If you ever woke up feeling older than usual, your midlife fitness may be in need of repair…
We’re all aware that exercise and fitness are keys to healthy living, and new research is confirming that a healthy lifestyle will increase both your age – and more importantly – your quality of life.
A recent study in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that staying fit in your middle years doesn’t simply postpone the onset of chronic disease later in later life, it actually also shortens the duration of disease.
Unlike other machines, our bodies can’t be replaced when they break down, but here’s what we can do to extend the life of our “body machines”:
- Adopt a calorie-restricted diet, which has been shown to not only keep obesity at bay, but to provide a lower risk of going through other age-related conditions. Additionally, U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend that we reduce the fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium and sugar in the foods we eat.
- Ask your physician to recommend a personal exercise regimen for you. Studies show that starting regular jogging increases the life expectancy of men by 6.2 years and women by 5.6 years. Physical activity protects you against coronary heart disease and other chronic diseases such as adult-onset diabetes, arthritis, hypertension, certain cancers, osteoporosis and depression.
- Rest is a great rejuvenator. As you grow older, your sleep patterns and need for sleep may change. Be sure to include rest periods in your daily exercise program, especially if you sleep fewer than eight hours each night. Exercise can help relieve problems with insomnia, too.
- Stay well hydrated. As we age, we fail to recognize that our fluid intake usually decreases and this not only is unhealthy, but decreases our energy levels, as well.
- Talk to your physician about supplements. Many are helpful, but some are worthless hypes by irresponsible marketers, while others can actually be dangerous.
Dealing with midlife fitness takes time and energy, but doing so sooner rather than later can help you find greater satisfaction and pleasure – not to mention good health – in your life.