Published:

 

As we get older we might start thinking about our long term health. The other day I read a quote from a Chinese doctor saying that your heart has a total amount of beats in its lifespan and so you should conserve them by resting and napping and that exercise would just them up! An interesting philosophy perhaps but the fitness industry seem to prefer the healthy heart from activity version. Whichever your preference here are some tips to helping maintain your health as best you can in the here and now. Preparation is key right? How can you prepare as your body declines, injuries prevail, your stamina declines your joints hurt and you stiffen up?

1
GET GOOD NUTRITION

It seems a bit obvious to say nutrition but it seriously is such a large part of the jigsaw. We know that eating the right foods can help maintain a healthy bodyweight, provide the essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals for a healthy immune and endocrine systems. Eating the wrong food could lead to weight gain, diabetes, chronic inflammation and inflammatory disease. Increased weight could impact on aches and pains and worsen them. Try to focus your diet to include vegetables, fruit plenty of water, whole grains and lean protein sources.

2
GET QUALITY SLEEP
Sleep is vastly underrated. It is the space where the body repairs and restores itself. If you fail to get enough sleep or especially sufficient quality sleep you may struggle with metabolic efficiency. Becoming reliant on caffeinated drinks to get you through the day, and pushing your body week after week and year after year, you need to try to change this to improve your deep sleep. I have written an article on my site to help you improve sleep efficiency, but in short ensure a dark, cool, quiet room. Stop using your phone or iPad or laptop at least an hour before bed.

3

RELAX AND DESTRESS EVERY DAY
This is definitely easier said than done but I try to advise all of my patients to try to build this into their routines. Stress can easily add up and there is a very small difference between coping and being overloaded. Think of the bucket analogy. A bucket has a tiny hole in the bottom. Stress pours in from the top, your destress will allow stress to leak from the hole in the bottom. If your destress capacity isn’t sufficient the stress will eventually overflow from the top. The veritable straw that broke the camels back so to speak.
Stress could be from work, family or finance.
There is a fantastic book that explains the effect of stress on your autonomic nervous system called “Why zebras don’t get ulcers!”
It describes how the negative effect that stress hormones have on your body make it more likely for you to damage your health and harder for you to recover from exercise, limiting your results, progress and even increasing the longevity of injury. You should try to incorporate some self love and you time. Turn off your phone, close your computer, listen to some relaxing music and focus on you slow relaxed breathing from your belly.
4
“LIVE TO FIGHT ANOTHER DAY.”
Even with the best plan in the world, there will be moments when you get hurt or injured or things don’t quite to plan. Pushing through pain isn’t always the heroic act you might think. A grand final is perhaps the only exception!!! LOL IMO You should really consider the long game not the short term. If you tweak something, you should retire for a few days and rest to recover. If it doesn’t rectify itself in this time you should seek a professional opinion in case it is something a little more serious. Then you can come back healthier and stronger.
5
DO MORE LOW-INTENSITY WORKOUTS
Heavy weights, circuits and intense workouts like sprints hit your body hard. Your joints, your nervous system, your mind and your body will take a beating. Switch your workouts to include 1 or 2 lower intensity every week. 3–40 minutes of pure aerobic work gets the blood flowing and can improve your cardiovascular health. I advocate dynamic stretching prior to a workout and foam rolling post workout.
6
CROSS-TRAIN
If you consistently do only one type of training you will likely overuse or over develop a particular set of muscles leading to potential injury. Try to vary the training you do. Try Tai Chi, swimming, functional fitness or even dance classes. Unless you are training for a specific event the rule is the more variety the better as it will help to save the body from overuse for many years of exercise.
7
IMPROVE YOUR MOBILITY
Do not underestimate the benefit of mobility and flexibility. As you get older this alongside muscle mass decreases. Taking time to work on mobility and flexibility at any age, can help you to enjoy your exercise and greater health long term. Work on your range of motion before every workout in your dynamic stretches as mentioned earlier in the article.

As we age, our mobility and flexibility declines, which can increase the risk of injuries and make it harder to do the activities we love.

