Help Your Body Fight The Aging Process – Diet & Exercise Advice

Help Your Body Fight The Aging Process – Diet & Exercise Advice

Exercise is more important as you get older than when you are younger. Why? Because things start to happen to our bodies as we reach our 40s, 50s and 60s that we didn’t even know about in our carefree 20s and 30s.

Not only do we have to contend with wrinkles and middle age spread, according to Health & Wellbeing on the age UK website, we have to watch out for shrinking brains, weakening muscles, loss of balance, slower metabolism and a lack of energy to name just a few. And on top of all that, we tend to eat more calories and burn fewer calories than we did in our formative years.

Exercise and weight training can be part of your everyday life

Despite all things that could go wrong, we are all living longer and want good health in our more mature years. So you will be pleased to know that even if you have never exercised all your adult life, it’s not too late to start now.

You don’t need to go out and buy any specialist gym or fitness equipment like a rowing machine. Simply build the exercises and strength training into your daily life.

The secret is to start off slowly especially if you’ve not done any exercise for years. Always start by stretching, which you can even do when you are in bed. Incorporate it into your life and you won’t even know you’re doing exercise. You could start by walking a little further to work by getting off the bus earlier or walking onto the next stop before catching the bus. When you go shopping in a department store, take the stairs instead of sauntering up the elevator looking at everything you’ve just missed on that floor. And don’t tell me that you haven’t got time because very soon, when the clocks go back, you will have an extra hour every day.

According to the BBC Health website, the current guidelines for physical activity recommends that we should do at least 30 minutes of exercise on most days but it doesn’t have to be done all at once. It could be for example, three sessions of 10 minutes each or two at 15 minutes, basically whatever fits into your lifestyle.

Burn off the fat with muscle

Introducing light weights, like a tin of baked beans or light dumbbells if you have them, into our strength training routine will tone muscles and rebuild the ones we’ve lost. Yes, lost. Most women start to lose muscle after the age of 45 and it’s really important as we get older to keep as much strength as possible to help prevent the risk of fractures. Also, although you may have heard that muscle weighs more than fat, which it does, it also requires more energy than fat which means that your metabolism will increase the more toned you become. When your metabolism increases, you burn off more calories, thus using up some of those fat reserves and helping you lose weight too.

Combine this with aerobic exercise like a little jogging and you will see a great improvement in your mental and physical well being. I say mental well-being because not only does your body feel and look better, exercising releases endorphins in the brain, also known as happy hormones which give you that feel good feeling. You will also sleep better and feel less stressed.

In order to stay motivated though you must choose something you enjoy doing and if you can find a partner to do it with, then you are more likely to keep at it. Don’t start on Monday, after Christmas, next month or in the New Year. If you are going to start to make a change to your lifestyle, which is what this will be, not a diet. Start it now!

Don’t diet – eat whatever you want but eat it slower

You may want to look at your eating habits too. I’m not advocating going on a diet because I don’t believe diets work in the long term. It needs to be a breaking of habits and that’s not easy but here’s some places to start. Have a look at your portion sizes and the speed at which you eat. If you eat more slowly you will feel fuller sooner because the time it takes for the stomach to produce the hormones that tell your brain you are full, is about 20 minutes. This means that you could be eating for 20 minutes after you are already full which is why we get that “I’m stuffed” feeling after a big meal.

Try using a smaller dinner plate in order to reduce your portion size. You can always go back for more if you keep it warm in the oven but you may find that you don’t really need any more and were just eating because it was there.

Do you find that you crave something sweet after a meal? Well this craving is not uncommon and will subside after 20 minutes but by that time you’ve probably raided the biscuit tin or cookie jar and devoured the equivalent of a whole bar of chocolate. The taste of mint in your mouth can take away the feeling of wanting to eat, so as soon as you have finished your dinner, brush your teeth and hopefully you won’t feel like that cookie.

We can make subtle but significant changes to our lifestyle and eating habits that will help give us confidence and health into our future. Staying active into our old age doesn’t have to be a massive change, like joining a gym or anything expensive like that, but just do something. Your body will thank you.

Categories: Diet, Fitness, Weight Loss