Getting older has its advantages, but there are many negative aspects too, primarily associated with health and wellbeing. Bones can shrink in both density and size, which can make them more susceptible to injury. Similarly, muscles can become weaker, which can also cause a host of issues.
If you are getting older and concerned about how your body will cope as you age, one of the best things you can do is focus on being healthy and fit. Several things can aid this – a few of which we have explained below.
Here are 5 great ways to get fit and healthy as you age.
Your breakfast fuels your body for the earlier part of the day, so you should try to pack it as full of goodness as possible. Although breakfast cereals are quick and easy, most have added sugar, salt, and preservatives. Instead, why not have oatmeal or get a little more adventurous and make overnight oats using a wide range of fruit, berries, and nuts.
Another option for breakfast is a green smoothie. These mainly include vegetables and, depending on what you add, are typically packed with phytonutrients and lots of delicious goodness. Kale and spinach work well or if you want a protein boost, edamame beans and avocado are a great combination. Blend in a few pieces of fruit for sweetness, and you will have a fabulous nutritious breakfast that will keep you full until lunchtime.
Strength training is a great way to improve muscle strength and burn fat and is a great way to exercise regardless of age. If you are a beginner, it’s a good idea to start with low weights at first, and, over time, you can increase this as your strength improves. If you want to do this at home rather than at your local gym, adjustable dumbbell weights are fabulous, as you can alter to your desired weight depending on which exercises you are doing.
You will find loads of strength training classes free online, or if you feel that you need additional support and have specific goals you want to achieve, you could always hire a personal trainer.
Another issue that can arise as you age is weight gain. It can be due to changes in metabolism but can also occur as we become a little less active and are not focussing enough on our consuming a healthy diet.
If you feel you could do with shedding a few pounds, cardio is a great way to burn calories. Running, swimming, or HIIT classes are likely to increase your heart rate and help you lose some weight. That is, of course, providing you are keeping an eye on your calorie intake.
If you aren’t sure how many calories you should be consuming each day, use an online calculator to calculate your TDEE (the calories you burn when active and at rest). A calorie deficit of around 500 per day equates to approximately 1 pound in weight loss each week, so start calorie tracking, and in a few weeks, you should begin to notice some positive changes.
Being healthy is not just about diet and exercise – stress can play a huge part too. When we are stressed, it can affect our sleep, patience, blood pressure, and overall well-being. So, if you feel that things are getting on top of you and your stress levels are potentially causing problems, you must do something about it.
There are various ways to reduce your stress levels. Meditation can help (although it can take time to master), exercise, a good night’s sleep, and a good work/life balance may all help keep things in check.
Ongoing studies suggest that animal protein can contribute to various illnesses and diseases, such as heart problems, high cholesterol, diabetes, and even certain cancers. Red meat can be particularly bad for us, so if you consume a lot of it each week, try and keep it to a minimum.
Instead, pack your plate with a rainbow of vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts, and seeds, and in as little as a few weeks, you may notice a remarkable difference in your overall health. Your skin, hair, and nails may look better, you may lose some weight, and your energy levels should start to soar. If you are struggling for inspiration and want to know more about a whole food plant-based diet, you can find lots of helpful information and recipes online.