To keep your body healthy, it needs to run at its optimal level.
Dr. Deepak Chopra in his book, Ageless Body, Timeless Mind, explains how you have to give your body something to do.
If you want increased strength, stamina, and muscle mass, you have to work at it with exercise. You have to move!!
One of the major factors in human aging is a sedentary lifestyle.
There are also markers that typically get worse as people age:
1. Your muscle mass. The average person in the US loses 6.6 pounds of muscle with each decade after adulthood. And this increases after the age of 45. Therefore, less muscle mass- means more fat on the body.
2. Your Strength. Between the ages of 30-70, the average person loses “motor units”- which are bundles of motor nerves. The loses are in the thighs, with similar loses in all the large and small muscle groups in the body.
3. Basal Metabolic Rate. This is how many calories are needed to sustain your body. This declines by 2% per decade after 20.
4. Body Fat. The average person doubles his or her ratio of fat to muscle between the ages of 20-65. With a sedentary life added to that number- and overeating- it can be even more!
5. Your Aerobic Capacity. By 65, your body has lost its ability to use oxygen effectively- by 30-40%
6. Your Blood Pressure. The majority of people in the US have shown a steady increase in blood pressure with age.
7. Your Blood Sugar Tolerance. As we age, our body’s ability to use glucose in the bloodstream declines. This is what raises the risk of Diabetes type 11
8. Your Cholesterol/HDL ratio. Total Cholesterol tends to rise in both men and women around the age of 50. And the good Cholesterol- HDL Cholesterol that protects the body against heart disease loses ground to the bad- LDL Cholesterol that increases heart attack risk.
9. Your Bone Density. Calcium tends to be lost from the bones with age which makes the skeleton weaker, and less dense. If this tendency keeps on going- you will develop the disease osteoporosis.
10. Your Body Temperature Regulation. The ability to maintain a steady internal temperature declines with age. This makes older people more vulnerable to both hot and cold weather.
Where do we Begin?
Start with a good exercise plan
With all these things against us, it is a wonder that we make it past the age of 50!!
Retirement is for the birds! What is the implication of aging?
We do not need to take it easy and retire- we need to step it up! Get moving- move it or lose it~~
You need a good exercise routine to build muscle, keep your blood pressure in check and our blood glucose stable.
Physical fitness is linked to one’s general well-being.
How much exercise do we really need?
As little as 20 minutes of walking 3 times a week can improve your cholesterol numbers. But you need to be balanced in everything that you do.
Balance means moderation- Moderation in eating, exercising, stress, rest and activity. The word moderation means not going to extremes with things.
Balance is the key to a healthy life.
Heart Disease: Preventing it with a Healthy Diet of Fruits, Vegetables and lean meats.
An example of how our bodies react to the imbalance of our lifestyle is heart disease. This is the major affliction of the elderly. We in America suffer more coronaries than any other people in the world.
Our unhealthy diets high in red meat and other foods that are high in saturated fats such as milk, cheese, ice cream and eggs has put our health at risk.
Due to our modern lives, we have become an imbalanced society. Here are some tips on simplifying our lives:
1. Sleep at least 7 or 8 hours each night
2. Eat breakfast almost every day
3. Do not eat between meals or at night
4. Get to a normal weight
5. Do regular physical activity. It does not have to be strenuous, just active. Stop that sedentary living? Walk, garden, take up a sport.
6. Do moderate drinking if you drink at all. Take no more than 2 alcoholic drinks a day
7. Never smoke cigarettes
Taken in part from: Chopra, D. ( 1993) Ageless Body, Timeless Mind: The Quantum Alternative To Growing Old. New York, NY. Harmony Books.