Another Birthday passed and I just turned 45. The good news is besides a few extra wrinkles, a few more aches and pains and having difficulty reading small text, I feel as good as when I was in my 20s. That can be a true testimony to the benefit of exercise! Use it to reverse the aging process!
Aging is an inevitable part of life. One can expect certain changes, such as graying hair and wrinkled skin, to accompany aging. In fact, the cosmetic industry preys off our attempts to reverse some of these changes. But many of the changes commonly attributed to the process of aging, specifically within the musculo-skeletal system (the bones, muscles, joints, ligaments, tendons and cartilage) are in fact, a result of physical inactivity or disuse. The old adage “use it or lose it” appears to ring true. Muscle tissue, strength, bone density, cardio-vascular fitness, energy levels and functional performance appear to be preserved through exercise. There seems to be no magic pill or drug that holds as much promise for sustained health as a lifetime program of physical exercise and good nutrition! Many of these age-associated changes can be prevented, reduced in their severity or managed!
Follow the following tips to ensure you stay “forever young”:
Top Exercise Strategies:
- Strength train 2x/week including 1 set of 8-12 reps of a variety of exercises
- CardioVascular exercise 3-5x/week for 20-60 minutes with activities using variable impact like walking, stairclimbing or fitness classes
- Perform postural training exercises – perform exercises that strengthen your core and back
- Perform balance training – include 1 leg exercises into your program and life
- Incorporate stretching, mobility and release exercises into your program to maintain your flexibility as you age
- Register for Mind-Body Relaxation programs like Tai Chai, Pilates, Yoga or Meditation
- Manage your stress through various techniques including massage, reading, vacations, and prayer.
- Perform pelvic floor exercises like Kegels
- Enroll in active social programs like running clinics, ballroom dancing or gardening courses – Being part of a fitness community can help exercise adherence and a promote a sense of well-being.
- Participate in programs that provide some brain training like choreography classes, hip hop, funk or take some personal growth and development courses – Your brain is like your muscles – you don’t use it, you lose it!
Top Nutrition Strategies:
- Eat a lot of fruits & vegetables – Make this the staple of your diet
- Eat a balanced diet that is rich in fiber
- Drink 10++ glasses of water per day
- Consume 5 smaller meals/snacks each day
- Manage salt, sugar and low quality fat intake
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol, cigarettes and other drugs
- Control portion sizes
Sherri McMillan, M.Sc. has been inspiring the world to adopt a fitness lifestyle for over 25 years and has received numerous industry awards including International Personal Trainer and Fitness Presenter of the Year. She is the author of five books including “Go For Fit – the Winning Way to Fat Loss” and “Fit over Forty” and is the featured presenter in various fitness DVDs. She is the owner of Northwest Personal Training in downtown Vancouver and can be seen running, hiking or cycling with her two children, Brianna and Jackson. She can be reached at www.nwPersonalTraining.com or www.ShapeupwithSherri.com Note: As an avid Columbian reader, you can redeem a 2 week pass at her world-class training studio to help get you started. Contact 360.574.7292 for more details.