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Age smart & well

Age smart & well

Radio 1 DJ and television presenter Scott Mills (pictured) has been talking recently about his experience losing weight and getting fit after taking a look at himself in the mirror and not being particularly impressed with what he saw when doing so.

Mills has also been talking about how weight gain affected his energy levels and sense of self-esteem, motivating him to change his diet and lifestyle, the outcome of which was a loss of excess weight, a toning of Mills’ body and an increase in his personal happiness.

It’s interesting reading about Mills’ experience and his journey to a fitter lifestyle and the influence that Mills’ age has had on the decisions he made and what happened afterwards.

The relationship between age, fitness, diet and exercise is an interesting one and has been much covered in the media. One of the things that Mills touches upon in his piece above, which is fascinating, is how his age was both a motivator and a challenge when improving his fitness, as he found that maintaining his weight (and indeed losing some of it) was difficult, partly because of the age he was at when he acted to get fit.

This is a well-known situation.

As we get older and our metabolism slows, we find that the same food we might have eaten years before begins to weigh heavier on us than it may have done in the past and that, as a result, our energy levels drop. Put those two factors together and the result can be weight gain and a decreasing sense of self-esteem (which Mills also touches upon in his piece).

What this means for anyone concerned to run a long race and maintain their engagement with life is that it is always better to look forward, to anticipate the changes that will come at different stages of our lives and to adjust accordingly rather than attempting to put right what has gone wrong (which can be more time consuming and challenging than riding the waves of life as they roll in).

To achieve this, it is important to understand how change can come upon us physically and mentally at different stages of our lives and to adapt our diet, exercise and outlook when these stages are reached. In simple terms, this can mean reviewing the food we eat and the kind of workout we undertake, as well as how we look at the world. Or, to put this into more simple terms, we should not eat like an 18-year-old (lots of high energy foods at regular intervals together with a comparable level of alcohol) when 38, as this can result in weight gain, health issues and a growing sense of exhaustion.

In addition, exercising the same way in later as in early life can also cause problems.

As a general rule, I advise men and women to increase their strength-building exercises as they age so as to maintain muscle strength and mass once more sedentary lifestyles set in. Maintaining such a strong (and possibly growing) weight element to a workout as middle age arrives (and then anon) helps the body to stay strong and robust and encourages the mind to engage with the world as a challenging arena that requires a positive attitude.

Resting in a structured way when advancing through advancing years is also important (if not more so) than when we are younger, as recovery becomes both more important and may require additional time in later years.

Follow these guiding principles as the years advance and those years will be active and meaningful and full of adventure.

Life is a process of change that requires engagement and a positive attitude to get the most out of it. Staying alert and responsive when navigating its highway and the journey it offers delivers a healthy, balanced and rewarding experience until that journey is complete.

Which is the point of living in itself, is it not?


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