By: Vanessa Birch, Momentum Bootcamps
For many of us, the older we get, the less active we become. It might be that we think our energy levels don’t match what we felt in our 20s and 30s, but we also start to put our own health and wellbeing second. So why is that?
I’ve had countless conversations with people who think age is a barrier to a healthy lifestyle. But really it shouldn’t be the case; it’s all about mind over matter.
We all lead busy and hectic lives with endless schedules, making it easy to pick up bad habits and make excuses for why we can’t do something. But that’s no excuse for neglecting ourselves.
Here are some steps you can take to help you live life to the fullest:
Be specific and clear with your goals – Don’t just say I want to be fit. What does fit look and feel like to you? How will you measure your improved fitness? Goal setting (and actually writing down your goals) is the first step to change, so don’t skip this part.
Have a plan – This helps turn your goals into reality. For example, try preparing your meals in advance. Having healthy snacks on hand, and prioritising when you’ll exercise is key to your success. Know what challenges are up ahead and develop strategies to tackle them.
Cultivate positive habits – Aristotle wrote “we are what we repeatedly do” – any type of long-term success will come down to our daily routine and habits. Identify what habits derail you and how you can overcome this with a different routine and reward system.
In terms of exercise where should you start? If you want to achieve something, no matter what it is, set your goals, have a strategy to reach them, work hard and be inspired by progress. Progress no matter how great or small, is still progress.
So where should you start? Strength training is a good place and it should be a vital part of your fitness routine, especially after we turn 30.
The vast majority of research supports resistance training to be a very effective means to increase bone density, warding off diseases like osteoporosis, preventing bone loss and reducing the susceptibility of fractures in our latter years. In addition, regular exercise helps improve overall immune function, increase metabolic rate, reduce blood pressure and improve digestive health.
Don’t let your age be an excuse
Age is really just a number rather than a limitation. Personally, I’m fitter today in my mid 30’s, with two children, than I ever was in my early 20s. I’m inspired all the time by my clients in their 40s, 50s and beyond who really walk the talk – they know exercise has a myriad of health benefits and prioritise an active lifestyle.
My best friend’s parents are just examples of this. They still go cross country skiing, running and bush walking and they’re in their mid 70s. I admire their spirit and desire to keep doing what they love to do.
Find the exercise routine that you are passionate about and you’ll stick to it. It should be what makes you feel most alive (strong, excited, happy), and you’re guaranteed to make fitness a part of your lifestyle rather than see it as a chore. It could be soccer, surfing, zumba, swimming or strength training.
Don’t let age get in the way of your success. You’re as young as you feel, so ditch the excuse that you’re too old, and change your mindset. Stay as active as you can, for as long as you can, and enjoy life to the full.
Vanessa Birch is the founder and co-director of Momentum Bootcamps Pte Ltd. They organise regular classes where the numbers are small and they specialise in strength training. Click here to read more about them and here to sign up for a trial of Momentum’s classes.