As we age we tend to compare ourselves to others, or even a younger version of, well, us! However, it’s fair to say that most of us just don’t have the motivation and endurance of youngsters in their 20s.
However, whatever your age, whether you are looking to get fit, or maintain a healthy lifestyle then the underlying principles are the same. Read on to discover how to start managing your healthy lifestyle, and remember, consistency is key!
Aim to raise your heart rate for at least 20 to 30 minutes two or three times a week. If high-impact workouts such as running, jumping rope and martial arts stress your joints and tendons, adopt a lower-impact workout such as climbing stairs, training on an elliptical machine, using a rowing machine or a stationary cycle. You can make a low-impact workout more intense by speed-walking or hiking by adding a steady incline or hills to your route.
As we age unfortunately we tend to lose muscle mass. However, we can reverse this process by adopting a strength-training regime. Lifting dumbbells, using resistance machines or doing calisthenics and floor work that utilizes your own body weight builds muscle which raises your resting metabolic rate. Your body pumps more energy to your muscles, which makes you burn more calories around the clock. Target your upper body with pullups, biceps curls, triceps dips, standing flies and bench presses. Build lower body strength with squats, hamstring raises and lunges. This healthy regime will keep us well, fend off illness and improve our general day to day functioning.
Getting fit and improving our healthy lifestyle does not always boost your flexibility. You need to stretch, bend and lubricate your joints to maintain your full range of motion on a day to day basis. After doing cardiovascular exercise, take time to do some forward bends, side stretches, and overhead reaches. If you want more intense flexibility training, consider doing yoga poses. Power yoga, Ashtanga yoga, and Bikram yoga are intense styles that improve your wellbeing, raise your heart rate and build muscle.
We all run busy and hectic lifestyles and it’s important to stop, and breathe. Reduce stress throughout your lifestyle by quite simply doing deep breathing exercises. In addition, breathing deeply while warming up for the day’s events gets your blood pumping and delivers oxygen to your muscles. Spend the first 10 minutes of your day by walking briskly or marching in place, and focus on inhaling deeply through your nose, enough to fill your tummy as well as your chest. Hold for a beat and then exhale deeply. This will transform the way you approach your day, as well as managing your health and wellbeing in general.
We are what we eat
How we eat and how we feel are linked in very complex ways. A healthy approach to eating is centered on savoring the flavor, eating to satisfaction and increasing energy, as opposed to focusing on weight or “diet”.
Aim to eat a diet balanced with low-calorie foods and nutrient-dense foods; this includes eating more fresh whole foods, more whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and legumes into your meals. Pair these carbohydrate-rich foods with a healthy fat or lean protein to extend satisfaction and health and wellbeing development.
Sign up and Set Goals
A healthy lifestyle requires an element of self-satisfaction and reward. It’s all very well to get fit or maintain a healthy balanced lifestyle, but what? Well, an underpinning part of being well is setting clear and realistic goals for yourself.
Spice up your life by signing up for an event like a run/walk race or a cycling ride where you can be part of a team. Set challenges by trying a new hobby, or joining in with a friend. By setting goals and achieving them boosts our mental wellbeing as well as driving your exercise with a new purpose.
It’s also a lot of fun to set a goal, work towards them and be around others who are on the same or similar journey to you.
Good night sleep is crucial to piece your new healthy lifestyle together. Appropriate and restful sleep will allow your body to rest, repair and recuperate. Your body heals during this time and transforms your body into a healthier, stronger and more focussed version of yourself.
If you have trouble sleeping, try relaxation techniques such as meditation and yoga, eat a small healthy bedtime snack to help shift the body and mind into sleep mode, darken your room and write down worries or stressful thoughts. Once they are out of your head and onto the page you can enjoy deeper and more meaningful sleep.