Key Factors in Healthy Aging

As a trainer, I hear it all the time: “I’m too old to do that!” But is age really the limiting factor? Or is it that we just stop practicing the things that keep us young?

Age can bring on a loss of muscle — unless we train with weights or do some kind of bodyweight resistance training.

Age can limit range of motion — unless we practice joint mobility.

Age can limit our ability to move freely — unless we practice specific natural skills like running, jumping, climbing and crawling.

Just what are the key factors in healthy aging?

Let’s face it — as adults, we seek comfort. It’s all too easy to sit all day, relax on the couch and not challenge ourselves physically. Nevertheless, that comfort comes with a hefty price tag — premature aging. If we want to avoid that, we have to move, and move regularly!

If you want to live a long and healthy life, I recommend you incorporate the following into your week:

  • Walk: Do some low-intensity exercise for 2-3 hours every week (swimming or cycling is also great)
  • Practice Pushups and Pullups: 3 times a week. You can scale both exercises (do pushups from the knees or off a wall & do pullups by assisting with the feet)
  • Squat: 3 times a week. Make sure you can squat below parallel and with proper form.
  • Train with Weights: 2 times a week. Avoid sarcopenia (muscle-loss with aging) by doing some form of resistance training. Deadlifts, squats and presses are the best.
  • Run: 1 time a week. Don’t just ‘jog’, try sprinting for a short distance. Or run/walk in intervals.
  • Play: Whether you play a sport, play with your kids, or with your dog — make some time to just have fun.

Recently, I did a talk on healthy aging at a conference in Toronto that was sponsored by WaySpa. Here’s a short excerpt:

 

October 6, 2014 No Comments
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