Health and Fitness: Why Age Is Just a Number

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2018’s Mission: Impossible — Fallout is the latest installment in the Mission: Impossible movie series starring Tom Cruise. What’s incredible is not that there have already been eight movies in the series, the first one dating back to 1996. The truly remarkable fact is that Tom Cruise has performed either most or all his character’s action stunts in all eight films, including Fallout. Tom Cruise is almost 60 years old.

Another movie star, Sylvester Stallone, is even older; he’s 74. Yet, age hasn’t been a factor when it comes to his latest action thrillers. They include The Expendables and Rocky Balboa.

How can some people stay fit, energetic, strong, and healthy well into their sixties and seventies? Why isn’t this true for most? Some might argue that only Hollywood stars and millionaires have access to the best fitness and nutrition experts in the world. While this might be true, it doesn’t mean the rest of us cannot do it as well. By focusing on mental well-being, age-appropriate exercise, and adequate nutrition, we too can remain vigorous and vibrant for the entirety of our lives.

Mental Well-being

It all starts with our state of mind. A positive mindset reduces stress, improves blood circulation, and is said to minimize the effects of brain-related illnesses like Alzheimer’s and chronic depression. As a result, as people get older, it is essential to create an environment of wellness. For senior citizens living by themselves, getting the services of a home healthcare provider is a great idea. For one, they will not be left alone to mend for themselves. Besides, they will have someone to share experiences with someone to serve them as a valuable companion.

But mental well-being doesn’t start after retirement. It should be something we incorporate throughout our adult lives and even in our childhoods. As parents, we should take care of both our children’s mental health and our own. This means having enough time to relax, meditate, sleep well, and spend quality family time.

mature man doing exercise

Age-Appropriate Exercise

Currently, there are two major schools of thought on exercise. The first one is HIIT or high-intensity interval training. The second is LISS, which stands for low-intensity steady-state training. Both HIIT and LISS are self-defining terms, one being “hard” training while the other is “soft.”

So what does hard and soft mean? How should I choose? Hard and soft relates to your specific heart rate, the number of times your heart beats in one minute. While it’s important to push ourselves and aim for challenges, we should also consider our heart health and its implications. For example, an older person might benefit much more from light cardiovascular exercises such as swimming or light jogging. In contrast, a person in their twenties and thirties could focus instead on cycling and running.

Adequate Nutrition

Adequate nutrition is about balance and sustainability. Perhaps one of the main reasons why fad diets never work is that they are not maintainable. People cannot completely avoid eating carbs. They cannot skip dinner every day of their lives or survive only by eating bananas, spinach, and steamed broccoli.

Without balance, without variety, neither the body nor the brain will be content. As we get older, this becomes even more important, as do our choices. We cannot eat fast food and sweets as much as in our younger days. But we still can, in moderation. We can find healthy replacements to meet our cravings. We can also limit the quantities we consume.

Good nutritional choices include everything, not only the things that are good for our bodies but also those that make us happy and create satisfaction in our lives. Neither Tom Cruise nor Sylvester Stallone can do the same things now as they did in their youths. They are both a little heavier, a bit slower, and less energetic. But what they can do is be the best versions of their current selves. They can focus on their mental health, do appropriate exercises for both their ages and hearts, and make the right choices. Even if you’re not a movie star, so can you.

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