As we age, we begin seeing shifts in our bodies and minds. Hopefully, for many of us, the changes are positive, however, the reality is that we are fighting some negative shifts such as weight gain, sleepless nights and even hormonal fluctuations that lead to stress. The saying is, “we age like a fine wine,” but maybe those grapes aren’t as robust as we wish. How do we stay physically and mentally fit so it affects our life in a positive way?
Staying physically fit is not such an easy task especially when our lives are so busy. Between work, family, social lives and sometimes eating on the run, there is little time left to focus on fitness. We are not talking about being Venus Williams, but taking care of our bodies and physical appearance is sure to make us look and feel better. If you can’t make it to the gym, perhaps a 20-minute walk after dinner or during lunch time fits into your busy schedule. Wear that Fitbit and log your steps. That 20 minute walk can help relieve stress, get your heart pumping and burn off a few calories. Every little bit helps.
Eating the proper foods at the right time is also vital to feeling physically fit and keeps our bodies chugging along. We all know what we should and shouldn’t eat. Stay away from the fried foods, watch the carbs and eat more veggies and fruits. And as the fitness gurus will tell us, try not to eat past 7pm. But when you do “fall off the wagon”, don’t shame yourself with guilt. Get right back into your healthy eating habits and move forward.
Being physically fit enhances our positive mental state, but our mental state also impacts our physical state. They go hand in hand. As we begin our hormonal changes, sleep may elude us. While exercise can help us relieve stress and get a better night’s rest, hormones can negate that and keep us awake at night. The lack of necessary sleep (for most people 7-8 hours nightly) causes mood swing, irritability and even illness. It’s always a good thing to go the natural route and maybe take some melatonin or valerian root, but if that fails, you might consider seeing a medical specialist. Not being physically fit, not sleeping, dealing with hormonal changes and not having a positive mental attitude will surely lead to stress! That feeling of flight or fight boosts your adrenaline and creates panic.
Whether you are 30 or 50, looking and feeling
good about yourself will help improve your life. Setting goals to both look and feel good and
pursuing those goals will remove stress and replace it with confidence, energy
and happiness and release that cocktail of neurochemicals in our brains
associated with pleasure and reward.