Seniors: Improve your health in 15 minutes or less

Baby boomers aren’t content sitting still — they live full lives. Age is only a number for this determined generation. If you are one of the many active baby boomers, you understand health is a priority, but that doesn’t mean you want to spend hours each day making sure you stay well. Luckily, some of the best things you can do for yourself only take minutes a day.

Dr. Wendy Bazilian, author of “The SuperFoodsRx Diet: Lose Weight with the Power of SuperNutrients,” suggests these four big-impact health activities that can be done in 15 minutes or less.

1. Be flexible with gentle stretches

Stretching might seem like a basic physical activity, but its positive effects can be substantial. Stretching for five to 15 minutes each day can help keep muscles and joints flexible, and help increase overall body health.

2. Get an oil change, in your kitchen

The right kinds of oils can benefit your health, and the wrong ones can put you at risk for high cholesterol, heart disease and even cancer. Olive oil contains monounsaturated fats that can help boost healthy HDL cholesterol while helping to reduce unhealthy LDL cholesterol levels. Organic grapeseed oil has a more neutral flavor and a high smoke point, allowing for higher temperature cooking.

3. Try an omega-3 fish oil supplement

Recently, there’s been a lot of talk about omega-3 essential fatty acids and their ability to prevent common disease as well as benefit brain and overall health. Because these essential fats are available only through what you eat, Americans often don’t get as much as they need. Include food sources like wild salmon and sardines, as well as plant sources like walnuts and flaxseeds.

4. Eat more fruits and veggies each day

Few foods other than fresh produce can provide the high levels of nutrients your body needs, yet more than 80 percent of us are not eating enough. It’s important at every meal to aim to fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables. Try to incorporate fresh fruits and veggies into your diet daily, and don’t forget about frozen and dried options without added sugars or preservatives. The tasty options are endless — from berries, apples, bananas and cherries to broccoli, tomatoes, carrots, cabbage and kale. Be adventurous and try a new recipe that features a veggie you’ve never had before. Or taste local flavors by visiting your neighborhood farmers market. Whether for a snack or with a meal, fresh produce is great for any baby boomer’s diet. — ara content