Time is a bit more forgiving to the young. Remember when you thought you were invincible and that those late night parties and summer camps would go on forever? When you may be consumed some things you shouldn’t have, or over-indulged while wildly disregarding the consequences? When you’re young, your body has a greater chance of nullifying the harmful effects of smoking, drinking, or packing in too many slices of chocolate fudge cake.
But while we all know it’s important to look after our health at any age, if you’re noticing the wrinkles around your eyes and you’ve got more gray hairs than Gandolf 😀 , then it’s time you starting thinking seriously about yours. And not just thinking, but actively taking steps to get fitter, especially after sixty. Here’s why:
Aching and Fragile Bones
If you’re one of those people who’s never paid much attention to what you eat or whether you work out, then you might be lagging behind in your overall bone health. Inactivity and lack of regular exercise can lead to a loss of muscle mass and cartilage, which causes your joints to be more fragile.
But here’s the good news; it’s never too late to improve the strength of your bones and free yourself from chronic joint aches and pains. The right weight lifting or strength training program coupled with vitamin D and calcium supplements can help you avoid fractures and stiff joints.
A Sluggish Metabolism
Your metabolism typically slows down by around 5% a decade (it’s not all fun and games getting older) which means that if you start to lead a more inactive lifestyle and don’t watch what you eat, you’re going to put on weight.
Why is that bad? Well, apart from the fact that you won’t fit into your clothes, excess weight can cause all kinds of problems for your body, including diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure, as well as extra strain on your bones.
An exercise program specifically designed for seniors will take into account your specific needs and help kick-start your metabolism. Consult with a personal trainer, or try exercising in a group at your local gym and make friends and have fun at the same time as improving your health.
Increased Chances of Heart Disease
The incidence of heart disease increases with age and is the main cause of death in people between the ages of 75-84, so make sure you protect your heart. According to the American Heart Association, women are particularly vulnerable to heart attacks around ten years after menopause.
If you want to reduce the risk, you should go for routine check-ups, to analyze your blood pressure, cholesterol, LDL, HDL, and triglycerides. Both women and men who are packing the extra pounds and have a high BMI (body mass index) should be particularly cautious and watch their consumption of fat and sugar.
An active lifestyle to complement your diet is definitely recommended and it’s been proven that regular light exercise can help reduce your chances of heart disease and keep your heart healthy and strong. In fact, as little as 50 minutes of exercise three times a week dramatically lowers your possibility of developing coronary artery disease.
A Weaker Immune System
Age has a degenerative effect on the immune system, and that means that you’re more susceptible to catching colds and other illnesses as you get older. So it’s more important to stay in shape, eat sensibly, and not allow yourself to accumulate extra pounds, as bad diet and poor exercise can have a big bad impact on your immune system.
If you’re looking for a healthy, natural supplement to add to your meals to help prevent illnesses, you could try adding whey protein to your diet, as it can help prevent certain illnesses, such as common forms of cancer and boost your immune system, helping you stay healthy throughout the winter.
More Trips to the Restroom
If you aren’t ready to use adult diapers just yet, then make sure you spare a thought for your bladder and urinary tract as you age. Women are especially susceptible to this after childbirth and menopause, but men can also suffer from incontinence as the result of an enlarged prostate or diabetes.
If you want to stay healthy down there, make sure that you go to the restroom frequently and avoid diuretics that stimulate the bladder, such as caffeine, alcohol and soda. Doing Kegel exercises is helpful to strengthen the pelvic floor, and both men and women will be kinder to their bladders by maintaining a healthy, sustainable weight.
Getting older doesn’t have to mean living in pain, getting out of shape, or losing your mental and physical agility. In fact, if you make a decision to look after your health as you age, you can enjoy the benefits that a healthy body and mind can bring.
Christina Comben is a freelance copywriter specializing in article writing and content creation for the health and fitness industry. Motivated by challenge, change, and continued learning, Christina has lived and worked her way around the world, garnering in-depth knowledge of diverse environments and health methodologies. She currently works as Outreach Manager at health and fitness bootcamp The DVCC. Contact Christina on: