Fitness is achievable at any age

Jan 13, 2024
Dive into a refreshing perspective on maintaining a healthy lifestyle from someone who has cracked the code! Source: Getty Images.

So many people I know are struggling with their weight. It’s a problem for many, with obesity on the rise because of lack of exercise, poor eating habits, and a multitude of other factors.

I feel fortunate that weight has never been a big problem for me. So, I would like to share some things that have worked for me and keeping my weight in check.

1) – Quick weight loss schemes rarely work. When you start depriving yourself of food, your metabolism naturally slows down because it doesn’t know where the next meal is coming from. I know someone who eats quite a bit in the evening, and then she starves herself throughout the day. When she does that, her body goes into an emergency mode and it slows everything down. By not eating all day, she becomes ravenous by the end of the afternoon and ends up eating too many of the wrong things.

2) Stay away from beige and brown foods – most of those food choices are carbohydrates or riddled with fat. Things like bread, pasta, ice cream, and cookies, are not very healthy choices when it comes to food. Try to focus on colorful things like vegetables fruits and things that are lower in the glycemic index. They will be metabolized more slowly because of their higher fiber content and they will make you feel fuller for longer periods.

3) Drink plenty of water – many people mistake hunger for thirst. Often if you have a glass of water before you eat, it will abate your hunger and make you feel fuller, making you less likely to eat the wrong things.

4) It’s easier to lose weight by amending your diet than by exercising more. Did you know that you need to walk almost an hour to eliminate one slice of cheese? So instead of trying to lose weight by upping your activity level, you need to focus on portion control and eating the right types of food. If I want to lose weight, I have to make my evening meal smaller. Your body needs more calories throughout the day to keep you fueled. You don’t need extra calories at night to help you go to sleep.

5)- Move around throughout the day – I can’t do the heavy exercises that I used to do when I was younger, so I try and move around the house frequently. I rarely sit still for more than 10 or 15 minutes before I get up and walk into the other room and do something. Getting up during a commercial on television is a good way to get some extra steps in and keep your body moving.

6)-Watch your alcohol intake. Alcohol is loaded with calories. It’s easy to get into this habit, especially if you’re retired. But alcohol has tons of calories and very little nutritional value. I try to limit my alcohol intake to one glass of wine. Red wine has resveretrol, which can help with your heart.

7) It’s harder to stay fit as you age. Aging naturally slows down your metabolism, making it easy to accumulate body fat around your stomach and hips. But you can avoid this by eating lots of veggies and fruits instead of pies, cookies candy, and chips. Chips are especially bad for you because they have very little nutritional value, and are loaded with salt and fat. Plus they don’t fill you up.

8)-You need to keep moving. Try to exercise in a way that works well for you. I rarely do repetitive exercise anymore because something often hurts afterward. So I might walk a little bit, I might go in the pool for a while, and move around like a praying mantis.

Often, an injury is a result of our bodies changing as we age. Our joints and muscles are more fragile and it’s easy to hurt yourself if you keep doing the same thing every day. Try and cross- train, but the most important thing is to find an activity that you like to do. Some people like walking. Others like swimming, Pilates, Zumba, etc. If you don’t find an activity that you like to do, exercising is going to feel like a chore.

9)-Fight muscle atrophy. Sarcopenia is common as we age so we need to do more things to build up our muscle mass. Lifting light weights, and eating more protein are good sources for battling muscle atrophy related to age. I am not extremely muscle-bound because of my body type, but I try and move around and do my resistance work in the pool. I’m not as strong as I would like to be, so that’s my challenge.

10)-Stay away from diet drinks. I drank so much diet soda when I was younger, not knowing that it would leach my bones of calcium, and also spike my blood sugar, making me even more hungry later. Diet drinks are loaded with chemicals and things that make them taste good, but are very bad for your health.

These are only a few of the strategies that have worked for me over the years. I did put on some weight when I was in college and gained about 30 lbs. because of the dorm food, eating whatever I wanted to, and birth control. But that’s no excuse. The reason I gained weight was because of me. I can’t blame it on something else.

I don’t have a washboard stomach and even when I look at myself in the mirror, my stomach is larger than it used to be, but I know what I need to do when this happens. I try to drink more water, I try to eat more food with fiber, and I try to have desserts that are natural like apples, applesauce grapes, and that sort of thing. And I try to limit my alcohol.

Genetics plays into this, and I am blessed with long arms and long legs which have helped me stay slim. But you can employ fitness techniques regardless of your body type. Staying in shape and staying lean is a lifestyle choice. There are no easy roads to fitness. It is a constant thing that I try and employ every day.

I tend to be very hard on myself, and I want to look like I did when I was 30. But it’s very doubtful that will happen. But at least I can try and fight mother nature by employing some of the tools above. For the record, I am 70, weight 126, and I am 5’7”

What fitness strategies have worked for you? Perhaps there are some things that I have overlooked that are surefire ways for all of us to stay healthy.


IMPORTANT LEGAL INFO This article is of a general nature and FYI only, because it doesn’t take into account your personal health requirements or existing medical conditions. That means it’s not personalised health advice and shouldn’t be relied upon as if it is. Before making a health-related decision, you should work out if the info is appropriate for your situation and get professional medical advice.

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