As we age, keeping life organized tends to get much harder. In a previous blog post, we discussed how making plans can become a juggling act of what we can or cannot afford to forget. Certain aspects of your life may unintentionally fall through the cracks, from your meals to your Friday plans.
One such area that often suffers is health and fitness. When you’re young, you might take your health for granted, but as you age, it becomes evident that fitness and well-being need to take centre stage. Emphasizing health and fitness might not be as easy as it sounds, but it’s crucial for a fulfilling and active life. Not convinced? Let’s take a closer look below at why healthy living matters more the older we get.
Why prioritize food and fitness as you age
Our bodies undergo various changes as we age. For one, your metabolism slows down. This is most stable from your 20s through 50s. Once you pass 60, however, the efficiency of your metabolism reduces by 0.7 percent each year. In fact, a 90-year-old person needs 26 percent fewer daily calories each day than most older adults! This is likely linked to a loss of muscle mass attributed to aging. These natural shifts can make it more challenging to maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle. Moreover, you may face a higher risk of certain health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and joint problems.
Prioritizing health and fitness can help mitigate these risks and improve overall well-being. Regular physical activity can strengthen muscles and bones, boost energy levels, and improve your mood. Adopting a healthy diet can help manage weight, thus lowering the risk of chronic diseases and providing the necessary nutrients for optimal functioning.
Tips for aging gracefully
Follow a weight loss plan
Due to decreasing metabolism, the body gains weight easier as you age. This can exacerbate your risk for health conditions common in aging bodies, such as type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure. A tailored diet plan ensures that you maintain a healthy weight while keeping the process safe and sustainable. This need for sustainability is why a good weight loss plan is guided by nutritional experts and even behavioural scientists. These experts can help older individuals manage portion sizes and create balanced meals. By emphasizing sustainable lifestyle changes in a supportive community, seniors are set up for long-term success.
Find activities you enjoy
Fitness doesn’t mean you must spend hours in a gym doing exercises you dread. Instead, try to focus on finding physical activities that you genuinely enjoy, such as dancing or gardening. According to government recommendations, you can even learn to enjoy fitness using a mobile app such as Carrot Rewards. This app engages and rewards users for meeting their daily step goals or completing quizzes related to active living. Using the app can even help you track how much you move daily, making it easier to stick to a regular fitness routine.
Embrace strength training
While finding an activity you enjoy is essential, make sure also to emphasize the strength training aspect. That’s because preserving muscle mass becomes especially crucial as you age, as the body naturally loses some of it over time. Strength and resistance training or a combination of strength and balance exercises can improve bone density, muscle mass, and physical ability. Try to start small by balancing on one foot while moving the other leg back and forth as you read a book or by simply using one arm at a time to lift your daily items. These tiny acts can accumulate over time to strengthen your body.
Taking care of your body becomes essential to enjoy life to the fullest in your golden years. While it might not be as easy as it once was, you can age gracefully while staying healthy and fit with the help of the tips above.
Anna Joel is a freelance writer. As a yoga enthusiast, she loves to write about holistic health and the art of aging gracefully. When she’s not traveling, you can find her at home with her grandchildren.