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How to be a nifty fifty-something: Delaying the ageing symptons

Your 50s may represent a time when you feel overworked, overtired, over-committed to different causes and this sense of being overwhelmed can make you feel that your life is unraveling.
The speed and the symptoms of ageing that you experience can be delayed depending on the way in which you treat your body. We can make time for health, or eventually we can make time for aches, pains and illness if we neglect our health.
Your 50s can mean weight gain, lost libido, thinning hair, and increasing aches, pains and physical woes. But it doesn't have to be like that -- only if we decide to forego exercise and stretching.
Last week, we described the symptoms women in their 40s go through during the menopause. We described how some women gain a 'menopot' belly, as their resting metabolic rate at which they burn energy may slow down through incorrect training or no training at all and because they are experiencing hormonal changes.
What worked for females in their 20s, an era when your body was designed for reproduction, will not work the same in your 50s.
Yo-yo dieting and going up and down the scales for a couple of decades increases the likelihood that you have lost some fat-burning muscle, increased your body fat percentage, and have a high risk of now being insulin resistant.
The combination of stress, too little sleep and poor training and nutrition have put your body under intense pressure. When we are stressed it increases the release of the stress hormone cortisol and consequently we burn out our adrenal glands, which leads to a cascade of hormonal problems.
Hormones also influence the physical changes that men go through in their 40s and 50s. Fifty-something men often have what's referred to as an android type or apple shape. The large belly that most men possess will dwarf their skinny legs and arms.
They have higher levels of VAT -- visceral adipose tissue. This means that the fat is inside around the organs, which significantly increases the risk of heart disease.
The higher the levels of visceral fat, the lower the levels of muscle mass and therefore, the slower the metabolism and the poorer your health is. Our body has a hierarchy of needs and it will fight disease or dysfunction before it will attempt to build muscle.
Men also release less testosterone in their 50s, which leads to a lower libido.
Both men and women fifty-somethings should first of all control the hormone insulin. We can do this by moving away from the processed carbohydrates, alcohol and soft drinks, identifying and eliminating food sensitivities and moving towards nutrient-dense foods.
You won't get healthy by losing weight, but you will lose weight when you become healthy.
The best method of training for the kind of people described here is to lift weights in a repetition range of circa six to eight. It is important that the rest between each exercise is 70-90 seconds, to ensure you get adequate recovery. The weights should be heavy enough that you would be unable to perform nine repetitions.
Too often I see people consistently withdrawing from the health ATM -- withdrawals of no sleep, poor nutrition, excessive alcohol intake, poor lifestyle choices and arguments about work or relationships dictate their day.
The only way to improve your health balance is to sleep well, hydrate, eat nutrient-dense foods and train smarter, not harder.
Originally published in - Fly at a Smile-Price