Q: I am 58-year-old male and have stiffness in my joints and back due to lack of an exercise routine. I carry my fat mainly around my chest and stomach. I am a shallow breather. I am 5’10” and weigh 260 lbs. How do I address these issues and get my health back? -John
A: Aging takes a toll on our bodies. Aging with bad nutrition habits, minimal exercise and extra weight can be almost debilitating. Slowing down, or for some of you, reversing the aging process, is going to require a focus on proper nutrition, exercise and supplementation. Aging healthy will do more for your body than trying to get healthy at an older age, but it’s never to late to start.
Nutrition is essential to ensuring the highest quality of life. The right foods can even have a healing effect. Start by getting back to the basics:
- eat smaller meals 5-6 times a day
- eat 5-6 fruits and vegetables a day
- eat lean meats
- eat plenty of fiber
- decrease your soda and sugar intake
To keep your metabolism as high as possible, you want to eat in a way that promotes the maintenance of or increase of lean muscle mass. Eating 5-6 small meals a day is going to give you the fuel to get through your day. It will limit the use of protein as energy, so protein can do its job which is to build and rebuild all the tissues in your body, keeping you lead an healthy.
Tracking your diet at dailyburn.com will help you recognize problem areas in your diet by showing you the amount of carbs, proteins and fats you are eating. The balance of carbs/proteins/fats we have our clients use is 40%/30%/30% of their daily intake. Stay focused on what you’re eating, and you’ll be aging healthy. You will see improvement in your metabolism and the way your body reacts to food.
Exercise can be a game-changer for people wanting to turn back the clock. As we age, we can lose up to one pound of muscle every year. Losing that pound of muscle each year slows down your metabolism and can keep you from doing the things you love. Strength training is going to be essential to decreasing the loss of muscle, or getting some of the muscle back, to fuel your metabolism.
Strength training can help also help you prevent diabetes, osteoporosis and arthritis – to name just a few. Cardio will help keep your heart healthy and strong. Stretching and self massage (foam rolling) will keep your muscles as healthy as possible. A foam roller is a must to prevent injury when you are working out, and it will help with post-workout recovery, as well.
Supplementation is always beneficial to health. Protein shakes, complete multi-vitamins and anti-oxidants are a few easy ways to maintain muscle and boost your immune system.
In review, aging healthy takes effort and planning. Make sure that you are giving your body the right fuel and doing the right excersices to help maintain strength and wellness.