional movement to keep it running in tip top condition. Functional movement enables you to keep doing your daily tasks in life like lifting, pushing, pulling, stretching, bending down.

That means:

  • cardio for a healthy heart,
  • weight bearing exercises which can include body weight if you don’t have the equipment.
  • balance work
  • flexibility and stretching
  • mobility exercises

All these types of movement may be overwhelming but they don’t have to be done all together and some can be part of your normal daily routine. Like standing on one leg to improve your balance while waiting for the kettle to boil.

If you aren’t sure where to start, get a medical clearance from your doctor and then seek advice from a professional Personal Trainer to provide a suitable program for you to follow.

Key 2: Keeping your Brain Active

We all have that moment where we walk into a room and can’t remember why we did? We all have that moment where we struggle to find the right word. Sometimes this is a more serious issue but most of the time it is just another part of ageing.

Keeping your Brain Active is just as important as physical activity. You can do ‘Mental Gymnastics’ everyday! Keeping your brain active is essential for maintaining cognitive health. 

Lately I’ve been doing a daily crossword puzzle but there are many ways to stay mentally alert.

  • Puzzles – crosswords, sudoko, jigsaws
  • Creative work such as drawing, colouring, writing
  • Card games
  • Dancing – having to remember the choreography plus you get a double whammy as you are moving your body at the same time.
  • Learning new things – take a short course
  • Participate in conversations or friendly debates
  • the list can be endless

Key 3: Quality Sleep

Key 3 is perhaps one of the most important areas to maintaining an active lifestyle but can be underrated for it’s effectiveness. Sleep isn’t just downtime; it’s your body’s VIP lounge for repairs, memory consolidation, and overall awesomeness. The sleep foundation suggests to Aim for those seven to nine hours of slumber—it’s your ticket to an active, vibrant life

I’ve always struggled with sleep even as a child. I’ve tried all the suggestions but I’ve accepted that this is one area of my life that is the most difficult to overcome. I know as we transcend menopause quality sleep can be elusive.

But…… Quality sleep is like a secret elixir for your well-being helps to keep you active and thriving:

  1. Improved Mood: When you wake up well-rested, your mood gets a delightful boost. Conversely, inadequate sleep can lead to anxiety, depression, and irritability. So, catch those Z’s for a happier you!
  2. Healthy Heart: During sleep, your heart rate slows down, and blood pressure decreases. It’s like a spa day for your cardiovascular system! However, insufficient sleep raises the risk of heart disease, heart attack, and heart failure. So, let your heart rest and recharge during those dreamy hours.
  3. Regulated Blood Sugar: Sleep plays a crucial role in your body’s relationship with insulin. When you snooze for seven hours or more, your blood sugar stays in check. But if you skimp on sleep, insulin resistance increases, leading to excess sugar in your bloodstream. So, sweet dreams for sweet blood sugar!
  4. Improved Mental Function: Ever heard of brain plasticity theory? It’s the brain’s way of saying, “I need my beauty sleep!” During sleep, your brain grows, reorganizes, and forms new neural connections. These connections enhance memory, problem-solving, and decision-making skills. Plus, accuracy on tasks improves when you’re well-rested.

Week 1 – Check-in

Did you participate in the ‘Being an Active Participant in Life Challenge’ last week? If so, I’d love to hear how you progressed and what you did.

For me I’ve listed what I did below, to keep me accountable to myself and to you

I achieved:

  • a variety of daily movement for at least 30 minutes
  • a completed crossword puzzle daily
  • social interaction having lunch with my husband and catching up for a run with my friend
  • interviewed another fabulous women for the Women Living Well After 50 Podcast
  • booked a 3-night get-away for Mike and I for the end of April

It’s not a competition – You do what is right for you.

Let’s support and encourage each other to be active participants in life

Let’s get into Week 2…….

Have an Active and Fabulous week everyone!

Sue Loncaric

Women Living Well After 50

Living Life Your Way

13 Comments

  • Reply leannelc April 7, 2024 at 12:06

    Hi Sue – all great reminders and I love how intentional you are in each area. I’m happy that I’m ticking the boxes too and that life is really balanced and happy. We really can’t ask for more than that can we? x

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 12, 2024 at 11:14

      Hi Leanne, balanced and happy is what we are after isn’t it? x

  • Reply Gail April 7, 2024 at 12:11

    Can I join even though I’ve missed the start?
    Thank you

  • Reply Bernie April 7, 2024 at 13:18

    Love the straightforward way you laid out the cornerstones of being active and aging well. I can finally say I am making steady progress on all 3. I feel like I have finally gotten past the sleep issues. I resorted to acupuncture — my husband says it’s like someone flipped a sleep switch. Luckily for me it is covered under my health benefits. I occasionally have to go back for a “top up” but I swear by it. Have you tried it Sue? If not consider it. Eastern medicine has a long track record and this has no side effects. As to the brain activity – I am currently juggling about 5 word type projects and 1 major sewing one so I think I am working it there! I turned the corner about 2 years ago in regards to fitness and I am happy to report I do all of those items you mentioned. BUT you inspired me to set goals so THANKS. Bernie

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 12, 2024 at 11:15

      Hi Bernie, thanks for the tip re acupuncture. I’ve never tried it for anything so might give it a go for my sleep. Thank you! x

      • Reply Bernie April 12, 2024 at 15:13

        I definitely recommend trying it. I’ve had astonishing success.

        • Reply Sue Loncaric April 13, 2024 at 07:10

          Will do and thanks again, Bernie. x

  • Reply Toni Pike April 7, 2024 at 15:04

    These are all fabulous tips, Sue – I’ll be keeping this list.

  • Reply marsha57 April 8, 2024 at 12:30

    Thanks for sharing all these tips, Sue! I think the different kinds of movement is the hardest for me. I tend to focus on just one and forget the others. I think I do a decent job of keeping my brain active.

    Have a wonderful week!

    https://marshainthemiddle.com/

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 12, 2024 at 11:16

      Hi Marsha, I know what you mean about trying to incorporate different movement. I run or walk and do yoga and strength training. I find using my calendar and booking my ‘workouts’ in helps me to cover it all and stay on track. x

  • Reply Rosie Amber April 10, 2024 at 17:06

    Brilliant -such a good reminder. I have been making lots of changes to my diet and general health and fitness. I particularly enjoy walking each day.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 12, 2024 at 11:22

      Hi Rosie I enjoy walking as part of staying active. I do love to run, do yoga and strength training but going for a walk in nature and just taking it all in is so good for our health and well being. Thanks for visiting and have a great weekend. x

    I love hearing from you and your comments are important to me

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.