Keeping fit when getting older

Finessing Your Diet And Exercise Regime As You Age

Finessing Your Diet And Exercise Regime As You Age

None of us is crazy about the idea of growing older, but the Holy Grail is aging well. From the age of 30, our muscles shrink by up to 8% per decade. Not only that, but infuriatingly our metabolisms slow down – meaning it’s harder to avoid gaining weight. The good news is that with some prudent lifestyle tweaks you can achieve great results; a healthier diet and regular, low-impact exercise is what’s needed.

Eat right to keep disease at bay

Most of us know in theory what a healthy diet looks like, but it’s more and more important to actually put this into practice as we get older. Firstly, unpalatable though it may seem, we need to eat less. A slowing metabolism means the same net calorie intake will lead to weight gain. So think about portions and try to eliminate snacking.

Secondly, make every mouthful count – think about nutrition, not just calories. A healthy diet can help ensure we fight disease and protect brain function.  The trick is to pile our plates with colourful food – things like beetroot, kale, and sweet potato. Purple foods contain polyphenols, which are associated with a longer life, for instance. When choosing protein, go easy on red meat and instead prioritise lean sources such as white meat, fish, and pulses. Include plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and avoid processed food, which accelerates aging. Minimise consumption of sugar and refined carbs, but don’t be scared of full-fat dairy products, which are valuable sources of calcium – essential for bone health.

How to exercise safely and effectively

How can we make sure we workout safely, but still achieve a healthy physique for our age? As we age, low impact forms of exercise are ideal. Swimming often springs to mind when we think about low impact exercise, but there are plenty of other options; trampolining is great, for instance. Using a trampoline reduces stress from weight-bearing joints by 80%. – making it a fantastic option as we get older and might be recuperating from accidents or injuries. It’s also excellent exercise for those who have been sedentary and are starting an exercise programme. Load-bearing exercise is great for bone health – especially important for women to avoid osteoporosis. That doesn’t have to mean weight-lifting – even brisk walking fits the bill. Yoga can help with balance and flexibility. Strength training is a fantastic way of maintaining muscle mass, preventing osteoporosis and torching fat. Bottom line – variety is good at keeping our metabolism on its toes and keeping us interested.

Try to avoid exercising daily as it can take longer for muscles and joints to recover; there’s no need to have more aches and pains than is necessary! Avoiding injuries is another key focus – making sure you warm up properly will help.

It’s never too late to implement positive lifestyle changes. Future-proofing health and maintaining a fabulous physique is doable – it just requires a few canny adjustments to diet and exercise regimes. The changes may even lead to some unexpected benefits too in terms of improved self-esteem and a more active social life.

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