Are you feeling a little out of sorts lately? Looking for a way to boost your quality of life without having to do a total overhaul? To be fair, as much as the world will fill your head with shouting about a gym subscription or the latest diet fads, most of that stuff turns out to be totally impractical, if not downright unhealthy, on the level of actual everyday life.
Having said all of that, the various diet and fitness tips that you may find floating around do have their undeniable value. After all, you will be needing your body for the rest of your life, so it makes perfect sense to do all you can to help keep it in pristine, if not peak, condition. To that end, we have compiled our own list of tips, which will hopefully help you to get stared and decide on some future steps as well.
Listen to your body
Seriously, just because you can does not mean that you should. In your younger years, you may push yourself through injuries and burnout and just count on your ingrained recovery potential to do its thing and get you back up and running. Give up on that idea.
You have to adapt your mindset to the inevitable decaying of your physical ability (even if you are a properly active sportsperson), otherwise you may get landed with chronic injury. Rest when tired, and regularly check in with your doctors.
Daily mobility training is a must
It really is that simple: you have to move. Siting at an office desk all day or falling into inactivity for any other reason is the root of so many issues. So, if you have no time for a daily gym session, take out literally five to ten minutes – stopwatch yourself if you don’t believe us.
Move like in PE. Squats, planks, cat stretches, and lunges will open up your spine and rotate your ankles, hips, knees, and shoulders.
Take up either yoga or Pilates
Pilates is the more traditional of these two exercise regimes. It is quite goal-oriented in the predominantly physical sense, and not so much focused on tending to your headspace, though it makes for a great dynamic workout.
Yoga is praised for toning muscles and calming the mind, but it also protects your spine, and helps your tendons and cartilage. In a nutshell, it is intense stretching, and as such it greatly boosts your overall resilience to injuries. Check this article for an informative story for a yoga routine which will not consume a lot of time and is easy to learn.
Balance your groceries
Stay far away from those regimes which demand that you entirely eliminate any given food group or grocery type. All of them supply something that your body needs: fuel for energy, muscle building and repair resources, and the fats that go into healthy hair, skin, and hormonal levels.
A good rule of thumb is to eat 40% carbs, 30% fats, and 30% protein every day. Obviously, feel free to adjust this ratio and specific groceries to your individual needs and overall health condition.
Throw all the colors onto your plate
Where on a table would you find color? Fruits and veggies, right. The more colorful you make your meals, the more varied and abundant your dose of antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins will be. They strengthen your immune system, combat free radicals, and reduce oxidative stress.
You needn’t force yourself to eat a plant you hate, either. These goodies are so wonderfully varied that even the pickiest eater can find something palatable.
Limit your alcohol and caffeine intake
Now, mind you, we said “limit”, not “eliminate”. Alcohol and caffeine can be beneficial in moderate doses: red wine improves your heart condition, coffee beans supposedly lower the likelihood of dementia… But too much of a good thing, you know?
Going overboard with either spells trouble. Especially in mid- and later life, the liver is simply unable to process alcohol as efficiently, so it piles up in your blood as toxins. Excess caffeine at any age aggravates anxiety, blood pressure, and heart rate.
Skip inflammatory foods
These are the foods that cause your stomach to swell. Your body treats this swelling as an immune response, wasting energy on fighting it off and crashing the proper functioning of your immune system where you actually need it.
The foods to avoid include refined sugars, trans-fats, gluten, dairy (minus cultured dairy), preservatives, additives, and processed meats. Unfortunately, however, they are quite pervasive in the modern-day life, so just strive to minimize them as much as you can.
Take proper care of your joints
Joint degeneration rapidly advances past the age of forty. This is normal and no cause for panic, but it will require some adjustments. You can make it worse by heavy endurance training, such as running and the like, so instead consider taking up short, intense workout sessions instead of prolonged exercise.
Also reconsider your nutritional trends. Increase your intake of collagen and glucosamine, both of which slow or even reverse progressive joint damage.
Keep on top of your hydration levels
No, you are not pressed to gulp down two liters of mountain spring water every day. Nice teas, fresh fruit juice, and clear soups also count. That said, plain water should still be your main go-to liquid.
Good hydration improves digestion, combats inflammation, removes toxins, boosts your metabolism, lubricates your joints, and ups your energy levels and mental performance.
Invest in some low-intensity cardio time
You needn’t go running up and down stairways. Your body burns fat when the heart reaches about 105-120 beats per minute. You can achieve this by taking a relaxed bicycle ride, going for a dynamic stroll around the block, or attending a dancing class (though not something as intense as breakdancing).
Cardio also lowers the cortisol (stress hormone) levels, making the annoyance of the daily drudgery that much more manageable.