Healthy Lifestyle Tips for
Living a healthy lifestyle in older adulthood, is anything but easy. Keeping the waistline trim is even more difficult. Years and years of reading and listening to conflicting diet and exercise advice. Don’t eat potatoes, do eat potatoes, buy low fat, cut your calories, don’t eat carbs, fruit is full of sugar, don’t eat after 6pm, use meal replacement shakes, only eat low calorie treats, the list goes on and on. It’s no wonder many women over the age of 50, really struggle to live a healthy lifestyle.
The formula for a living a healthy lifestyle is the same for all of us, however, due to the body going through many different changes with each decade that we live, there are additional steps that older adults can take, to help maintain a healthy body and lifestyle.
Here are 6 steps to help you improve your health and lifestyle;
The best diet is a balanced diet, full of healthy nutritious food, lots of energy and loads of vitamins and minerals. Try and get 2-3 portions of protein per day, from foods such as high-quality meats, fish, organic eggs, beans and also nuts. Then fill yourself with lots of energy from vegetables, fruits, salads and anything else that grows from the ground. Enjoy your spuds with a knob of butter. Choose higher calorie high fibre vegetables like potatoes, sweet potato, butternut squash and sweetcorn, as well as beans, instead of pasta and rice which offer much less nutrients.
Don’t buy low-fat. Fats are vitally important for the body. Among many roles that fats have in your body, fats help absorb several vitamins A, D, E and K from foods. Fats are also essential to maintaining a good hormonal balance. Years and years of low fat dieting will most certainly lead to a deficient unbalanced unhealthy body. Healthy fatty foods include oily fish like mackerel and salmon, olives and olive oil, nuts and seeds, avocado and coconut. Also enjoy full fat yogurt, milk and cheese. Fats in food and body fat are very different, and eating fats does not simply turn into fat in your body.
Water is Life! Did you know that your body is made up of around 60% water. If you don’t keep your water levels topped up, all systems in your body will begin malfunction. Most older adults don’t drink enough water, and therefore suffer water retention. A lady over 50 should be aiming for around 2 litres per day minimum. When you don’t drink enough water, your body can retain water around your mid-section and legs, which will look like body fat. This is why, when people start living healthier and drinking more water, that they can lose a lot of weight in the first 2 weeks. Their body flushes out the retained water, leading to weight loss. Not drinking enough water will also cause your body to burn fat much slower.
Sleep is extremely important for our health. The body repairs and rebuilds itself during sleep. Women over 50 can often struggle to get a good night’s sleep. Menopause can often cause night sweats and irregular sleep. A healthy bedtime routine can certainly help improve sleep. Try not to use devices an hour before bedtime. The blue light from screens reduces your production of melatonin, the hormone that makes you feel sleepy. Charge your phone in the kitchen at night, so you don’t happen to look at it if you waken up. And buy yourself an alarm clock if needs be.
Reading for 15 to 30 mins before bed is much better for helping you sleep than watching TV. And nothing beats a cup of hot cacao to help you relax before bedtime. Coffee is definitely off the menu before bedtime, and alcohol is certainly not advised. Like many women over 50, my mum’s likes to enjoy the odd glass of wine in the evening, to help her sleep. However, alcohol may help you fall asleep, but the quality of your sleep will be much less. This is why we can sleep for 10 hours after a night out, and still feel completely wrecked the next day. Yoga is fantastic for helping improve sleep. And don’t underestimate the powers of a hot relaxing bath before bedtime.
Being active is a vitally important part of a healthy lifestyle. Activity improves and maintains your heart and lungs. It gets your blood pumping, which transports oxygen and nutrients around your body. Without activity, your muscles and joints will get stiff. Mood decreases, as well as fitness levels, and body fat can increase. There are loads of ways to increase activity in your lifestyle.
Walking, running, cycling, swimming, house work, gardening, manual work, playing with gran-kids, sports, fitness classes etc. As you get older, your metabolism slows down, and your body is unable to keep itself as warm. At this time of year, it can be a lot less appealing to go outside and be active. But as the saying goes, “there’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing”, although that saying is certainly put to the test in this country. Nothing beats a good walk through nature, so grab your coat and get moving.
“I’m not lifting weights, I don’t want to be big and bulky.” The age old myth that has stood the test of time. Not only will lifting weights not make you bulky, it has many amazing benefits for women, particularly as they get older. People gradually lose muscle and strength as they get older. This is what leads to a slower metabolism. Lifting weights will help prevent or slow down muscle loss, and will actually speed up your metabolism, leading to fat loss.
Hormonal changes in older women, often leads to bone deterioration, whereas weight lifting will actually improve your bone density. The controlled stress of weight lifting on joints, causes the body to repair, rebuild and improve the joints, getting rid of stiffness and soreness. Weight lifting also releases hormones, making every woman walk out of Maxx Life feeling amazing, strong and great about themselves. If you haven’t tried weight lifting before, I highly recommend you try it and feel all the benefits for yourself.
And lastly, calories. Those tiny little creatures that live in your wardrobe and sew your clothes a little tighter each night. The current generation of women in their 40’s and 50’s, have been plagued so much over the last few decades, about low calorie this and low calories that, that most are living on a diet that is far too low in calories. A moderately active women in her 50’s requires about 1800-2000 calories per day of good nutritious food, to keep her body healthy and full of energy. The average woman in her 50’s consumes around about 1000 calories or less, of nutritious food each day, way below what she requires. It’s this low-calorie, low-fat, low in nutrients diet that is the major contributing factor to a less than healthy lifestyle and growing waistline for many women. I know it’s a difficult concept to grasp, but living a low calorie lifestyle leads to body fat gain, not fat loss as most people would expect. If you would like a more detailed explanation of the science behind the problems associated with low-calorie diets, as well as a more in-depth description of each of the steps above, check out our free 24 page healthy lifestyle plan at maxxlifegym.com/healthplan.
Hopefully, you have found these few tips helpful and motivating towards living a healthier and more active lifestyle. If you’d like to benefit from all the advantages of weight training, and want to get started, I highly recommend starting with personal training. Gym’s can be a very daunting scary place, filled with weird looking machines and equipment. At Maxx Life, we are not your normal stereotypical gym. We have worked hard to create a gym atmosphere that is very welcoming to women of all ages, especially those women who “hate gyms”.
We have a fantastic team of 10 qualified trainers ranging from ages 31 to 48, who have a lot of experience training ladies over 50. Everyone is at a different level, and personal training will allow you to receive the level of training that is right for you, whether you’re a complete beginner or already quite fit.
Our personal training sessions are extremely affordable, from only £7.50 each, with no block bookings or commitments required, and last for 30 mins. To get yourself booked in, either book in online at maxxlifegym.com/diary or phone Anto on 07774 088 033.