Momentum is whatever your attitude determines it to beLou Holtz
Guys, let’s be honest here, no matter how much we bury our heads in the sand, aging is inevitable for all of us. But you have a choice. Are you going to give up, put on the pipe and slippers and wait to shuffle off this mortal coil, or are you going to say: “No! I’m not going to give up, I’ve still got a life to live!”
Even if you have let things slip, and let’s face it over the last year it’s been easy to do so, you can get yourself back on track and regain your body’s prime condition that has been lost for a good few years, simply by following a few basic principles.
Diet and aging
Diet! No matter what it is, it always comes down to your eating habits! So, if you’re looking to stay fit and healthy into your old age, then it’s about time you started paying more attention to your diet.
Garbage in and garbage out is what they say! And when it comes to your longevity and how good, or bad, you will age over the next few decades, it’s probably a good idea to step away from the Krispy Kremes.
What do I need to cut out of my diet?
The first thing you can do to help yourself is to try and wean yourself and your body from its cravings for and dependence on sugar.
Sugar has a canny knack of speeding up the aging process by weakening your body in many ways. According to ‘Lick the Sugar Habit’ by Nancy Appleton, Ph.D., this includes:
- Reducing the body’s ability to fight off infections
- Causing the loss of body tissue elasticity and function
- Weakening eye sight and contributing to cataract growth
- Being one of the contributors to obesity
- Causing heart disease
- Increasing cholesterol and blood pressure
- Disrupting natural bowel movements
- Feeding cancer
And the really big one, the body changes sugar into 2-5 times more fat than it does starch!
Should I go on??
No? Great, let’s move onto the next aging demon.
The good news is that you don’t have to give up your favourite tipple completely. In fact, in moderation, alcohol isn’t that bad.
However, too much inhibits your body’s youthfulness and vibrancy. Overindulging makes your body more susceptible to disease and infections which, in turn, debilitate its ability to function properly.
When it comes to maintaining your body in prime condition, some sensible diet strategies still apply, most importantly, not eating late at night and reducing your intake of dairy and animal fat products. These diet tweaks will not only help you stay trim but also preserve the functioning of your arteries, which will help your body keep your blood pressure and cholesterol levels in check, which protects you from developing future heart problems.
What do I need to increase in my diet?
So, you’ve ditched the sugar, reduced your intake of alcohol, dairy and animal fat products and stopped eating late at night.
But you’re still not feeling in tip-top condition. Ah, but that’s because you may be missing out on a few vital things in your diet.
There’s a reason everyone goes on about the importance of drinking water, that’s because it does a myriad of things that keep your body’s systems clean and operable.
It’s also of great aesthetic benefit to the clarity of your skin.
So a top tip is to increase your intake of water to the recommended 8 glasses a day. There’s plenty of cool, funky and ethical water bottles on the market today, so invest in one and carry it with you.
These definitely need to be part of your daily routine, because antioxidants fight the aging effects of free radical damage to the body.
- Green tea
- Vitamins A, B, C, D and E
- Soy and Isoflavones
Three of the easiest ways to up your intake of antioxidants is to get outside for 20 minutes during daylight hours for some sunshine, drink green tea daily, and swap out dairy for soy milk.
Additionally, a good multi-vitamin should also contain all these antioxidants.
Body toning, mobility and aging
Exercise is the other thing that’s always on lists on keeping healthy, and when it comes to maintaining your prime body condition, it’s no exception.
But what type of exercise should you be doing for your aging body to keep it in tip-top condition?
If you’re not already incorporating some form of resistance training into your fitness routines, it’s about time you did, especially if you’re over 35. Why? Well, once you hit that magical age, 35, your body loses approximately one percent of its muscle mass on an annual basis! And, since it is this muscle mass that gives your body its form, shape and much of its strength, resistance training helps you preserve what you have for as long as possible.
Resistance training also helps keep your bones strong to withstand abnormal pressure loads, which will help prevent breaks and fractures as you get older.
Flexible muscles and joints make for optimal mobility. So unless you want to start groaning as you get up out of a chair as your grandfather did, you’d best add some exercises that help with your flexibility.
Adding a regular stretching routine into your training schedule will not only help your mobility but help you avoid the three most common injuries; those to your back, knees and hips. Many of these injuries are caused by your body being twisted into positions it doesn’t really have the strength or flexibility to get into to the point that something snaps. Unfortunately, once any of these areas suffer any major damage, it is generally never the same again.
The third major ingredient in preserving your body’s prime condition is cardiovascular activity, which helps keep your heart strong and healthy. It also minimizes body fat which helps your body maintain its shape and tone.
Preserve what you have now
As they say: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!”
Boy, ain’t that the truth!
Taking care of your body now before it starts giving your problems is possibly the best thing you can do for yourself, especially when it comes to you wanting to keep in shape.
We’ve already talked about how diet and exercise can help you take care of yourself, but there are a few other things you can do, which help you put the icing, and sprinkles on the cake, so to speak. (Even if you can’t actually eat the cake, due to the sugar content, see the Diet paragraph!)
Getting a proper night’s sleep so that your body can recuperate properly is very important.
Sufficient rest alone can help delay the appearance of aging, you’ll also feel better too.
- Stay out of the sun
The damage the sun can do to the skin is well documented, but if you must go out make sure your wear sun protection with an SPF of at least 30. SPF 30 will give you 97% protection against harmful rays, SPF 50 is only 1% better at 98.
When you look good, you feel good, so there’s no excuse not to keep yourself looking sharp, smart and clean. Incorporate a good skincare routine that includes washing and moisturising at the very least, and keep an eye on bad breath and body odour.
The final piece of the aging jigsaw
Even with a lot of effort and focus on maintaining your health and fitness, a few things are bound to slip through the net. It’s important to try and make time for an annual check-up to keep tabs on your vital signs and lookout for the common killers like heart disease, cancers and auto-immune deficiencies.
If you keep all these things in mind AND in practice, there’s no reason why you can’t easily retain your health and enjoy the best overall quality of life that you can.
If you are you a mature man who wants to get back into shape (before it’s too late) but is bored with a gym why not give Combat Arts a try? We will have a package to suit your needs. You can join our new live, online weekly class, or one of our small group training pods, or, if you want personal attention our 1-2-1 personal training is available both online and face-to-face. Email Gordon to discuss your needs today.
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