Are you too old to start exercising — Part 3, Nutrition and more

In my previous articles in this series I gave some practical ideas for exercises that you can do in your home and also I briefly touched on nutrition, especially how important it is to consume adequate amounts of protein.

Keeping our body healthy as we age depends on how much pay attention we are giving to our body. Of course, for now I can only imagine what it is really like to be 70 or 80 years old, and dealing with many health issues while maybe also trying to make some radical changes in your life. I am certain that it can be very challenging, although whenever I am feeling stuck I always try to ask the question “what is the alternative”? By understanding the importance of eating a little more protein, ideally with each meal, and doing some exercise every day you will find it easier to get the confidence you need to keep going.

However, there are a few more things that you can do to improve your health and keep your body young for as long as possible.

First, like I mentioned previously, be sure to add some protein to every meal. Ideally this will be a source of animal protein, although if you are following a vegetarian or vegan diet then try to get complete plant proteins such as beans with quinoa, or fermented plant proteins such as tofu.

Before every meal drink one glass of water. Also you really don’t want to be avoiding salt — actually the only salt that you need to avoid is table salt. The best options are Celtic salt, Himalayan salt, or naturally collected sea salt (there is brand of this called “Real Salt”). These salts are all high in minerals. Of course, if someone has specifically advised you to cut back on your salt then I’m certainly not suggesting that you should ignore their advice, however you may still want to ask them what they think of these real salts (i.e. not table salt) and whether or not you can consume them. Salt is very important for glucose (sugar) digestion as well as for hydrating the cells, and this has multiple benefits including a significant effect on your energy levels.

As we age our sense of thirst decreases so it becomes very easy to forget to drink water. I suggest that you fill a water bottle in the morning and keep it close to you so that you remember that you need to finish it every day. This can make it much easier to consume more water each day. Dehydration is the cause of many diseases so being hydrated is very important in keeping your body energized and healthy.

Consuming fresh fruits and vegetables, especially dark green leafy vegetables, can give you additional minerals, calcium and potassium too. This can could help with avoiding cramps and muscle tension as well as keeping the body well hydrated.

Now to exercise, and doing daily exercises at home or at a facility are great, however you still need ideally to do daily walks for your cardiovascular health too. Walking just 15 or 20 minutes a day is hugely beneficial for keeping your heart healthy, increasing your energy, and improving your sleep.

If you start to eat better, consume enough water, and do regular light exercise on a daily basis then this will certainly help you to improve your energy, and if you keep at it then you will feel better and stronger every day.

And finally, remember the importance of sleep. I really don’t know which one is the most important — exercise, sleep, walking, eating proteins, fruits, vegetables and drinking water. As you can see they are all very much related to each other. But when you are not sleeping well your focus during the day is much more likely to be on resting rather than what you eat and drink or how you move. As we age our sleep quality tends to decrease, not because we age but because we stop doing the activities that we used to. When we start taking care of our body, and moving our body, we naturally will sleep better and deeper too.

So do try to pay very close attention to each of these things and be honest with yourself and analyze which one needs to be improved — if you feel that many of them or all of them need improvement then just take it one step at a time. Don’t try to change everything at once, this might be possible for some people however for most of us it can be overwhelming. Take it day by day, one step at a time and keep trying — you don’t need to be the best, but you can show yourself your own best!

References:

“Himalayan Salt: Is It Good for You?”, https://www.webmd.com/diet/himalayan-salt-good-for-you

“Salt and Sodium”, https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/salt-and-sodium/

“Top 5 Health Benefits Of Celtic Sea Salt”, https://www.organicfacts.net/celtic-sea-salt.html

“Hydrating foods: The top 20 and their benefits”, https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325958

“5 questions with Stuart Phillips, Ph.D. about protein needs and exercise science research”, http://www.education.auburn.edu/school-of-kinesiology/auburn-kineversity/5-questions-with-stuart-phillips-ph-d-about-protein-needs-and-exercise-science-research/

“Dehydration in the Elderly: A Short Review”, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2625510/

“Drink Up: Dehydration is an Often Overlooked Health Risk for Seniors”, https://health.clevelandclinic.org/drink-up-dehydration-is-an-often-overlooked-health-risk-for-seniors/

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Check my website HealthAngelWarrior.com for lots more articles as well as my full story and bio :)

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Ayda Page

Check my website HealthAngelWarrior.com for lots more articles as well as my full story and bio :)