 

As we get older we might start thinking about our long term health. The other day I read a quote from a Chinese doctor saying that your heart has a total amount of beats in its lifespan and so you should conserve them by resting and napping and that exercise would just them up! An interesting philosophy perhaps but the fitness industry seem to prefer the healthy heart from activity version. Whichever your preference here are some tips to helping maintain your health as best you can in the here and now. Preparation is key right? How can you prepare as your body declines, injuries prevail, your stamina declines your joints hurt and you stiffen up?

1
GET GOOD NUTRITION

It seems a bit obvious to say nutrition but it seriously is such a large part of the jigsaw. We know that eating the right foods can help maintain a healthy bodyweight, provide the essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals for a healthy immune and endocrine systems. Eating the wrong food could lead to weight gain, diabetes, chronic inflammation and inflammatory disease. Increased weight could impact on aches and pains and worsen them. Try to focus your diet to include vegetables, fruit plenty of water, whole grains and lean protein sources.

2
GET QUALITY SLEEP
Sleep is vastly underrated. It is the space where the body repairs and restores itself. If you fail to get enough sleep or especially sufficient quality sleep you may struggle with metabolic efficiency. Becoming reliant on caffeinated drinks to get you through the day, and pushing your body week after week and year after year, you need to try to change this to improve your deep sleep. I have written an article on my site to help you improve sleep efficiency, but in short ensure a dark, cool, quiet room. Stop using your phone or iPad or laptop at least an hour before bed.

3

RELAX AND DESTRESS EVERY DAY
This is definitely easier said than done but I try to advise all of my patients to try to build this into their routines. Stress can easily add up and there is a very small difference between coping and being overloaded. Think of the bucket analogy. A bucket has a tiny hole in the bottom. Stress pours in from the top, your destress will allow stress to leak from the hole in the bottom. If your destress capacity isn’t sufficient the stress will eventually overflow from the top. The veritable straw that broke the camels back so to speak.
Stress could be from work, family or finance.
There is a fantastic book that explains the effect of stress on your autonomic nervous system called “Why zebras don’t get ulcers!”
It describes how the negative effect that stress hormones have on your body make it more likely for you to damage your health and harder for you to recover from exercise, limiting your results, progress and even increasing the longevity of injury. You should try to incorporate some self love and you time. Turn off your phone, close your computer, listen to some relaxing music and focus on you slow relaxed breathing from your belly.
4
“LIVE TO FIGHT ANOTHER DAY.”
Even with the best plan in the world, there will be moments when you get hurt or injured or things don’t quite to plan. Pushing through pain isn’t always the heroic act you might think. A grand final is perhaps the only exception!!! LOL IMO You should really consider the long game not the short term. If you tweak something, you should retire for a few days and rest to recover. If it doesn’t rectify itself in this time you should seek a professional opinion in case it is something a little more serious. Then you can come back healthier and stronger.
5
DO MORE LOW-INTENSITY WORKOUTS
Heavy weights, circuits and intense workouts like sprints hit your body hard. Your joints, your nervous system, your mind and your body will take a beating. Switch your workouts to include 1 or 2 lower intensity every week. 3–40 minutes of pure aerobic work gets the blood flowing and can improve your cardiovascular health. I advocate dynamic stretching prior to a workout and foam rolling post workout.
6
CROSS-TRAIN
If you consistently do only one type of training you will likely overuse or over develop a particular set of muscles leading to potential injury. Try to vary the training you do. Try Tai Chi, swimming, functional fitness or even dance classes. Unless you are training for a specific event the rule is the more variety the better as it will help to save the body from overuse for many years of exercise.
7
IMPROVE YOUR MOBILITY
Do not underestimate the benefit of mobility and flexibility. As you get older this alongside muscle mass decreases. Taking time to work on mobility and flexibility at any age, can help you to enjoy your exercise and greater health long term. Work on your range of motion before every workout in your dynamic stretches as mentioned earlier in the article.

As we age, our mobility and flexibility declines, which can increase the risk of injuries and make it harder to do the activities we love.