Ageing. When you read this word or say it out loud, what comes to mind? How about “I am ageing”. Try it. For the majority of us saying this word or sentence evoques a feeling of discomfort, perhaps even fear. It is tied to so many negative stigmas such as frail, old or “ageing population”. It is rarely considered sexy and is something we spend billions of dollars on annually trying to beat. But ageing is happening, it happens the moment you are conceived. There seems to come a point in people's lives where we go from living to ageing and this is where we’ve got it all wrong.
Culturally we have put so many barriers in place for what is considered acceptable as we age. “I'm too old to do that”, “I'm too old to wear that”. How many times have you heard this or said this yourself? By doing this you are falling into the trap of negative ageing and missing out on the opportunity for positive ageing.
Negative ageing is a sad sunset believing our best days are behind us. Positive ageing is a dance into the sunrise having lived some of our best days during our last days.
How to positively age?
The first step to positive ageing is to make a promise right now to never say “I'm too old for that”. If you want to do it, DO IT!!! We post lots of inspirational stories on our page of people who have done exactly that so make sure to have a look at this for some inspiration.
The second step is to accept that ageing is happening and that to do it positively there are things we must do to keep ourselves in check. After around age 50 our sexual reproductive hormones begin to decline FAST. For women this signals an end to the ability to menstruate and conceive, for men the process isn't quite as pronounced but certainly still noticeable. As a result many things take place which can lead to the stigmas we mentioned previously becoming true…
-Bone density reduces
-Muscle mass reduces
-Injury risk increases
-Weight management becomes harder
If left unchecked these factors will most certainly take hold and will be felt. However, studies have repeatedly shown that we can POSITIVELY impact these factors and create a youthful future by paying more attention to our health and fitness.
Weekly Checklist For Positive Ageing
So if positive ageing sounds like your cup of tea. Here is our guide to get you there.
2 Strength Sessions Per Week. Either body weight focused or with weights. Focus on slowly increasing the load over time. That “load” should come in the form of heavier weights, more reps and more challenging movements. With priority placed on heavier weights for strength increase and more reps for muscle growth. If this sounds good then why not try one of our free 4 week strength training programmes.
Daily Mobility. Each one of us is unique but it's likely that you are tight in the common places. Focus on stretching out the hips and upper body each day so that you remain mobile. Here is a video of me running through an ideal mobility regime. Click the link and follow along: https://youtu.be/SdDFotF_Khc?si=4G_R_XtxBFk38vfl.
Protein. EAT MORE PROTEIN. As our testosterone levels drop (men and women) our ability to sustain our muscle mass decreases. By feeding our muscles more protein they are more likely to stay around. Eating more protein is even more important if you start to increase the amount of strength training you do. Your growing muscles need more protein!!
Move more. Find something to record your activity. Whether it's your phone or a pedometer. Try to increase the amount of steps you do in a day and try to vary the route you take so that you get stimulated both physically and mentally. Start jogging and occasionally run for your life! Sprinting is a really beneficial way of stimulating those explosive muscle fibres we need in life threatening situations and it is one of the major factors of fitness that drops with age.
Try and turn your hobbies into active hobbies. With such a high percentage of us opting for television based entertainment as our major pastime hobby it's important that we acknowledge that this isn't that optimal for our health or indeed our minds. Doing something new, fun and active is much more beneficial in so many ways.
Last but not least. Surround yourself with people of all ages and cultures. This means stepping outside your comfort zone and visiting new areas, cities and countries. Put aside your biases and prepare to be pleasantly surprised by the welcome you will get when you approach others with an open heart. This is key to keeping an open mind and continuously growing that grey matter in your brain.