While it’s true that we’re only as old as we feel, it’s also true that as we age we should pay more attention to our fitness and general health. There is often an evolution of consciousness that takes us from aggressively pursuing particular fitness goals to maintaining good health. When this actually happens varies, but as people get into their 40s or 50’s limit deadlifts and “Tough Mudder” races are gradually exchanged for boot camp fitness classes and daily stretching. Staying in shape is much easier than getting into shape, especially if you’ve been sedentary for a considerable period of time. This doesn’t mean that even as we reach our 60’s and 70’s, we can’t maintain a healthy lifestyle that includes special attention to anti-aging workouts, smart nutrition and overall quality of life.
Fountain of Youth
One of the benefits of getting older is we gain perspective. Experience teaches us over-exercising can lead to overtraining and injury. Transitioning to anti-aging workouts doesn’t mean you’re giving up, on the contrary you’re recognizing the need to exercise smarter. Strength training with dumbbells, resistance bands and machines offer a number of benefits including increased muscle mass, increased metabolism and greater bone density. The basics work: exercises like dumbbell squats, leg presses, push-ups and cable rows work the large muscle groups as well as the smaller supporting muscles. With a handful of exercises 2-3 days you’ll keep your muscle and your ability to stay active.
As we get older our metabolism slows and it gets increasingly difficult to keep the extra pounds from catching up to us. Smart nutrition emphasizes lean protein, healthy fats like those found in nuts, fruits and vegetables and whole grains (source). Metabolism slows down as we get older so we have to compensate by eating fewer calories and increasing activity. Aerobic exercise such as walking and swimming that conditions the cardiovascular system burns extra calories and compliments your smart nutrition plan.
Quality Over Quantity
Just because you’re not as young as you used to be doesn’t mean it’s time to wind down. It’s a matter of working smarter – not harder. A moderate amount of strength training, cardiovascular training and common sense-eating habits will serve you well for decades to come. A healthy lifestyle helps you manage or prevent common ailments like high blood pressure and osteoporosis (source). An active, healthy body is one of the keys to maintaining your quality of life as you get older.