New Britain City Journal

New Britain's Weekly Online Newspaper

Health

Anti-Aging with Healthy Nutrition and Exercise

One of the most important elements to enjoying a long and youthful life is to maintain one’s fitness through good nutrition and health. Good physical fitness is important in protecting ourselves from diseases and medical conditions as we age.

As we age, we tend to eat more than our daily allowance which leads to excess weight gain. The older we get the less motivation we have to keep it off. This is a constant battle which is increasingly frustrating to most people who want to keep a healthy lifestyle.

One of the best types of exercise available is weight training. Weight training can be performed as both an aerobic and anaerobic exercise, either short periods of heavy exertion or longer periods of lighter activity. The benefits of this exercise are increased cardiovascular activity which helps lower blood pressure, improve lung capacity, balance, muscle development and bone density.

Weight training is a fantastic method of fighting the aging process. Research suggests that muscle waste occurs at a rate of 4 percent every 10 years in adults, and increases to 10 percent in our 50s. By 60 years of age most men will have lost 20 – 30 percent of muscle mass. By continuing to train with weights it’s possible to slow this wasting process significantly, which means you remain stronger and fitter as you age.

One of the best ways to prevent and slow this muscle loss is through regular weight training to build and strengthen muscle and bone density throughout the body. This training can be complimented with supplements such as whey protein to help increase muscle mass. Such supplements can also include the substance hyaluronic acid, which occurs naturally in the body and promotes hydration of the skin fighting wrinkles, obesity and promotes muscle tone, as well as a variety of vitamins and minerals needed for a healthy body. If you wish to pursue the use of supplements it is important to discuss this with a healthcare provider before starting.

A healthy and balanced diet is also important in fighting aging. Each age group has different nutritional needs. Between our 20’s to 30’s depending on the type of exercise one engages in, high protein and carbohydrate intake is appropriate. For those in their 40’s or older it is important to start a low fat diet that does not contain high cholesterol and carbohydrate. As the body ages metabolism slows down.

As we age, we tend to lack the motivation to carry out regular exercise to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Most people make a resolution to exercise more, but ultimately give up soon after starting. There are a few simple ways to keep that going. Set small goals in the beginning and then work your way up. Reward yourself for reaching your goal; just don’t reward yourself with food. Make exercise fun. Try swimming or running to keep you from getting bored. The best motivation is an exercise buddy. Nothing else is better than having someone there to give you that extra push when you need motivation to continue.

Despite the benefits it seems that the older we get the less of us continue to carry out regular exercise, with only 6 percent of those over 65 and only 4 percent of those over 75 exercising regularly. Even carrying out light weight training for short periods a couple of times a week can have a positive effect on an individual’s strength, balance and coordination as well as overall health. It has been said that one of the best anti-aging tools at your disposal is to keep yourself at a normal weight. Exercise, combined with a balanced diet, is a simple way to do just that. Be sure to check with your healthcare provider before starting a new exercise routine. Once you achieve reasonable physical fitness, not only will you feel better, but your whole outlook on life may change.