Staying fit as you get older gets more important when you realise you’re not as fit as you used to be. However, there is more than one thing you can do to reverse the effects of ageing.
Unfortunately, ageing is inevitable so staying fit as you get older is very important. Whilst trying to fend off the aesthetic and physical signs of ageing with pills and lotions, the inevitable process of ageing is, well, inevitable!
One of the best ways to remain healthy is to keep fit. Yet, staying fit as you get older is a slightly different kettle of fish to keeping fit when young.
There are factors to consider that a teenager wouldn’t need to consider, such as aching joints and breathlessness. To a teenager, aching muscles and joints is a short-term sign of a good workout. Yet as we get older, this can be a sign of chronic inflammation.
It can be exacerbated by exercise that aggravates a pre-existing condition such as arthritis or tendonitis. Indeed, in any physiotherapy clinic the majority of people in the waiting room are active older people.
Tips for staying fit as you get older
Our bodies are like cars. They need regular servicing and maintenance in order to perform at their optimum. If there are issues with your car, you go to see a mechanic. Whereas, if there are issues with your body a doctor may just prescribe pain medication or non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs.
A better approach may be to go direct to physiotherapy as they are the specialists when it comes to mechanical issues such as joints, muscles, and tendons.
In terms of staying fit as you get older, fitness tends to migrate from getting a super toned stomach to maintaining a general state of overall health. Many of the exercises you once considered ideal to tone up and lose weight, could now be doing more harm than good.
For instance, high intensity interval training is one of the most efficient ways to get in shape. However, this may involve high impact exercise such as plyometric lunges that can cause trauma to the joint structure. This might not be the best thing for you if taking care of your knees and hips are a high priority.
Therefore, you need to find exercises that are more suitable to reaching your goals, whatever those goals might be.
In that spirit, here are three things you should consider in order to stay fit as you get older.
USE IT OR LOSE IT
You may have heard the term “use it or lose it” when it comes to age-related muscular deterioration, and it’s true. It’s a key factor in ageing, and it means you get weaker as you age, yet this doesn’t have to be the case.
When you consider the fact there are some bodybuilders in their eighties and the Iron Nun (an 80 year old nun that competes in Iron Man competitions) – you don’t have to “lose it” if you continue to condition your body and “use it”.
If you add muscle now, it means that when you get older, you will have more muscle left. So when muscular deterioration does occur, you will stay stronger for longer. Though as evidenced by the plethora of elderly athletes, if you continue to “use it” you won’t necessarily “lose it”.
Stress is one of the most prominent underlying causes, or at least catalysts, of any disease. The ability to relax, get enough rest, meditate and reduce stress is absolutely vital to your ability to live a long healthy life.
You might want to engage in mindfulness meditation, try yoga, or study a martial art that encompasses energy techniques like qi gong. Though, sometimes it can be as simple as making time for yourself and going for beautiful walks in the countryside, sitting by the sea, or having a good laugh.
NOURISH YOUR BRAIN
One of the greatest fears related with ageing is that of getting dementia or Alzheimer’s. Whilst these diseases aren’t curable or entirely preventable, there are things you can do to optimise your health and fortify your brain against these diseases.
First off, you want to make sure you drink plenty of water and nourish your brain with the omega 3-fatty acids found in oily fish, olive oil, and certain nuts.
Next up, you need to ensure your brain is being stimulated. Many people reach their late twenties and stop exercising their brain in a way that is truly stimulating. Whether it’s brain training apps, learning a new language, or researching a new topic, engage in constant learning to ensure your brain remains active.