Age….It gets us all in the end!! However there is no need to be defeatist about it. We are all living longer, generally are healthier and with a little work can look and feel amazing well into our latter years. We may not all be able to look as incredible as Sylvester Stallone as we approach 70 (or even want to) but we definitely can defer, defy and defeat some of the symptoms that we’d all rather avoid.
Below is a list of 8 top tips to help you beat nasty Mr Age!! if you adopt at least some of these you’ll hopefully be looking and feeling fantastic well into your latter years. I’m 47, approaching 48 and fully intend to be fit, fun and ageing disgracefully for as long as I can. These tips apply equally if you are in your 20’s as your 70’s. The earlier you start, the easier it is.
Top 8 Tips:
- Mentality: This is hands down THE most critical thing for helping you stay young. How you feel about getting older will to a large extent determine not only how you age but how you deal with ageing. Of course getting older has it’s frustrations but if you get down about it, worry about every little ache or pain and generally live a life where the whole concept of getting older makes you miserable then that will be reflected in your health and face. Worry and frowning ages us, both medically and facially. Worry and stress release a chemical called Cortisol into our bodies which has a whole plethora of negative effects. Instead try to be positive in all things. Count the blessings that you have, laugh loud and hard as often as you can, shrug off all those daily little setbacks and generally squeeze as much fun from life as possible.
- Walk: This sounds very basic but again it makes a massive difference. Walk as often and as far as possible, ideally with some scenery thrown in. It has been proven in study after study that people who walk regularly are fitter, happier and live longer. If you are going on a short journey, just popping to the shops or heading into the country for the day then ditch the car or bus and walk. Get your head up, look around you , take in your surroundings and really notice the world. Most of us are in a hurry and don’t really look around us. Walking every day and getting into the outside air WILL have a hugely positive effect on both your fitness and mental wellbeing.
- Stretch: Maintaining your mobility is key as you get older. Many people start to suffer with aches and pains, lack of mobility in their shoulders and hips, lower back problems and general creakiness when getting out of bed or chairs. Unfortunately, to a degree it’s just a wear and tear issue. However you can really help yourself by stretching regularly. Spend 10 minutes in the morning and 5 minutes every evening doing a proper routine of yoga like stretches (loads to look up on YouTube) and focus on your back, hips, legs and shoulders and you will feel loose and mobile for as long as you want. Actually this applies to everyone, not just older readers.
- Exercise: “No shit!!” i hear you all cry. Yes I know this is an obvious one. We all know we should exercise but to me it’s important what type of exercise you do. If I’m honest any form or exercise that gets your heart rate up and lungs working will benefit you, but for maximum benefit as you get older you definitely need to incorporate some weight training into your regime. Why? I know many people are scared of weights. The answer is that by regularly doing some weights (doesn’t have to be hugely heavy) you will build and maintain muscle strength, tendon, ligament and joint strength and even more importantly It will help with bone density and strength. As we age many people, especially women suffer from decreased bone strength and even crumbling bones. if this happens in your spine or hips it can immobilise you. Regular bouts of strength or weights based activity fights this off.
- Drink Water:…..and lots of it. Yet another obvious one. Yes maybe it is obvious but how many of you do it? I wrote a previous article here proclaiming the many benefits of water consumption, but as we get older it’s even more important. If you want to fight off things like kidney and liver infections, bladder problems, joint stiffness and a whole host of other irritating age related issues then drinking 4 -6 glass of water a day WILL help. I guarantee it.
- Supplementation: By that I don’t mean cramming a load of pills and vitamins down your neck. What I mean is using natural ingredients that have proven health and wellbeing benefits. Such as? Well if you can get as many of the following into your diet as possible on a regular basis they will have a wealth of benefits for your physical and internal health; Ginger, Turmeric, Chilli, Lemons & Lemon water, Apple Cider Vinegar, Natural fish oils, Organic Honey, Chia seeds, Cinnamon….and as stated above lots of water.
- Booze: Waheey…..that’s more like it. Don’t get too excited. This is not a license to go out on the lash 3 nights a week. However a couple of drinks in moderation has been shown to be good for the heart AND to help alleviate stress (see Cortisol above). So what do I mean by a couple of drinks? Well one glass of red wine 5 or 6 days a week will do you no harm. Or if you abstain 3 or 4 days a week then a couple of glasses of wine or 2 or 3 beers now and then should also be fine. I wrote a piece way back when i started this blog (see here) all about consistency and how it can give you freedom to enjoy your life. A few drinks here and there will allow you that enjoyment that is key to looking and feeling younger, and if you are consistent in your approach to fitness and wellbeing in most areas of your life, cutting loose now and then will do you no harm at all.
- Diet: Yet again a pretty obvious and boring one, but vital all the same. Lets be honest here, we all know what we should and should not be eating. Just to recap and break it down into basics. Lots of good protein – Chicken, Turkey, lots of fish and less often, good quality red meat. As well as Nuts, eggs and some good cheese. Don’t avoid fat as long as it isn’t processed fat. So some fat from meat, nuts, eggs, natural dairy products, real butter, real yoghurt, Avocado…it’s all good for you. Lots of fruit, veg and fibre. Basically as much veg as you can get down you. Things to avoid? Well, processed and packaged food as much as possible, sugar in all it’s sneaky hidden forms, almost all drinks other than water, tea, coffee and some occasional alcohol, and try to limit starchy food such as bread, cakes, flour based products, pasta etc.
That’s it, all pretty straightforward and basic stuff. The truth is however that its often the obvious things that we ignore. This article is not aimed just at us old/older gits. Whether you are 22 or 72 you are still ageing. If you can incorporate as many of these tips into your daily, weekly and monthly routines as possible then it will help everyone to age more healthily and gracefully and to actually start to forget that age is even a problem.
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