Your health and fitness matter – no matter how old you are.
In fact, staying fit and healthy as you move into your senior years may have an even more significant importance. Maintaining your fitness as you age might seem tough or even unnecessary, but it’s definitely worth the effort.
Getting older means a lot will change in your life.
You will want to place a stronger focus on taking care of yourself by investing in a medical alert service, scheduling regular check-ups with your doctor, taking prescribed medication and generally prioritising your wellness.
Holding onto a good health and fitness routine as you age can help you to live a longer and stronger life without certain health issues arising until much later in life.
Here are a few important things to do.
Key to Maintaining Your Fitness
Of course, the most important thing is to keep moving. You cannot maintain the fitness levels you have without constantly working on them and putting in the effort.
While it’s normal for your exercise routine to change a little as you age, what matters is that you maintain a good level of activity.
Visiting the gym every week, attending classes, cycling, or even simply stretching or partaking in some lighter exercise can help you to stay strong and fit as you age.
When we start working less or stop working altogether, the tendency is that we simply stop moving about.
Even with a good weekly exercise routine in place, it’s detrimental to your long term health and fitness to spend the rest of your day completely sedentary on the couch.
If you’re retired and have plenty of time in your day, include one or two daily walks into your routine, try to walk to visit friends and family when possible and stay active in your own home – cleaning up, gardening and generally staying moving throughout the day.
Practice Mobility and Stretching
Your bones, joints and muscles may begin to regress as you get older. You might feel you’re losing flexibility and mobility, feel aches and pains and struggle with certain movements more than you used to.
Another great routine to have in your week is a stretch and mobility practice. This will help you maintain your range of motion in your exercising and daily life.
Keep your joints well-oiled and moving properly, muscles flexible and manage any pain you may have by stretching it out and working those muscles a few times a week.
Consult a Trainer
If you’re only getting started with an exercise routine in your older years, you may feel slightly intimidated.
What are you capable of, what’s good for you and how do you do it?
Don’t worry – it’s never too late to start.
A good idea might be to consult a personal trainer who has experience working with older clients. They’ll be able to assess your abilities and put you on a programme that will suit you and help you progress in your fitness.
Even if you’ve been working out all your life, a conversation with a good personal trainer might help you figure out if and how your training might need to change.
Modify Your Workouts
Unfortunately, even if we stay on the workout grind, eat well, stretch and take great care of ourselves, there’s a big chance you’ll start to see a decline in your strength, movement and abilities in the gym.
This can be disappointing, but don’t let it dishearten you – it doesn’t mean you need to stop or that you’re failing! When issues arise, the best thing you can do is modify your workouts so that they suit your needs in each phase of life.
If a certain exercise starts hurting your back, look for helpful alternatives or modifications that will still work the muscle group you’re targeting but without any pain.
Improve Your Diet
Developing a lazy attitude towards your diet as you age is not a good idea. While it can be tempting to start relying on convenience foods and consuming too much sugar, it’s more important than ever that you focus on healthy eating.
Increase your fibre intake and focus on getting in fruits and vegetables in each meal. Your nutrition will help you manage and fight off illnesses and other issues that come along with aging such as digestive trouble and heart problems.
Increase Your Protein Intake
A high-protein diet isn’t just for bodybuilders. Protein is important for people of all types and ages, and especially so for seniors. Protein will help you maintain your muscle mass which will naturally start depleting as you get older.
Therefore, if you wait to stay fit and strong, your protein intake will need to be even higher than the average exercising person. Focus on getting your protein from clean, lean sources wherever possible and supplement where necessary.
Water is the oil in the well-oiled machine of the human body. Not only is water crucial for keeping all your internal processes up and running smoothly, but it plays an important role in muscle growth and maintenance and keeping your joints and bones strong and healthy.
If you are training regularly and staying active in your old age, drinking enough water is even more important to replenish what you lose daily.
Focus On Sleep Hygiene
Your sleep will impact every facet of your health and life: your muscle status, mental health and mental clarity, digestive health, bone density, recovery from exercise, injury and illness, and your overall health.
Focusing on a healthy sleep routine will help you stay stronger for longer as you age and will help you keep your energy levels up as you feel them start to deplete in your senior years.
Conclusion: Supplement Effectively
Finally, supplementation can be useful but should never be used to replace a healthy and balanced diet. Try to supplement nutrients you might not be getting enough of in your diet – whey protein, vitamin D, omega 3 fatty acids, iron and vitamin B12 are a few supplements you might want to look into.