Cathy Richards is an expert when it comes to the key things you need to think about when it comes to wellness and aging in a healthful manner. Mindset is a huge determinant of healthy aging. We tend to expect that things can be fixed quickly, but quick changes are not sustainable. It’s all about the small changes and letting them snowball into big changes that you can carry out for your lifetime.
So, what lifestyle changes should you consider? Changes to exercise and nutrition are the main topics that Cathy and Risa dives into. To put into perspective how important exercise is, Cathay shares the statistic that between ages 20 to 80, people lose about half of their leg strength. That’s an awful amount of strength lost in just a few decades.
The good news is that you grow muscle at any age. If you are in your 50s, 60s, 70s, or 80s, as long as you challenge your body with any form of exercise (ideally strength training), your muscles will respond. Cathy says, “Habit is more important than content,” because what you are doing doesn’t matter as much as the fact that you are doing something. So, start small. Small could be 2 exercises that are doable in less than 5 minutes for 3 times a week. This is all it takes to start improving your strength, mobility, and quality of life.
Exercise is important, but don’t forget about nutrition. The best strategy is to make a couple changes to your diet to increase vegetable and fruit intake and to decrease added sugar consumption. To identify ways in which you can make your diet healthier, try tracking what you eat in a food diary such as myfitnesspal for a few days .Tracking what you eat for just a couple of days will open your eyes to how much fruits and vegetables, protein, added sugar, etc that you are getting throughout the day. Knowing this will help you make informed decisions for a healthier diet that you can still see yourself following down the line.
So, when it comes to maintaining youthful energy as we age, it is both exercise and nutrition. Exercise, especially strength training is important to maintain strength as we age. Nutrition of course is also a key component to healthy aging. Remember, less sugar and more real food. Tons of fruits and vegetables will help your body not only obtain the nutrients they need, but also give you the energy you need to maintain an active lifestyle.