Our bodies change for the worse [read age] after 40. However, this does not happen overnight. It is a process that starts right when we are in our twenties and gets accelerated when we reach 40.
Did you know that after age 30, we start losing muscle mass and after age 40, bone mass declines and every year we gain about two lb of fat weight without even trying! Let us discuss some tips you can follow to slow the aging process.
Awareness holds the key
Get attuned with the physical changes in your body, especially the ones caused by your hormones. For women, keeping in touch with your gynaecologist and being aware of pre- menopausal changes is a must. All those mood swings and temperamental changes definitely have a cause and can be dealt with. Both men and women should have a bone density test at least once a year to keep a check on osteoporosis. Try to maintain a constant weight by staying active. Doctors also suggest that if you can even manage to lose as little as two kg a year it has several health benefits!
Increase vegetable and fruit servings
Studies show that increasing your fruits and vegetables intake up to 10 servings a day can help you to drastically reduce waist size! This can also dramatically alter your blood lipid profile by lowering your cholesterol due to increased intake of fibre and give you a glowing skin. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables can rid you of constipation and maintain your blood glucose levels.
Set short-term exercise goals
Okay, you cannot expect to transform from a couch potato to a fitness buff overnight. Start with small realistic goals. For example: start with the idea of exercising for at least 30 minutes three times a week and gradually build it up to 4-5 times a week for 30 minutes or an hour. Include exercise permanently in your lifestyle. Also, choose an activity and time that you can stick to, as it will take at least a month to make it a habit.
A complete annual health check-up should definitely be on your must-do list. This will give you a clear indication of what's going on inside your body, so that any unnatural changes can be recognised and corrected early. Even before you start an exercise programme, you must undergo a check-up and get the nod from your physician - to get started.
Over time, stress becomes a habit with most of us. We teach ourselves to justify stressful behaviour by letting ourselves believe it will change as we grow older, but never really make an effort. Most of us end up functioning like machines through the year thinking, "Oh, it's okay, I'll unwind when I take my annual vacation." But, this is the worst thing you could do to your body. A recent study shows that it is necessary to unwind each day, not just at the end, but also in the middle of any kind of activity to prevent the harmful, cumulative effects of stress.
So, don't let your health take the backseat. Take charge and make the most important investment that has assured returns, right now!
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