If you’ve ever tried to talk your parents into going to the gym, it is likely that the response was something along the lines of “I’m too old for that”.
Oftentimes people of previous generations have grown with the belief that age is a bit like a terminal sentence that inevitably deprives you of the ability of doing anything body-care related.
I have had this battle on and off with my parents for many years now.
And while this is relevant and valid for individuals who believe it is so, it is not really the ultimate truth. Quite simply, the needs of our grandparents (and parents) and those of elite athletes vary only by degree not type.
Let’s Face The Facts…
If you are of an older age and don’t have any severe physical/health issues, here are some facts for you:
- You can still exercise
- You can still eat well
- You can still treat your body right
In most cases, refusing to do these is simply a limiting belief (more on limiting beliefs in a future article), or in other words, it is your mind that thinks age is stopping you.
Self-Care In The Later Years
It is true that there are certain physiological and mental changes that occur as we age, but one thing still remains true – You can CHOOSE to take actions and adopt health-nourishing habits.
Here are some tips for adults who are looking to improve their lifestyle and habits:
The older we get, the more muscle mass we lose and the less active we typically become.
Nevertheless, engaging in low & high-intensity physical exercise, is one of the best anti-aging therapies you can do.
Exercise and especially resistance training can help you maintain your muscle mass over the years, leading to significant improvements in metabolism & how you look.
Since the body is more prone to injuries during the older years however, it is a good idea to mix low and high intensity training and avoid overexertion.
Think of it this way – What can you do for your body in the next 10 years, given that you are 55 years old now? 10 years is a lot of time and it will certainly yield results if you put in the work!
#2 Eat well
As the older age steps in, people become more likely to ditch their self-care habits altogether.
Whether you are 20 or 55 however, one thing remains true – Your body needs certain essential nutrients, in order to sustain the healthy function of all body systems.
For this reason, it is a good idea to be mindful of your nutrition, even at an older age.
Include quality animal products, fish, fruits, vegetables in your daily nutrition plan and try to eat the least amount of junk food possible.
Quality whole foods will keep you satiated and will in turn make it much less likely for you to overeat and gain excessive weight.
What does this mean? Better health and body composition even in your older years!
#3 Manage Stress
Oftentimes, people are rendered incapable of giving their bodies what they need not just by age, but by the progressively increasing stress factors over time.
Stress management is an important aspect of self-care and your anti-aging habits.
How do you do that?
There are many tools to reduce stress and cope with stress, but it mostly comes down to one very important realization…
That is namely the fact that most stress responses are automatic – You don’t choose to be stressed, stress takes over you.
How to deal with the stress is the most import thing, and asking yourself a few questions can help to put things into perspective:
“Is this worth my time and health?”
“Is there another way of dealing with this without feeling stressed?”
“Is this going to matter in 5 years?”
“Why does this make me feel this way?”
All of these questions can lead to certain behavioral models that will guide you to the right decision in the situation and therefore, reduce stress.
Internal self-regulation is important, it is also a skill that takes time to learn.
Contrary to popular belief, your older age is not a terminal sentence that you can’t escape.
The fact that certain changes happen in the body during your older years, should push you to become more aware of your habits and improve them, in order to nourish your body and delay decrepitude.
Remember that as long as you are alive, you have the opportunity to make powerful decisions and choose actions and habits that will ultimately improve your quality of life.
Stay active, eat well, rest enough and manage your stress and you will be surprised how fit you can look during your older years!