Are you worried about aging?
Many people are desperate to fight the signs of aging, and some go to extreme lengths to turn back the clock. But like a fine wine or mature cheese, I think we get better with age. Yes, it might not be a common viewpoint but I’m happy to be aging. I feel happier, more fit and much wiser now than when I was in my twenties.
I might not be ‘old’ but I’m getting older and so are you! Let’s embrace the coming years with style and prepare for the future by looking after ourselves at every age.
Here are three common facts about aging together with tips to help you slow the aging process. We can’t stop the clock but we can slow the process by embracing a healthy, active life.
As we age, our bones naturally lose mass—this is especially true for women after menopause. As bones lose calcium and other minerals, they can become brittle and more susceptible to breaking. Loss of bone density can also cause postural changes because the spine is less able to support the body.
Exercise is a great way to maintain healthy bone density, especially exercise that is high impact in nature such as walking, running or jumping. If you keep your joints moving, you’re less likely to experience loss of mobility and joint soreness commonly caused by inactivity.
The medical community refers to the loss of muscle mass that accompanies aging as ‘sarcopenia,’ and it’s believed to be caused by a number of factors including hormone, nerve and dietary issues. Over the years, strength starts to decline and muscle tone fades.
You can help to slow down muscle loss by including a variety of weight and resistance exercises in your fitness routine. Lifting weights or performing weight-bearing exercises will help you to build lean muscle and retain your strength as you age.
Hormonal changes are a fact of life for both men and women. These changes may be accompanied by weight gain, especially in the mid section.
Hormonal changes can be very stressful, so it is important to find balance in your life and perform stress-relieving activities. Yoga, meditation or simply engaging in a new activity may help you to deal with the effects of hormonal change.
As we age, we start to better understand our abilities and our limitations. That helps us make better decisions. We understand that nutrition and exercise play a vital role in how we feel, and that looking after ourselves on a daily basis now can help us feel younger than our years later.
Of course, all my anti-aging advice circles back to exercise. You know I’m a fitness enthusiast and I believe in exercising at every age, but I can assure you that these are not just my own ideas. There has been a lot of medical research on aging and how to grow old without succumbing to the ‘little old grandma or granddad’ persona. Exercise seems to be listed on every paper I have read. I think consistent, challenging and fun exercise throughout your life is one of the best ways to fight the signs of aging.
If you ever experience a sudden change in you body or exercise levels, then make sure to check in with your doctor. But what are you waiting for? Your journey to the fountain of youth starts with you reaching for your tennis shoes and getting active today.
Samantha Clayton is responsible for all activities relating to exercise and fitness education for Independent Herbalife Members and employees. Through in-person training sessions, educational tools and materials, and her blog (www.discovergoodfitness.com), she ensures that the important role of exercise as part of a healthy, active life is understood by all. She also helps create, organize and promote employee fitness programs and activities as an integral part of the company’s corporate wellness program.
A native of Liverpool, England, Samantha initially worked as a consultant for Herbalife for two years and led the Herbalife24-Fit program, the company’s first comprehensive fitness training program and DVD series.
Before joining the corporate ranks, Samantha was a professional athlete. She represented Great Britain in the 2000 Sydney Olympics in both the 200m and the 4x100m relay events. Prior to the Olympics, she won two medals in the Olympic AAA trials – a silver medal for the 200m and a bronze for the 100m – as well as a silver medal in the 4x100m relay during the European Junior Championships in 1997. Her personal records include 11.40 seconds in the 100m and 23.02 seconds in the 200m.
Samantha is a personal trainer and group exercise coach through the American Fitness and Aerobics Association (AFAA) and International Sport Science Association (ISSA).