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How to stay fit and healthy as you age

I've heard so many people say that they feel it is an inevitable part of aging that their muscle mass declines and bone mass starts decreasing.

This does not however have to be true.

There are many things that you can do to help your body and slow down the process of aging.

1. Continue to move your body

It is so important that you continue to move your body especially into older age.

Aside from the physical benefits, regular exercise and keeping fit has lots of benefits. It not only helps keep your weight in check, but also helps to prevent heart conditions such as heart attacks, reduces incidences of stroke and diabetes, improves cardiovascular health and reduces the incidence of depression. If you have not been exercising in your younger years, it is never too late to start. And the best thing is it isn't hard! The best way to do it is to start slowly and build up gradually. it’s as simple as going for a walk around the block, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walking to the shops or doing some exercises at your home.

2. Do weight bearing functional exercises

Continuing to do weight bearing functional exercises such as squats, lunges, shoulder press and bicep curls mimic actions that you perform in everyday life. They will help you continue to be able to do things such as pick up the shopping off the floor or carry your grandchildren, walk up stairs, lift things onto the high shelves in the kitchen. These help you to

3. Eat healthy food

A diet consisting of good nutritious whole foods combined with physical activity can help to improve your strength and help fight off infection and keep your weight in check.

1. Drink 8 glasses or 2L of water per day.

2. Make sure to eat consistently throughout the day.

3. Make sure to have at least 1 cup of vegetables with each meal and 2 pieces of fruit every day.

4. Limit foods high in saturated fats, sugar and highly processed food – e.g foods out of a packet.

5. Reduce the amount of alcohol you consume – aim to have at least 2 alcohol free days per week.

6. Consume some protein with every meal to help retain muscle mass

4. Keep your mind active Keeping your mind active through reading, writing and continuing to learn helps to reduce the likelihood of dementia and other neurological degenerative diseases. The brain is like a muscle. You need to use it and keep it active for it to keep going, stop using it and it will degenerate faster. Having a healthy diet full of fruit, vegetables, protein and omega 3's will also help to keep your brain active and functioning to it's optimal.

5. Joint Health

Weight bearing exercise (walking, swimming, pilates, yoga), combined with a good diet of whole foods, reducing foods that are packaged and high in sugar is going to significantly help to reduce joint inflammation, osteoporosis and arthritis. Weight bearing exercise also help to strengthen the joints so to reduce the incidence of breaks and fractures.

6. Heart Health Maintaining a healthy heart through consistent daily exercise, eating a nutritious diet full of fruit, vegetables and wholefoods and maintaining a healthy weight is the key to reducing cardiovascular disease, heart attacks and strokes.

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