How do you stay young and fit – even when you are 40-something?

I recently read an article that stated that 40 is the new 30, but any way you look at it, it still sounds old! So I have decided that old is just a state of mind. Yes, I will have to admit that I am not quite as flexible and agile as I was when I was 20 years old, but I think I am doing pretty well. I wouldn’t say that I am trying to fight the aging process, but more do everything that I can to ensure that I will be strong, mobile, and active the older I get. To me, this is key to staying young and fit!

For example, my husband and I love going to Sanibel Island, Florida to get away. Most people who have traveled there with us realize that we don’t really “get away” when we are there. We actually still write and work on projects for Caring Medical, but what attracted us most to the island is the active lifestyle of Sanibel – biking, swimming, and running made easily accessible! Walking along the long sea-shell lined beaches, kayaking in the estuaries, or taking a dance class are all options. Here is an island whose population is only about 6500 during “off-season” where the median age is 60.5 years. These are active people! Every morning you will see men and women of all ages, shapes, and sizes walking, running, and bike riding along the miles of bike paths.

By starting and staying active, you will prevent diseases of aging such as osteoporosis, heart disease, arthritis, adult-onset diabetes, and other diseases of aging. So if you are in your 30’s and feeling “old” it’s time to get a grip! There comes a point in everyone’s life when he/she decides to be active or become a couch potato who will be continually fighting the battle of the bulge, along with a wide array of diseases of aging. Here is my take on how to do it:

6 Things You Need To Stay Young!

  1. A positive attitude
  2. A sense of humor
  3. Discipline
  4. Healthy food
  5. Exercise shoes and weights
  6. Time alone

A positive attitude: As stated earlier, age is really a state of mind. Try not to focus on the fact that you re nearing 40, at 40, or over 40, but focus on the fact that you feel better now than you did 20 years ago. (You will!). Look at the positive instead of the negative. You’ll be surprised at how much better you feel!

A sense of humor: I don’t know about you, but the older I get, the more tragedy I experience. Friends and family members die or are struck with serious illnesses. The responsibilities of running a business and/or a household become more difficult with new challenges to face every day. But try not to let that get you down. Life is good. You feel good. Laugh at yourself and at others! Try to dress younger than you are, act younger than you are, and don’t take yourself or life so seriously. Smiling makes people wonder what you have been up to!

Discipline: Achieving anything in life requires discipline and perseverance. Don’t let the turkeys get you down! (Do you remember that saying?) Stick to your plan and try not to let life’s circumstances and responsibilities always weigh you down. They will be there in an hour after your workout, so you don’t have to skip it!

Healthy food: I cannot stress this enough—how you eat has a tremendous effect on how you feel. Eat fresh, organic, non-processed foods every day. Learn to cook. Don’t eat junk. Get Diet Typing to determine what breakdown of foods you should eat.

Exercise shoes and weights: This is another key point to feeling better, stronger, and more alert. Wake up early and take a long walk, hike, run, or bike ride. Being outside early in the morning wakes you up and makes you feel invigorated for the rest of the day. I live in Chicago, so sometimes this involves getting up and out there while it is still dark outside. You can do it! You’ll feel better when you do! Get into the gym at least 3 days per week and lift some weights. Weight lifting builds strength and muscles. Muscle burns more than fat. So improving muscle mass will not only help you lose weight, but it will improve your overall strength and help prevent osteoporosis and weak joints. Do not forget to include balance training! Balance tends to go as we age. Try standing on a Bosu ball, balance beam, or balance discs. You’ll be glad you did!

Time alone: Take some time to do something alone. I find reading a book, studying Scriptures, praying, or meditating helps me focus on what is really important. Some people require more alone time than others. Get at least a couple 15-30 minute daily sessions each week. Sometimes that is hard to do with our busy lifestyles, but it is worth it.

So, are you feeling fat and forty? If you are—try some of these tips to help you get back to feeling fit and fabulous!