Keys To Keeping Fit As You Age

November 20, 2018

They say there’s only two things certain in life – Death and Taxes.

And I’m going to throw in another one here: AGEING.

It’s an unavoidable fact of life that we all age.

But I like to think of Age as just a number that symbolises our ‘experience’ rather than a reason to stop living life to the full.

For me, it’s all about perspective.

There’s no question that biologically as we age, our ability to perform certain things physically does begin to slide, but it doesn’t mean we should stop looking after ourselves or doing the activities we love and enjoy.

No matter where you are physically, my advice is to choose a level that you can stay consistent with.

I know too many people who no longer prioritise their body, simply because they’ve told themselves that they can’t do a certain thing anymore. That may be so, but don’t let it prevent you from doing something you can do!

Here’s the thing…

Just about ALL of us can at least get outside and walk for 30-40 minutes per day. So if that’s all you CAN do, quit making excuses and make that a daily habit.

Beyond that, if you’re willing and able, here’s a few additional pointers that might help you to reignite your physical spark and put the breaks on how old you feel:

1. Start with walking no matter what – If walking is all you can do, start there and be consistent with it. Walking is the number 1 exercise human beings are meant to do that delivers so many physical and emotional health benefits. Regardless of whatever other activities you do, make sure walking fits somewhere into your daily routine;

2. Stretch when you rise – If you have pets, you’ve probably noticed that they instinctively stretch after a period of rest and you should do the same. When you rise, take a few minutes to lightly stretch and wake up your body. Make this a daily habit and you’ll keep your muscles and joints supple, maintain flexibility, help prevent injury and give yourself the best chance of ageing well physically;

3. Choose Low Impact exercise – In my late teens and 20’s I trained heavily in martial arts and would run 5-8kms per day as part of my training. As much as I loved it, over the years it took its toll on my back and joints, and today I avoid running pretty much altogether because it doesn’t agree with me. The great thing is that there are so many awesome exercises you can do to stay in shape that won’t risk causing you injury like; yoga, pilates, swimming, cycling and low impact/lightweight circuit training. My personal favourites are hot yoga and HIIT (high-intensity interval training). Just find one that floats your boat and include it in your weekly routine;

4. Find a “Fun Fit” activity – Personally, I’m a freak for mountain sports. Year round I mountain bike, I do the odd MTB adventure race and in the US winter most years, I’ll go hiking and snowboarding with Inga and our girls. The point is if you can find an activity that you truly love, that keeps you fit at the same time, you’ve got it made.