Even as I write this, I’ve aged a little!
It’s so true what my mother told me when I was a child. She said “Once you hit 18, time will fly.”
Wow, she was spot on. I’m 47 now and I’m not sure what happened to the last 29 years!
As a child, time goes so slowly. Each day feels like a week and each year, a decade.
As an adult, time goes so quickly. Each day feels like an hour and each year, a week!
The thing is though that time hasn’t suddenly changed dimensions – it is still the same time. There are still 24 hours in a day after all.
When you reach your 40s, 50s, 60s and beyond, there is a common view that getting older means having less function, i.e. becoming forgetful, tired a lot, aching joints etc.
When I get an injury from football, guess what some people say to me? “Ooh, you’re getting too old for football, you need to stop playing.”
Even my GP would suggest quitting the game to save my joints!
But don’t injuries occur no matter what age you are?!
Maybe recovery rates are slower when you’re a bit older but if you just give up, you are giving up on life. Do you just want to sit on the sofa watching Coronation Street, while eating Pringles?
The usual pattern of ageing is that you live well for 40-50 years, then you start to pick up aches and pains. After 60, it becomes harder to get out of bed because of problems with the joints. Other conditions can hit such as more indigestion and heartburn, fatigue, regular headaches, breathlessness, circulation problems and so on.
It seems that past our 60s and 70s, our life span doesn’t equal our health span. We start to decline and we put it down to age.
Why can’t our life span and health span be equal until the day our time is up?
How can we achieve this?
Well, I could talk about this for days but I’ll summarise it for you.
I guess there are some fundamentals we could get right such as having an ideal weight (i.e. not overweight or obese), not smoking, drinking very little alcohol, exercising regularly and most importantly (in my humble opinion) eating a balanced, nutritious diet.
I could add to that: drinking enough clean water, increasing your daily activity levels, getting enough sleep, controlling stress, relaxing, breathing clean air when possible and so on.
Here’s the science bit!
Oxidative stress (or rusting) is the root cause of all age-related diseases. We are talking about heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, osteoporosis etc. They all result from rusting (inside our body).
Oxidative stress is the result of stress on your system over the years, eating lots of the ‘wrong’ calories, free radical damage (from the environment – pollution, radiation from the sun etc), lack of sleep, chronic stress, and more.
So is it possible to counteract ageing? Can we possibly live to 80, 90 or 100 without suffering from the effects of rusting? Maybe, maybe not but we can give ourselves the best chance.
In my ‘Fitness For Women’ 7-step plan, I address how we can help ourselves. The first step deals with good nutrition. I would say that this is the most important aspect.
We should be:
- Eating fresh fruit and vegetables rich in antioxidants that help to combat free radicals
- Restricting calories – excessive calories get burnt leading to more rusting
- Avoiding diets such as low-fat or low-carb diets – we need fats and carbs as well as protein
- Including supplements especially omega-3 fish oils, folic acid and probiotics
- Eating lots of healthy fats such as avocado, eggs, nuts, seeds, olive and coconut oils
- Avoiding packaged, processed and takeaway foods
I’m not suggesting never having a Big Mac ever again but just be sensible with the burgers!
I’ll be talking about my other 6 steps in future blogs so stay tuned.
In the meantime, I have 2 Detox recipe eBooks available both at the low cost of £3.99 if you want some healthy ideas.