I was recently asked by a reporter whether I had tips to share with younger people in their 20’s and 30’s to help them stay healthy as they grow older. I thought about it, and it’s something that’s fundamental to my life’s work. Fitness professionals like me are in the business of helping your current self do favors for your future self. I’m going to share some of the tips I have to help you age more gracefully here:
When it comes to exercise, consistency is key, and the key to consistency is convenience. Don’t over stress about getting thirty minutes to an hour a day of exercise. Make sure you get five to ten minutes every day. Fit it in wherever you can, just make sure you some exercise every day. If you feel good or if you have time to do more, go for it. Just make sure you anchor that habit with five to ten minutes of some exercise every day.
Your workout should include five fundamental motions: pushing, pulling, rotating, squatting, lunging. No need to break your back, just make sure you get it in every day. It’s good to get exercise in around the edges of your day, too. Do simple things like parking the car farther away from the store to force yourself to walk more, take the stairs instead of the elevator, keep exercise tubing in a convenient place and do back pulls or other simple exercises during downtime. All of it adds up, and all of it helps forestall the aging process.
Here’s something you can do when you’re younger that will pay off greatly when you’re older: practice better posture. Bad posture is a leading cause of back pain and other chronic pain, and we’re all at risk from sitting at computers and looking at our phones. Keep mindful of the way you are sitting. Better yet, do less sitting and more standing straight up, with your shoulders back and eyes eyes forward.
In terms of nutrition, what you eat is more important than how much you eat. You can eat as much as you want, just make sure that what you’re eating is mostly organic fruits and vegetables and other whole foods. You should eat minimally-processed food, without chemical dyes, preservatives, etc.
These guidelines are fairly simple, but if you work on making them habits, you’ll be making a great investment in the health of your future self.
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