One of the problems associated with staying fit as you age is the nature of aging. Your body produces fewer hormones, such as testosterone, which makes building muscle easier. Menopausal women tend to have hormonal changes that can cause abdominal fat accumulation. Sarcopenia—age related muscle loss—has another effect on the body. It can affect your metabolism. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn, since muscle tissue requires more calories than fat tissue does. A slower metabolism can mean you gain weight easier. Even protein processing, necessary for building muscle, is more inefficient.
Now that all the bad news is out of the way, there’s also good news.
You can turn back the hands of time and slow aging. However, it’s not as easy to get into shape as it was when you were in your 20s, so the best advice is to stay fit by eating healthy and staying active. Sometimes even the best laid plans don’t work out, so if you’re trying to get back into shape, it’s still possible, no matter what your age. Strength training is extremely important in that effort. It helps build muscle mass that can reverse many of the signs of aging. The stronger you are, the better your quality of life.
Clear it with your health care professional first, then get started.
No matter what your age, you should always check with your health care professional before starting a new program of exercise, but it’s even more important the older you are. If you’ve been inactive most of your adult life, start slowly. You can start with something as simple as walking. Strength training doesn’t necessarily mean you have to lift heavy weights. Start with soup cans or two pound dumbbells. Don’t overdo. It may take longer to get fit this way, but you’ll stay healthier while you do.
If your normal dinner comes in a box or is wrapped in paper, you need to find ways to eat healthier for a longer life. Healthy eating doesn’t have to be fancy. It should include a wide variety of fruits and vegetables and healthy protein options. Fried foods, foods with added sugar and highly processed foods all add to the aging process. If you want to look your best, fill your plate with antioxidants and the anti-inflammatories of fresh fruits and vegetables. Make sure you have lean meat or other healthy protein and some healthy fat every day.
- If you’re working out at home and don’t have dumbbells, you can use soup cans or invest in inexpensive resistance bands. Just doing light lifting around the house or some of the heavier work in gardening can help keep you fit.
- Get plenty of sleep. Your body needs between seven and nine hours of sleep every night in order to function its best. Lack of sleep can cause an imbalance of hormones with an overproduction of the hunger hormone and an underproduction of ones that make you feel full.
- Find something active that you enjoy doing. If you’re not fit enough for long hikes, make a long hike your goal and work up to it. Most activities are not age related, but fitness related.
- Don’t forget flexibility training. Staying supple is a sign of youth and flexibility training can help you do it. Fitness training can put pep in your step and help you look and feel younger, no matter what your age.
For more information, contact us today at LIV Fitness 247