A few years ago, one of our clients in her 70’s told me “I’m not here to lose weight. I just want to age gracefully”!
This stuck with me because she is someone who I would have NEVER guessed is in her 70’s when I first met her. She understands the importance of staying active and healthy for longevity and a better quality of life! She has been a client of ours now for over 3 years and never misses a workout with her trainer.
Here are 6 Tips for Aging Gracefully:
- Remember, it’s not too late to start!
“Aging gracefully” isn’t just a concept for people who have been athletic and active their entire lives. It’s for anyone who realizes that they need to start NOW! If you’re reading this blog, you have what it takes to get started.At KW Fitness, we meet each client where they’re at. We have several people who have never done any exercise at all who start with us in their 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. Our team of professionals makes sure to take it slowly for those who need it.
- Move your body everyday
How often do you move your body?! Even simple movement, such as going for a walk around the block or doing some basic stretching, will keep your heart rate up and make your muscles & joints feel good. Research has proven that men over the age of 50 lose about 1% of their muscle mass per year, and women lose about 2% of their muscle mass per year. To “age gracefully” and fight that loss of muscle mass, it’s recommended to do resistance training (with weights, bands, or even your own body weight) 2-3 times per week. It’s also suggested to walk daily, for at least 10-20 minutes at a time. This combination will strengthen your muscles and bones, help your heart to stay healthy, and make you feel great overall!
- Be mindful of your eating habits
Healthy eating isn’t just to help with weight loss, it’s also super important for a healthy mind and to prevent disease. If you have a “diet” or a “quick fix” mindset, that can be detrimental to your health. It’s all about HABITS. Ask yourself these questions:
– Are all of my meals balanced (do I get a protein, a good carb, and a healthy fat at each meal?)
– Do I over eat or do I eat enough throughout the day?
– Am I dependent on “convenience items” or pre-packaged foods?
– Are my portion sizes too big or too small?Make sure to eat whole foods and stay away from anything that’s super “convenient” (pre-packaged foods, processed foods, snack crisps, boxed cereals, microwavable meals, etc).
“Convenience” items have toxic additives that can cause disease and mess with your gut health.Remember this simple tip that I hear a while ago from Pastor Rick Warren: “If it’s made by a plant, you should eat it. If it’s made IN a plant, you should stay away!”
- Surround yourself with positivity
It’s important to keep a positive circle of influence. Do you have friends and family that have healthy habits? If you don’t, it’s SO HELPFUL when your circle of influence has the same types of goals that you do. Find an accountability buddy that you can walk with, grab a healthy lunch with, and share your goals with!Often times, our clients at KW Fitness, even though they train in a private or semi-private setting, they find people they can connect with outside of our walls to keep them motivated, inspired, and on track!
- Keep your mind active
I think of my husband’s Grandfather, who is 82 years young. He is someone that I believe has “aged gracefully”, and a lot of it has to do with the fact that he doesn’t sit still and he keeps his mind active. Since he retired and he lives alone now, he keeps his mind active by doing 1,000+ piece puzzles! Reading is also a great way to keep your mind active. You’re never too young or old to keep learning and educating yourself! Take a class or a course, buy some new books, or even listen to podcasts to keep your mind active.
- Drink plenty of water
The general rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight in ounces of water. Drinking water has SO MANY benefits. Think about it: our bodies are composed of about 60% water! Drinking enough water helps to regulate your body temperature, flush out waste, it boosts your skin health, maintains your blood pressure, delivers oxygen throughout your body, and even prevents kidney damage (to name a few benefits)!
Some people come to us when they’re being “reactive” about something that happened in their life (aka a “wake up call”), when they get a personal health scare, or something happens to a family member that they don’t want to happen to them.
Be PROACTIVE about your health (whether you’re in your 20’s & 30’s, or your 40’s, 50’s and beyond!) and you will “age gracefully”. Your body will thank you later!
– Mandy Webb, KW Fitness Co-Owner