For most of us, getting older translates to weight gain and health issues. Our age sort of defines our ability to achieve our health and fitness goals. But in reality, the saying that “age is just a number” is actually true. Tim Ellis, principal physiotherapist and director at Excel Physiotherapy and Wellness, is proof that even if we’re no longer in our 20’s, we can still become fit and fabulous after 50. In this article, Tim shares his secrets to maintaining a healthy body:
Keep an Active Lifestyle
As one reaches the age of 40, they start experiencing changes in their lifestyle. At this age, career and family become their top priority. Work and family obligations come first, and they tend to put their needs last. With very hectic schedules revolving around obligations at home and at work, most of us don’t have any time left for physical activities and so our health and wellbeing suffer in the long run.
It is important to remember that we need to stay physically active in order to maintain our health. So, we need to make a conscious effort to allocate time for exercise on a daily basis, like walking for at least 30 minutes every day. Even with this very simple exercise routine, one can reap so many health benefits, such as burning excess fat, improving cardiovascular health, gaining bone density, and improving blood sugar regulation. Walking can also help fight depression and anxiety, decrease the risk of colon and breast cancer, as well as glaucoma.
Watch What You Eat
People 40 and above are more susceptible to weight gain, gaining about a kilogram on average per year primarily because of hormonal changes as well as variations in our basic amino acid profile. However, our food choices can also contribute to our weight gain. To avoid gaining unnecessary pounds, stay away from fatty and sugary food and avoid eating bread and complex carbs. Also, try to limit eating red meat to about once a month, as it has been linked to a host of health problems, including heart disease, cancers and diabetes. However, red meat is also rich in protein and nutrients like iron and vitamin B3, so it can still be part of a healthy diet – just don’t eat it every day.
Put Your Mobile Phone Down
At this day and age, when everything can be easily accessed in the palm of your hands, thanks to your mobile phone, it makes sense to be constantly glued to your smartphone. However, always looking at your phone can actually be bad for your eyes, neck, and back. So, while it could be a bit challenging to put your phone down every once in a while, you need to make a conscious effort to lessen the time and frequency that you spend using your smartphone.
Pay Attention to Your Body
Most of us tend to ignore pain and only have ourselves checked when the symptoms get worse. If you want to age well and be healthy as you get older, you need to prioritize your health. And by this, you also need to listen to your body and go to a doctor or specialist whenever something doesn’t feel right. Physiotherapy plays an important role in helping people recover from their injury and manage their pain. So, the next time you feel any pain, it would be best to visit a physio and have it checked right away.
Always Have a Happy Disposition
Happiness is the best medicine and could be the key to having excellent health as we age. There is an old Irish saying that goes, “The best medicine is a good laugh and great night’s sleep.” Part of taking care of yourself and of your health is constantly striving to be positive and doing the things that make you happy. It also helps to surround yourself with people whom you enjoy spending time with and avoiding those who cause stress.
If you take care of health and make it a conscious effort to love yourself, you’ll be able to spend your years doing the things that give you joy. Take it from Tim!
Tim Ellis is the Principal Physiotherapist at Excel Physiotherapy and Wellness in Mascot, New South Wales, Australia. He specialises in treating complex necks and backs and developing highly effective exercise programs for his patients. Tim is committed to integrative health, healthy eating, exercise, and life long learning which he shares through his blogs.