Hands up if you are sick of trying to work out what to do to be as healthy as possible and to stay active as you get older. You hear all kinds of advice every day telling you to do this, eat that, only to find the complete opposite in another article. So what should you be doing and who gives the best advice? It really doesn’t need to be complicated. I have worked with hundreds of clients and over the past 7 years have seen what is most effective. Here are my 5 tips for you to look after your body and create a healthier lifestyle.
- Move More – If you take one thing from this blog then let it be this. Our bodies are meant to move and the key to staying active and strong is to maintain and build lean muscle and to strengthen your joints, muscles and bones. We should all be doing at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week which involves getting out of breath as well as 2 strength sessions. There are lots of options you can take with local classes, gyms, running groups and online too. If you need some inspiration or a good starting point then please follow the link. You can join my Challenge Series which gives you a different free 15 day Challenge each month to mix up your training. I offer options for you to work out at home or with me if you live locally. Whatever you do keep moving!
- Stretch – As we age joints get stiffer, muscle mass reduces and movement is less fluid. After exercise you need to stretch. Things that would have been okay to ignore in our 20s and 30s don’t get better by themselves in the same way. Twinges turn into niggles which become persistent aches or pains and ultimately stop us in our tracks. By stretching you will lengthen muscles that have worked hard and shortened as they contracted. You won’t be as sore either!
- Take out ‘insurance’ – Tension builds in our bodies over time. If you don’t do anything to release this tension then it can become an issue and affect your movement. Investing in a regular massage will act as your ‘insurance.’ Add in the stress relieving benefits whilst getting your lymphatic system moving and your body back into balance and it is hard to see a down side. If you take good care of your body the niggles will be dealt with and injuries kept at bay. I have clients who come monthly and no longer need the regular trips to the chiropractor or physio. It is about making an investment in your health and looking after yourself as you age not being self indulgent. Using a foam roller between massages will help to keep you moving too. You can find my Foam Roller sequence here and follow the link to find out more about my Prehab Plan and how to save £10 a month on the cost of a massage.
- Eat Well – Food is fuel and your body will work much better if you put in good quality, fresh produce. Lots of convenience food washed down with alcohol will do little for your energy levels, waistline or your training. Keep it really simple and build your meals as follows. Make vegetables and salad 50% of your plate, Protein (meat, fish, pulses) 25% and the remaining should be Carbohydrate (rice, pasta, potato, quinoa). For snacks eat a piece of fruit with a small handful of nuts, plain yoghurt with berries or oat cakes with hummus. Drink plenty of water and if you do drink alcohol stick to 1 or 2 glasses of red wine with at least 2 alcohol free days each week.
- Take a regular supplement. Although in the past we have been told that eating well is enough, in recent years more has been said about the decline in the quality of our food and the limited nutrients now supplied. Our bodies need help with the ageing process vitamins and minerals give valuable support. A good multivitamin can be a great option for general health. Adding in a Vitamin D supplement has been highlighted as an increased priority for many given our limited exposure to sunlight and the fact that Vitamin D is key for us being able to absorb and use other vitamins. We need good fats and oils in our bodies for our joints and cognitive function. A good fish oil can give great support. Glucosamine is a popular choice for sore and arthritic joints and strong cherry juice helps too. I take calcium, magnesium and zinc to support muscle repair, energy levels and healthy bones as well as vitamin D. It is all about finding a combination that works for you and supports your daily activity.
And that brings us to the end of my top 5 tips. We make it harder for ourselves than we need to getting caught up in the latest fads and all the conflicting advice that is out there. Keep it really simple and find out what works for you. The key is to plan your week, scheduling your exercise and planning your menus in advance. It gets easier and saves you time in the long run. We need to look after ourselves and I am so passionate about helping everyone to ‘Move More’ that I am in the process of publishing a book sharing more of my experience with you all.
I would love to hear your comments and any advice that you would like to share that could help us too. Please subscribe to my blog to get more help and advice on all aspects of a healthier lifestyle and you are invited to like my fit4evermore Facebook page too. It can really help to connect with a community of like minded people and to be able to ask questions and access advice and opportunities.