Fit Till You're 100

Written by Rob

The No. 1 driver for longevity isn't how heavy tou are. It's how fit you are. You are better off being a little fat - AND being a little fit - than being skinny and out of shape.

 When researchers looked around the world at people who live till 100, in places like Sardinia, Okinawa and Costa Rica, they found centurians had 3 things in common. 

Firstly, they were physically fit. Secondly, they ate whole foods, real foods. Thirdly, their social structure fostered a fit lifestyle. These are things we have on the Sunshine Coast and Queensland.

As you probably found out when you were younger, if you surround yourself with people who are competitive, outgoing and fit it becomes part of your personal makeup. As middle age approaches, family, work, kids and the trappings of a comfortable lifestyle, it is all too easy to get in that groove. Before you know it, it has spread... into more areas than you want it to.

One of the greatest fears of growing old is the possibility of developing Alzeheimers. The best way to avoid memory loss is to build new neurons in the brain. This cannot be achieved just by doing the crossword. What really challenges you is co-ordinated physical activity. Ball games, team sports or even a round of golf.

If the people in your life are getting fit and enjoying themselves whilst doing it (plus the added benefit of losing weight) you will too. So either change your friends or better still, change what they do. You might be surprised how your and their lives will change as a result. Here's some advice to follow through the ages -

In your Thirtys

Everyone hopes to have had a 6 pack with strong, hard muscles to match. But once you hit your 30s, you can start to move away from muscle-building activities a little bit and focus more on aerobic fitness. Young guys n girls are more able to move around, but thirty-somethings are a little stiffer and start putting on more weight. So now you are not burning as many calories. You probably have a job and a family. Those things may slow down your ability to work out and play sports with your friends. So there's a trade-off : a little more flexibility training but fewer muscle-building training sessions. So look to something like Indian Clubs for light strengthening and even get back into running - there's always a parkrun nearby for a non-competitive (or competitive) measure of your fitness. You'll probably meet new friends too.

Check Yourself

Push-Ups you should be able to do: 25-29 No. of sit-ups you should be able to do: 30-34 Health Screenings you should be getting: - Cholesterol (every 5 years) - Eye exam (every two years)

Life Begins at 40

By the time you're in your 40s, it all becomes about your body's pliancy. Once you lose the ability to stay flexible and balanced, you start to develop frailty—and frailty is what really hurts us when we get older. So try spending more time doing yoga or balance activities, like doing exercises with your eyes closed. To improve your balance, do this simple test. Stand up straight with your armsfolded across your chest, close your eyes, and raise one foot, bending the knee at a 45-degree angle. Set a goal balancing for 15 seconds.

Check Yourself

Push-Ups you should be able to do: 20–24 No. of sit-ups you should be able to do: 25–29 Health Screenings you should be getting: - Prostate exam (men), Breast screening (women) - Skin cancer exam (every year)

50 down, 50 to go

With an ageing population and advances in medical technology, chances are that if tou are 50 now you've another 50 years to go. How do you want to live it? The big epiphany—and this is going to blow your mind—is that the fitness level of someone who is 17 years of age is no different from someone who is 65 years of age.

You can jump higher, and you're a lot stronger at your peak age (which is 27), but your fitness level and endurance ability at 17 and 65 are the same. So you have the ablity to stay physically active throughout your life. People past the age of 50 should focus more on endurance activities as they get older—things like biking, running, the elliptical if you have weak knees, bike riding and swimming. Some strength exercises are recommended to prevent muscle wastage but there is no need to be built like Arnie!

Check Yourself

Push-ups you should be able to do: In your 50s: 15–19 In your 60s: 10–14 In your 70s: 6–9 In your 80s: 3–5 In your 90s: 1–3

Sit-ups you should be able to do: In your 50s: 20–24 In your 60s: 15–19 In your 70s: 10–14 In your 80s: 6–9 In your 90s: 2–5

Health Screenings you should be getting:: In your 50s: - Pneumovax vaccine (repeat at 65) - Colonoscopy (every 10 years) In your 60s: - Shingles vaccine - Hearing exam (every year) - Rectal exam (every year) Brest screening (women)

You are Never 2 Old 2 - Get into the very best shape of your life even after age 50 and, living in Queensland, there's no excuse!

 

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