Most of us feel surprising changes in our body and mindset as we get older, especially as over 40 and beyond, as our hormones fluctuate, we lose muscle definition and gain the dreaded ‘middle aged spread’. So how do you stay healthy, maintain your weight and energy levels, and stay positive as our bodies age?
Feeling healthy at every age is all about consistent healthy habits and having a routine gives you a strong foundation. We all have the odd bad day but if you have daily habits you love and make you feel better, you will be more likely to stick to them
Here are some tips and tricks to add to your routine as you age:
It All Starts with Healthy Eating – Eat More Protein
Our bodies nutritional needs change as we get older. As you age, you need to eat more protein to support your muscles – more lean meat, chicken, seafood and fish will help with your bone density.
Manage your Portion Size
Our metabolism slows down as we get older, especially if we lose muscle, so you need to eat smaller meals that contain less sugar and and more protein, fibre, fruit and veg.
Strength Training is Really Important
Its important to be strong as it helps ward of the decline of our bodily function that can leave us at risk of developing osteoporosis, arthritis, type 2 diabetes and sarcopenia (loss of muscle mass). Strength training 2–3 days a week can help prepare you to fight these effects of ageing. Additional long-term benefits include increased bone density and stronger ligaments and tendons.
Often our workouts focus on cardio, but incorporating strength training is easily added to your workout routine through squats, shoulder presses, kettlebells, hand weights. In addition, daily choses like carrying your shopping can all help you get stronger.
Check out our exercise guide for more info.
We have heard this a million times, but we need to drink more water throughout the day. As we age, we are more susceptible to dehydration due to the general slowing down of the body and the impact of medication.
Boost Immunity with Supplements
Covid has highlighted the importance of Vitamin D and C. Your immunity weakens as you get older so taking vitamins and zinc and eating an antioxidant-rich diet high in colourful fruits and vegetables, all help build keep it strong.
Another way to get that all so important Vitamin D is getting out in the sunshine. The body needs more Vitamin D as we get older, so the best way to boost what you are getting from supplements is getting out in the sunshine.
Lead an Active Life
The trend of doing 10,000 steps or day or being active 120 minutes per week are great because regular exercise improves your overall health mentally and physically. It increases blood flow, strengthens bones, reducing stress and burning calories.
Prioritise Rest, Recovery and Sleep
Many people forget about the value of quality sleep and relaxation which are important to give our bodies a chance to recover and renew our cells. Try to get 7-8 hours sleep a night and add a few naps/ recovery time into your schedule – a 30-minute rest or nap can really help you feel better.
Connect and Communicate
Feeling connected and part of a family or community not only reduces loneliness, depression and isolation that many people feel as they get older, but it also boosts your immunity and lowers your heart rate.
Being healthy as we age takes a bit of effort, but research shows that making small adjustments to your routine will improve how you feel mentally and how well your body ages.