So the big 40 is approaching, and your body is changing, you no longer look or feel the same as you did when you were 20 years old, but is this due to age, or lifestyle choices?
The media will project an image of what you should act and look like, and researchers will tell you that with age, you will also have a decrease in muscle tissue, flexibility, strength, bone density, metabolic rate, and recovery levels.
Now is this just something we have come to accept, and just live with? Or can we do something about these losses, and feel and look as good, if not better than we did in our 20s?
The first thing I'd like to look at is are these changes actually age-related in the first place? Lifestyle can play a huge factor in a lot of these changes. Studies can compare the body of a 20-year-old with the body of a 40-year-old, and pinpoint all of the differences I've mentioned above. Most of these changes could be due to a lack of activity and poor nutrition rather than just aging. When we are younger we play more, run around, walk more, participate in physical activity at school, dance, ride bikes, swim and the list continues. All of those activities are burning through calories, keeping the metabolic rate fast, keeping lean muscle tissue active and our bones dense and strong.
Now generally speaking, as we age, a lot of these activities either reduce or stop altogether. We might get a desk job, buy a car, or start using public transport to get around. Regulated physical activities that we did in school no longer exists, and the money that we earn now go on our own children, bills, housing, foods, going out, but not for sporting activities. It's easy for life to take over, and also the time to do those activities also reduces as life gets busier.
Now inactivity at any age will result in a decrease in muscle tissue, bone density, flexibility, strength, metabolic rate, and recovery. However, I do believe that aging will have a greater effect on these factors also, as the older we get, all of the above will become greatly accelerated unless we do something about it.
Over the years your body has gone through all of these changes, and as a result of these, health has also decreased including an increase in fat storage, high blood pressure, risk of type 2 diabetes, early onset of osteoporosis, fatigue, are just a few of negatives that can lead on from these. The body no longer feels or looks the same as it used to, and this will only get worse if inactivity continues.
The question is, are they reversible?
The answer is yes, and that will actually depend on you, and if you are prepared to take the measures needed to reverse these effects. With the right nutrition plan, you can help reduce body fat, control blood sugar and even reduce the symptoms of type 2 diabetes. Blood pressure will also reduce, LDL Cholesterol will lower, and muscle tissue can be built and maintained. And also bone density will increase to help prevent osteoporosis. You will also feel lighter and more energized with the right nutrition, by getting in good macronutrients and micronutrients. Drinking water will make a huge change, as this will flush toxins out of the body, keep you hydrated at all times, help prevent headaches and have a positive effect on brain function. The right amount of exercise will also be needed. Going for a brisk walk for 30 minutes each day will increase your fitness levels, burn extra calories including fat, and also aid in the development of muscles and bone as it's a weight-bearing exercise. Better still join a sport or club that have weekly activities you can participate in, which can also be good for meeting new people and developing social skills. You can also perform exercises at home, or join the local gym or leisure centre. A good nutrition plan and exercise routine together will give you the reversing effects, making you look so much better, and feeling great too. Then it's just a matter of time, and effort as the more you put in, the faster results you'll get. It can be done, keep a positive mind, set small achievable goals, then get to it!
Stay fit and healthy,