Help Your Future Self
It takes only 30 minutes of exercise a day to help reduce the risk of osteoporosis, retain muscle mass, maintain your natural range of motion, decrease your chances of back pain and lower your chances of cardiovascular issues.
By incorporating the lifestyle behaviours below into daily routines this will increase your chance of living a healthy mobile life as you grow old.
Loss of muscle mass although gradual, starts as young as 30 years old. In order to combat this, it is vital to exercise. Weight bearing exercises and weight resistance training will improve bone strength, improve your metabolism, strengthen your structure and improve your athletic appearance.
Do not neglect your mobility. Sitting for hours at a desk then home for a run or a high intensity class without a stretch or warm up – remind you of anyone? Yoga and Pilates help to protect your spine and that is not just the muscles, but the cartilage and tendons, which are equally important. Stretching will make you more resilient to injury as you age.
Pilates is a traditional exercise protocol and yoga serves the mind and body connection, the body benefits while the mind is still!
Some people do both – but you should do at least one!
Daily Mobility Drills
Short daily mobility drill is a fantastic way to start the day, permitting your body to wake up after a long sleep. This will stall issues of poor posture, sore neck and twinging backs.
Open up the spine, rotate your hips, shoulders, knees and ankles by doing simple exercises, cat stretches, cow stretches, squats, lunges and doing the plank.
Remembering to breathe.
Low Intensity Cardio
It does not have to be all high intensity to be effective. Low intensity is a game changer. Incorporate this into your daily routine and there will be a leaner fitter you in a few months.
The technical aspects are that you train at 90 -120 heart beats per minute (if you are 40). This is the fat burning zone for low intensity workouts.
You do not need a heart rate strap or Fitbit on just get yourself on a brisk walk or a bike ride. Even try a dancing class. These activities will burn fat as well as reduce cortisol levels allowing you to deal with any stress that has occurred during the day.
Listen to your body
If you have an injury be careful not to exercise through it. If you are tired, be sensible and rest. If you do obtain any injuries get it checked out by a professional. Listen to your body.
A hydrated body is an optimal natural state of health. Water will help to flush toxins, reduce inflammation, lubricate joints, support your metabolism and improve energy, digestion and mental performance.
Generally there is an evident increase in health and vitality by increasing your water intake.
Eat a Balanced Diet
We need to eat carbohydrates, proteins and fats to obtain optimal health. Forget fad diets. Portion control is vital too. As a rule of thumb and very general, half your dish should be vegetables or salad. One third should be carbohydrates and one third your protein choice. Healthy fats should be around the same size as your thumb.
Eat a colourful plate
Load your meals with many colours for every meal. This will ensure you consume a large variety of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants in each meal. Antioxidants are advantageous in aging as they battle free radicals and oxidative stress. Increasing the intake of vitamins and minerals will strengthen your immune system and you will become more resilient to illness and disease.
Alcohol can be enjoyed in moderation and red wine has been suggested to have a significant health benefit at low consumption rates, however, over consumption has serious negative effects. Drink with careful consideration.
Wear and tear on your joints will become noticeable after you are 40. Endurance training or heavy training can increase deterioration on your joints. It is best to concentrate on shorter, more effective training sessions instead.
Gut health plays an important role in your health, although understanding the implications of this is still in the early stages. The gut microbiome (combined genetic material) is significant in helping to control digestion. Get lots of fibre in your diet. Government guidelines are that we should consume 30g of fibre a day. Keep your gut healthy.
Keep the mind healthy
Mental wellbeing is as equally important as physical activity in association with our overall health. The mental state can affect everything from hormones, to blood pressure, to resting heart rate. Remember no training or diet will be effective if you are not in the best place mentally and emotionally.
Studies have reported even short, regular meditation routines may be effective strategies for reducing cognitive decline linked to aging. Only 5 minutes of sitting or lying while calming your mind can help. Your stress levels will drop and you will be able to deal with challenges more effectively.
It is important for us all to stay connected to others. This is how we flourish. Stay in touch with friends, as it is crucial to our mental health to have close social ties. A Harvard study found this was a great predictor of health in older years. It also found that cognitive decline decreased with social support.
Have a goal
Have a goal to work towards. This can help to focus the mind. This will help to increase motivation as well as the appreciation of achievement once completed.