Ok, ok, ok... I'm only 40, but the fact is the fact, I will be 41 next month....LOL ah, birthdays❤️🎉 I feel like I have a great relationship with aging, I'm only getting better in almost every way, so it's hard not to enjoy the process! But I wouldn't feel that way if I didn't think about how i'm setting myself up for the future. I see firsthand how my mom's weak hips affect her...and how I totally relate! And how my Grandma, Mimi, is handling life as a 90-year-old. She is impressive and her good-for-90-year-old condition makes me think about my aging...can you relate?
Don't get me wrong...I will maintain my badassery!
First, Identify Your Why With Aging in Mind.
As we age, our goals, priorities, and capabilities change. Life throws a lot at us; careers, relationships, kids, challenging life circumstances, injuries, and illnesses. It’s only natural that your goals shift as you go through different seasons.
That said, it’s helpful to reassess your goals and priorities often. If you feel like you’re in a funk – or you’ve lost your passion for getting or staying healthy – step forward and look at your future life. Do you want to be the best grandma, traveling all over, or spending hours in your garden? How would those priorities be better served by you continuing to focus on your health?
Identifying your “why” will help motivate you to pursue or maintain a healthy lifestyle as you get older.
5 Reasons to Stay in Shape as You Age
What’s the reason you want to stay healthy as you get older? Is it to keep up with your kids? Live past 100? Prevent health-related illnesses?
If you don’t have a reason in mind already, we’ve got five for you to consider.
1. Strong Bodies = Strong Minds
Nothing is more important than keeping your mind sharp. Dementia and other age-related brain disorders can have devastating impacts on you and your loved ones. But here’s the good news: exercise and healthy eating habits can prevent cognitive decline and slow the effects of certain brain-related illnesses.
While studies have yet to show a direct link between physical activity and Alzheimer’s prevention, there is plenty of data to suggest that staying physically active can preserve brain function and improve cognition. As we age, brain health becomes increasingly important.
And can I be honest with you, I have so many moments where I forgot something, put the cheese in the with the spices, etc. It's funny, but also kind of...scary.
2. Prevent Bone Loss and Osteoporosis
Nearly one in four women will develop osteoporosis, a condition that weakens bones, leaving women more susceptible to fractures. Anyone can develop osteoporosis, but postmenopausal women are the most at risk. This decrease in bone mass only worsens as we age.
Exercise – specifically weight-bearing exercise like weightlifting – is one of the best ways to prevent osteoporosis. When we lift weights, our bodies adjust by strengthening our bones to keep up. That means greater bone mass as you age, which ultimately prevents bone loss, osteoporosis, and fractures.
Have you ever had an older loved one break a hip or other bone? It takes FOREVER to heal. Not just the bones, but the skin takes forever to heal too, so let's prevent that crap.
Is it bad to be motivated by avoiding regret? I do not want to be an 80-year-old wishing I had not been such a weak loser that I couldn't stick to a program and stay healthy. That is literally how I would feel if I didn't maintain my health and weight as I got older.
I struggle to maintain my weight and be consistent with working out now. But I continually work to get better. So I had better have this figured out far before then!
4. Keeping Up with the Grand-Youngins
We all have our reasons for staying healthy as we get older. If, like me, you have kids at home, this reason might be the most important of all. Staying healthy and fit means you can keep up with your kids and grandkids, going for bike rides and helping them see the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, too.
5. Independent Living
We might not be close to retirement age yet, but it never hurts to think about the future. Exercise and healthy nutrition will keep our bodies working their best as we get older.
Anyone who has watched an older loved one suffer with immobility or health issues knows how devastating it can be. We all dream of living independent, active lives for as long as possible. Taking care of our bodies now means we can live our best lives later.
This is my personal biggest reason. I HAAATE relying on people and asking for help. I need to stay strong and capable so I can stay sane.
A Note About Staying Flexible
Getting older might mean changing up your workout routine. No matter how fit you are, bodies start to break down, aches and pains happen, and sometimes your exercise routines must adjust. One way to protect your muscles and joints and prevent aches and pains is to focus on your flexibility.
Nama-STAY Limber with Yoga
Those stiff joints and achy muscles aren’t going to get better with age. Your range of motion and flexibility will deteriorate if you don’t keep up with it. That’s one of the many reasons we start our days with yoga.
Stretching is great for loosening up those joints, improving flexibility, and decreasing stress (which ultimately improves heart health, too). And you don’t need to join some fancy gym. Our favorite yoga instructor, Devi Daly, has free lessons on YouTube!
We all want to live long lives – so let’s live them to the fullest.