On Tuesday I wrote about how it’s more important to make sure you get properly warmed up before working out, especially as you get older. There are also a handful of other things you can do to make sure you stay healthy and fit as you age (gracefully, we hope). Obviously as we age, we start noticing differences in energy levels, recovery time, metabolism, etc. So it’s key to keep those things in mind while we pursue long and healthy lives.
First and foremost, (and really, this applies to people of ALL ages), make sure you’re eating healthy and clean and taking your supplements. As we get older, our metabolisms change. The amount that you’re able to eat and the trash that you can get away with putting in your body when you’re younger—if you are/were even that lucky—is definitely not going to be the same when you’re older. On the other hand, some people struggle with being underweight, in which case having the right nutrients is very important. This is also a good time to mention that “lifestyle changes” are much more worth your time than “dieting”! If you already have a healthy eating habit, then continue what you’re doing. Eating well will also help prevent heart disease and other age-related diseases.
Maintaining a healthy weight is also going to make things easier on your bones, joints, and heart. If you work out regularly, you’re already on the right track. Doing activities that strengthen muscle, improve balance, and increase flexibility are really beneficial in older age. I’ve had plenty of people in their 40’s and low 50’s take my classes. Obviously, just be more aware of your past injuries in case they flare up again, and work out smart. Staying active is good for your mental health too.
Speaking of mental health, learn to take care of yourself. In general, taking things easy is a good way to live, but it’s especially important when you get older. It takes your body longer to recover, just like it takes longer to heal from injuries. Make sure you rest when you need to and make sure you get enough sleep every day. Also, a part of self-care is going to your doctors regularly. So make that a goal, because I know I hate doing it.
A lot of people seem to like blaming their declining health on “getting old.” While some of that is obviously going to be true and everyone’s bodies definitely aren’t what they used to be, it’s also more of a reflection of a person’s attitude than anything. You can still work out when you’re older, you can still lose weight or gain muscle if that’s what you want, and you can still do some crazy shit like sign up for your first boxing match. It might take more effort and hard work, but believe me, you have what it takes!