Keeping Yourself Healthy And Fit
The old adage is that you’re only as young as you feel. Sometimes the most youthful countenance can be found in a face that has seen many decades. Sometimes a young man looks as haggard as a centenarian who has lived a hard life. Much of a person’s energy and vitality comes not so much from their age, but from their attitude.
Did you know your attitude can prematurely age you? This is scientific—let’s break it down real quick. Our bodies have something called “telomeres” constructed of telomerase binding our DNA strands together. Over time, telomerase is lost from the body, telomeres break down, and our DNA unravels. This is, scientifically, what is understood to be the aging process.
So what breaks down telomeres? What impacts telomerase? Stress. Negative stress, specifically—because there are good and bad stresses. The more stressed you are mentally, the more your telomeres break down, the less viable your DNA is, and the faster you age. How you think affects your ability to live.
Accordingly, part of any fitness plan will involve getting your “head in the game”, as the saying goes. When your head and heart is right, you’ll have greater and more swift success in your exercise regimen. There are upper limits, but you may be surprised at how far you can go—just look at these six bodybuilders older than seventy. Following is a fitness plan to help you get in that ballpark.
1. Determine Which Athletic Activities Best Fit You
Swimming, yoga, pilates, light weight training, resistance workouts using bands, simply walking, cycling either in real life or on a machine, aerobic classes, strength classes, and personal training all represent fine fitness choices for seniors. Some of these will work better for you than others.
Keep this in mind: the best way to stay continuously in shape is to surround yourself with activities which naturally invite health. Ranchers and farmers tend to stay strong well into advanced years owing to their daily activities. Hands-on contractors and architects are in a similar position, as are fitness instructors and dancers. Many ballet instructors retain toned physique into advanced age.
So as you go about finding fitness activities you can pursue in the gym, try to find things you can do in everyday life to gently and continuously put good stress on your body for the purpose of building muscle. Remember, there’s a difference between good and bad stress.
2. Find Your Pace With Care
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is pushing yourself too hard and too fast too soon. It is fundamental that you pace yourself. Give yourself a week or two to find your rhythm; maybe even a month, if you can spare the time.
Carefully determine what your limitations are, and don’t over-exert yourself. A minor injury can knock you off the exercise train and invite negative stress or sedentary behavior; either of which being fundamentally opposed to healthy fitness.
3. Properly Supplement Your Workout
Your body needs the right fuels. Vitamins, minerals, and other supplements are very important in your overall success. Put bad fuel in your car, it will ruin your engine. The same is true of your body. You need organic foods full of vitamins. A multivitamin is wise. Getting yourself on an approved Medicare Supplement plan can be key in helping you find fitness balance.
4. Be As Regular As Possible: Stretch
You’ve got to workout as often as you can within balanced reason. Five thirty-minute workouts a week are prescribed for younger people. As a senior, you might want to work up to that level slowly, and using less intensive fitness schedules. Instead of abusing your knees on the treadmill, use the stair master or elliptical machine.
Aerobic exercise is more about your heart than your muscles. Stretch before you exercise, and when possible, use a sauna, steamer, or hot tub to help your muscles handle these positive stresses better.
Consult Physicians And Trainers, But Think Critically
Whether or not you’ve made your career around fixing cars, you have likely noticed operational issues your mechanic may have missed. Mechanics actually have access to the blueprints to the vehicles they fix straight from the manufacturer. Medical professionals have had to reverse-engineer the human body from the cellular level, and they have not done so perfectly.
So you do want to get the advice of your doctor, and inform your workout through the learning and experience of a trainer. But don’t trust in either authority as a monolith, as both are human, and so they’ll make mistakes. You’ve got to take what they say with a grain of salt, and ultimately make the decision yourself on what’s most appropriate.
You definitely want their input, just don’t trust in it solely while ignoring your better judgement. Pharmaceuticals and other medications aren’t always your best friend. Supplementation, nutrition, and regular exercise will keep you healthy, and can put your body in a position to increase musculature in ways that are truly surprising, and even inspiring.
It may take a little longer, but if you are regular, you stretch, you supplement, find your proper pace, consult to find the best options, and do the right workout activities, you can be toned and fit well past your sixties.