Keeping in shape as we age is a problem we all need to face. How to stay in shape and age gracefully gets more difficult, the older we get. If you want to stay fit as the years get on, you need to start as early as you can – yes, we mean today – and create good habits going forward. Integrate daily exercise, healthy eating, fasting, and other proven anti-aging methods into your regular routine, to keep your mind and body in shape for longer. 

Daily Exercise

For someone who never exercises, the thought of exercising daily sounds arduous. For those of us who have built up a good habit of working out regularly, the thought of exercise is invigorating and invoked excitement and happiness. Once you start working out regularly, your body adapts to it, you’ll notice an improvement in mood, you’ll lose weight, build up a stronger immune system, and best of all, you’ll age at a slower rate. 

Numerous studies show that exercise can reduce the risk of many diseases including cancer. It also boosts your hemoglobin levels, which aid in transporting oxygen and carbon dioxide around the body, keeping your overall health and wellbeing at an optimum.

Keeping the Mind Sharp 

Staying in shape is just as much mental as it is physical. While training at the gym or running track is all well and good, it’s important keep the brain active as well. Doing sudoku, playing chess with friends, learning a new language, and reading books can all help. You can also combine mental and physical training together if you prefer, through things such as: self-defense training, rock-climbing, or team sports. 

Doing workouts that require you to strategize and/or think at the same time can give you brain a workout at the same time you give your body a workout, which is a great way to improve your mind and body in an efficient way. 

Fasting

One of the biggest problems we have to face as we age is gaining weight. As our metabolism slows and we become more comfortable with our bodies and our lives, it’s all too common that people gain excess weight. One way to combat this that is gaining in popularity is intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting (IF) is reducing your caloric intake over the majority of the day.

Instead of eating 3 meals a day, some people will eat only one, or will only eat within a small window every 24 hours e.g. the 4 hours from 4pm to 8pm. This time each day when the body does not have to digest food, give it a chance to detox, burn excess fat, and heal. Fasting is proven to have a positive effect on aging reduction, and cell repair, so if you’re interested in keeping your mind and body young, eat less often. 

Balance is More Important than Muscle Mass

As we age, we lose muscle mass. This is a normal part of life. What we really don’t want lose however is our core strength which keeps us balanced. If we sit idle for too long, our muscles can become so weak that we are more likely to fall and injure ourselves. Maintaining muscle mass is nice, but sustaining the strength, balance and control of the muscle we retain is just as, if not more, important. 

Practice yoga or handstands to keep your core strong as you age. You can do this at home or at a gym class with friends. Other exercises and sports that help with core strength and balance include: planking, hoola-hooping, pilates, sit ups, swimming, and various types of martial arts. 

Keep the Company of Similar Minded People

Keep the above in mind throughout your daily life and you’ll notice your mind and body aging at a slower rate than many of your more lethargic friends. Try to surround yourself with more motivated, driven, and inspirational friends, and you’ll find it easier to push yourself to be better too. 

Cite this article as:
Editorial Staff, "How to Stay Fit as you Age," in Medicalopedia, April 2, 2021, [Permalink: https://www.medicalopedia.org/9650/how-to-stay-fit-as-you-age/].