Eston Dunn Special for eFitness
What was your first clue that you are aging? Noticing that first wrinkle that wasn’t there the last time you looked? Trying on a favourite shirt that’s suddenly become too tight? Or playing a routine game of tennis and finding yourself creaky and sore?
One day you’re thinking of yourself as a young man; the next you’re not so sure. Aging is inevitable but a gradual decline in good health and good looks isn’t.
Get Pumping A regular weight-lifting plan can make you feel - and look - decades younger. Research indicates that building muscle strength provides greater benefits to your health and vitality than previously thought. Combined with a routine of aerobic exercise, it strengthens your heart, boosts energy levels and protects you from injury. It can even improve your sex life. Weight training shapes and tones muscles better than aerobic conditioning, and it wards off flab.
Drop Pounds, Not Calories A lean physique looks more youthful. Lean men are also more active, energetic and less prone to chronic debilitating illnesses like diabetes and heart disease.
To stay slim, however, men mistakenly tend to cut back on calories when the real villain is lack of exercise and too much fat in their meal plans. In fact, trying to keep fat weight off simply by cutting calories may not be a smart idea. By eating less, you risk cheating your body of important nutrients. The best formula for healthy weight loss is to exercise more as you reach middle age and to eat more calories that come from non-fat sources as well. As a rule of thumb, 55-65% of your diet should consist of foods high in complex carbohydrates, such as wholegrain breads and beans.
Shun the Sun Heard this before? If you are serious about keeping a youthful look, then just do it! Sun damage is responsible for most of what we think of as aging. Skin damage builds up invisibly for years before you actually see it.
Wrinkling can begin as early as age 20. The sun gradually destroys your skin’s inner elastic tissue and breaks down the connective tissue - all causing premature aging. As the outer layer of your skin thickens to protect the vital inner layers, your skin becomes leathery and older looking.
So protect yourself by wearing a sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 15 or higher. And that applies even when the sun isn’t shining brightly overhead because clouds don’t stop skin-damaging ultraviolet rays. If it helps, wear a hat with a brim for added protection from reflected light. If you’ve already got wrinkles, you can do some repair work with a vitamin A-based cream. Of course, a dermatologist should be the first professional to consult. Stand Up to Aging A hunched-over posture won’t cause any medical problems but it will certainly make you look old before your time. Most posture problems result from bad habits or weak back muscles. Start by fixing the habit: walk tall, keep your buttocks tucked in, pull in your chin, tighten your abdominal muscles and keep your knees unlocked.
For the long haul, you also need to guard your bones against loss of calcium. Men lose this mineral slower than women do. But we do lose it, especially in the spine. Too little calcium can eventually make you slouch and can also lead to greater risk of crippling injury. To get enough, experts recommend eating calcium-rich foods such as skimmed milk, low-fat cheese, low-fat yoghurt, broccoli, nuts and dried fruits. Also important is regular exercise, particularly weight training, which makes bones denser and stronger.
Sleep Tight, All Right Legions of sleep-deprived people stumble to their workplaces every morning, dragging themselves through the day fuelled only by coffee and sugar. Lack of rest at any age is going to make you feel old.
Fatigue makes you physically slow and mentally dull. The fact is it isn’t how long you sleep as much as how good you feel during the following day as a result. If you always feel sluggish in the morning or late afternoon, you probably need more time in bed. To rest best, turn in and get up at the same time every day in order to keep your body clock in sync.
Stimulate Your Mind Your brain is not unlike your brawn. Exercise it and it’ll get bigger and stronger. There’s not much sense working to have a youthful body if your mental capacity is slowly sliding toward senility. To keep your mind stimulated, indulge in hobbies and puzzles that are different from what you do on your job; they’ll make your mind work in new ways and have the added benefit of relaxing you. Keeping your body fit also keeps your mind to stay fit. Long-term aerobic exercise has been shown to help keep participants mentally sharp.
Live Well Is aging all in your head? Surprisingly, maybe not. To stay young, think young. A positive outlook will help you stick with an exercise programme, take an interest in others and stay active longer. A positive attitude is largely a matter of feeling you have control over your life.
In the end, aging is a way of thinking. Suddenly, 65 doesn’t seem as old as it used to!
Thanks to tescodiets.com who have provided this article.