Growing up, I remember not understanding why it was impolite to ask someone their age. I could not grasp why most people, especially women, were ashamed about, what seemed to me, to be just a number. As I grew up, I realized that the people who took offense were usually the ones who felt old physically and/or mentally. I promised myself that I would not be someone who let a number or years determine how I felt physically. I decided to fight age (with every fiber of my being) with good lifestyle choices.
Today, I can now proudly say, “I am forty-five!” Whether you are 30, 40 50 or older, I can assure you it is possible to proudly claim your age. Here are a few age-fighting tactics I use to stay fit beyond forty.
Personalized Nutrition Plan
After the age of 30, your metabolism slows down about 5% every year. Knowing this, I was somehow still surprised when it happened to me. I quickly realized that, although I was already active and health conscious, I too I had to start adjusting how I ate…. not necessarily less, but just differently. As a competitor, my diet was extremely regimented, but during my off-season, I tried sticking to a basic clean eating plan. My main goal is to exclude all processed foods while making sure I am getting the recommended daily allowances of macro nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Also, keep in mind, while real food is the best source of nutrients for your body, taking a multi-vitamin is a sure way to make certain you are getting what you need to meet the minimum requirements.
No More Cardio Queen
This may be sweet words to many. Not only are long cardio sessions monotonous, they can cause unnecessary wear and tear on the body over time. Some studies suggest that as we age, the body responds well to interval training, such as HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), which combines short bursts of high intensity cardio with short periods of lower intensity or active rest. This type of cardio creates an “after burn” effect, which leaves your metabolism higher for hours after working out.
The more muscle mass your body has, the greater its ability to burn calories. So, whether you have been a gym regular or a couch potato leading up to your 40’s, changing or adding strength training exercise will combat muscle atrophy that usually accompanies aging. I don’t lift nearly as heavy as I did in my 20’s and 30’s. My motto is lift smarter not harder. I focus on the mind-muscle connection, as well as using the proper form and range of motion to avoid injury. I also incorporate body weight exercises that can be done right at home, such as push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups and lunges. Performed properly, these are always less stressful on joints than weighted exercises for the same muscle groups.
Pamper the Pain
As we age, most of us experience some type of chronic discomfort or pain. If not treated, this can lead to more severe, debilitating pain. So, when at all possible, I re-balance my body’s posture and re-pattern the connective tissue (tendon, ligaments and fascia) to remove the tension/discomfort BEFORE my next workout. Some examples of this are chiropractic adjustments, soft tissue therapy, yoga, acupuncture and MELT (Myofascial Energetic Length Technique), which incorporates foam rollers and balls for pressure. Remember, listen to your body by not ignoring aches and pains. If your attempts to relieve discomfort do not work, you may need to visit to your physician.
Thanks for reading and I look forward to your questions and comments.
Need help with changing your lifestyle and improving your health without drugs? We can do that. Dr Cheryl Kent is your Winter Park and Orlando Chiropractic Physician, Nutritionist and Exercise Physiologist dedicated to helping patients and their families Create Balance, so that they can Live Well. Book online or contact our office today.
807 S. Orlando Ave. Ste T
Winter Park, FL 32789