Getting older is an inevitable part of life. A number of things will happen, such as the appearance of wrinkles, graying of your hair, decreased energy or endurance, altered sleep and the onset of certain health problems. It doesn’t, however, have to be all doom and gloom and it doesn’t mean you’re over the hill and your life is over.
Your health is an asset, but it’s often taken for granted when you’re young. The older you get, the more you become aware of its value and how fragile it can be which makes it all the more important to look after it as best you can. Taking care of your health and well-being is something you can do to help you get through the years.
You can’t avoid the aging process, but you can adopt good habits and lead a healthy lifestyle which in turn is going to help you live better and possibly longer. Here are some tips on how to stay fit and healthy.
Maintaining a healthy diet is vital throughout your life, but the onset of certain medical conditions and lifestyle changes as you age means you need to look at adjusting your eating habits. There are several things you can do to make sure what you eat has the maximum health benefit. Add fiber to your meals by including more whole grains, raw fruits, and vegetables. Reduce your intake of cholesterol and fat and increase the number of healthy fats in your diet. Healthy fats include olive oil, avocados, salmon and walnuts. Foods such as white rice and potatoes provide little long-term nutritional value so try to reduce these as well. Keep your body hydrated by drinking plenty of water or other beverages but avoid those that contain alcohol and caffeine.
One last tip is to maximize your vitamin D intake by increasing your exposure to sunlight and eating foods such as fatty fish, egg yolks, canned tuna, fortified milk and cereal or supplements.
Your Mental Health and Sleep
Midlife can be a challenging time for many people, and it’s important to find ways to switch off. Taking care of your mental health should be a priority. Finding ways to relax and unwind can help to reduce stress. If you haven’t already got a hobby, now might be the right time to find one. Taking up golf is something many people choose to do when they get older. Not only does it help you keep fit it also gets you outdoors which has many mental health benefits. Everything you need for starting this kind of hobby can be bought online. Companies such as Parsons Xtreme Golf, for example, have a range of golf wedges to suit all handicaps and needs. Other ways to relax include gardening, yoga, reading a book, taking a long bath or meditating.
Sleep plays an integral part in a fitness plan because much of your body’s recovery and repair takes place at night. If you’re not getting enough sleep, it can cause a reduction in growth hormones and lead to cravings of sugar and other non-nutritious foods. On top of that, it will also leave you feeling tired and unfocused. Your brain needs quiet to rest so try to create a calm environment because it will maximize your chance of a good night’s sleep. Exposure to blue-and-white light prevents your brain from releasing melatonin, the hormone that tells your body it’s night-time, so stop staring at your laptop, tablet or mobile phone for at least an hour before you go to sleep.
Your Health and Your Body
There are specific lifestyle changes you can make to help you maintain your physical health. You may find as you age, that your energy and endurance decreases which can sometimes make exercising quite challenging. Walking is an ideal form of exercise you can incorporate into your daily life because it won’t push your body too hard. You will, however, have to walk for more extended periods if you want to reap any rewards. An ideal amount to aim for is at least 30 minutes a day, for five days a week.
Osteoporosis is a common condition that affects both men and women aged between 50 and 84 years of age. It is possible to slow it down by medication, however, introducing certain forms of exercise when you’re in your 30s can also reduce the rate of natural bone loss and delay the onset of this disease. Stair-climbing, cross-training, brisk walking, moderate-resistance weightlifting, heavy gardening and working out with resistance bands are great forms of exercise.
To keep yourself fit, you need to keep moving. Therefore, this means you should walk whenever possible as this increases stamina and fitness, while also reducing stress. Take the stairs at work, get off the bus a couple of stops early, walk to the corner shop and make an effort to walk as much as you can. Exercise is essential for your health and wellbeing, but it shouldn’t be painful. However, it should be uncomfortable if you want to benefit from it. The best time to exercise is going to be early in the morning, and you’ll also find it elevates you for longer.
Getting older might result in your posture suffering, but it’s often because of bad habits earlier in life. Pilates or Alexander Technique are both good for improving your posture.
Every decade after 30 your muscles decline by as much as 8% which means strength training should play a key role in your fitness regime. It helps to maintain muscle mass, prevent osteoporosis and burn fat.
Another tip if you want to get fit is to get a dog. It can be the perfect antidote to a sedentary life, especially if you work from home, as well as being the most uncomplicated workout companion.
Taking care of yourself when you are younger is vital, but even more so as you get older. If you look after your physical and emotional health, you’ll reap the reward by living longer, being happier and enjoying every day.