Fitness and health have a positive correlation with independence and quality of life. This means the more fit and healthy you are, the more independent you will be, and the better your quality of life will be. Your fitness and health are determined largely by your habits, and for an optimal lifestyle, you need sustainable healthy habits.
Growing older is inevitable, but you can greatly affect how you age with your decisions and actions. There are science-backed secrets to healthy and graceful aging, and this article will divulge some of the important ones. Read on to find out how to sustain a fit and healthy lifestyle, and ensure that you not just live the years ahead but thoroughly enjoy your life.
The French lawyer Anthelme Brillat-Savarin was on to something when he wrote what’s translated as “Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are.” This concept is found in the adage “You are what you eat.” The emphasis here is on ‘what’ is being consumed. Add to that, ‘why’ and ‘how’ the food is being consumed, as well as the frequency and quantity of food consumed and you will arrive at mindful eating. This term should be a mantra for people who want to age healthily and gracefully.
Mindful eating incorporates all the significant concepts around healthy eating: paying attention to hunger cues, being cautious about non-hunger eating triggers, slow enjoyment of the food, consuming nutritious food to meet the needs of the body, and noticing the effects of the food on your body. Practice mindful eating over the long term and you’ll be keeping most health problems at bay.
Food requirements of the body also change with age and so do your preferences and tolerance for various types of foods. Adapt your diet according to the changes. Count your calories, pay attention to the nutritional profile of foods, and balance your diet. The best options are those that are low in calories and high in nutrients. For instance, protein-rich lobster is a much healthier option as compared to fried chicken, sausages, or fried fish sticks. Brown rice or quinoa are better in general than white rice or pasta. Choose options that are good for your health but at the same time appealing to your palate.
Adults need at least 150 minutes of moderately intense aerobic activity every week. The other alternative is 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity in a week. You can easily achieve this weekly activity target by incorporating movement into your day every chance you get. Walk to nearby stores rather than taking transport. Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
A sedentary lifestyle contributes significantly to chronic diseases and increases health risks. To protect your health in the long term, avoid prolonged sitting. Instead of sitting at a stretch, get up in between and move around.
Physical activity plays a key role in the maintenance of good health. High-intensity exercise does produce results but it may not be a sustainable solution. If you exercise for the sake of exercising, chances are it’s going to feel like a chore. You might even quit after some time. Doing what you love increases your commitment to exercise. Pick up a form of activity that exercises your body while being enjoyable for you. For instance, you can play your favorite sport or join a dance session a few days a week.
You could experiment with new forms of activity to discover something that you might love and that with which you might be motivated to continue. Practice a little caution when you experiment; it’s best to start small and proceed if the activity agrees with your body.
Strength training is not just for bulking up or sculpting your body. A body in good shape is an added advantage. For adults, such training is necessary to increase the strength of muscles, bones, and connective tissues. It helps reduce the odds of developing sarcopenia (decline in muscle mass, function, and strength).
Strength training also lowers the risk of injuries and makes it easier to maintain a healthy weight. Incorporate strength training in your routine at least two days a week. You don’t have to join the gym or bench press 200 pounds. Do that which you can continue comfortably. A smart home gym can help you tailor exercises and workouts according to your fitness level and preferences.
With age, there can be a decline in the range of motion of joints and the flexibility of muscles. Balance may also be affected. All of this combined can increase the risk of falls and injuries. You can maintain and improve your balance, flexibility, and mobility with regular targeted exercises. Some forms of exercise, such as stretching, pilates, and yoga, prove more effective for enhancing mobility, increasing flexibility, and improving balance. These forms of exercises also have suitable variations for beginners and seniors. You can start with variations most suitable for your current fitness level and improve gradually.
To stay on top of all things health-related, you need to know what’s going on in your body. Go for regular check-ups with your doctor, and get tests done as required. Such visits and tests can help prevent potential health issues. Fitness plans and routines cannot stay the same throughout your life. These will have to change according to your specific needs at different times of your life. Regular testing and visits to the doctor will provide the information required to make those adjustments. Get the help of experts to determine which exercises are most suitable for you and adapt your fitness plans according to changing needs.
Getting older does not mean that you have to drop out of activities that you love. Just adjust your pace so that you can continue to enjoy the things you love for much longer. Listen to your body to understand your current fitness level and work with it to improve your health. Curbing unhealthy habits is as important as acquiring new healthy habits. With healthier lifestyle choices, you can remain healthy and stay active regardless of your age.