INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - You've heard the phrase "you're only as old as you feel." Never is that statement truer than when you're attempting to exercise.
Some of us are plagued with aches and pains that keep us from ever making progress toward our fitness goals.
"You can have a 30-year-old that feels, legitimately, 40 or 50 years old because they haven't done the things necessary to take care of their body, "says Mike Robertson , co-owner of Indianapolis Fitness and Sports Training ( IFAST ). "This is the person that doesn't work out, is stressed out all the time -- maybe they have a high-stress job and eat fast food all the time. That person has set the stage to feel much older than they actually are."
The issue of feeling old versus being old is one that is characterized in terms of biological age and chronological age. Biological age is a measure of how well or poorly your body is functioning relative to your actual, chronological age shown on a calendar.
"People say to me 'well, I'm 30, I shouldn't feel this way,'" Robertson said. "And it all depends on how well you've taken care of your body for those first 30 years."
Here are the three things you can do right now to feel better, stronger and younger:
Its long been noted that regular exercise can provide physiological improvements that can reverse rates of aging. Robertson warns that jumping into high-intensity exercise without building the foundation of mobility could result in injuries.
"If you don't move well through those big joints – like your shoulders and your hips – you won't move well, period. Unfortunately, mobility is also the first thing that goes."
Simple stretches and exercises outlined by the National Institute on Aging can provide a simple starting point. Once you have mobility, the American College of Sports Medicine recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity (working hard enough to break a sweat, but still able to carry on a conversation) five days per week, or 20 minutes of more vigorous activity three days per week.
Regular exercise is also heavily weighted in Dr. Thomas Perls' Living to 100 Life Expectancy Calculator . The calculator asks you 40 quick questions related to your health and family history, and takes about 10 minutes to complete.
A British study published in April showed the "Western diet" of fried and sweet foods, processed and red meat, refined grains and high-fat dairy products puts people at increased risk for premature death. And those who do make it to old age are less likely to be in good health when they get there, the researchers said.
The National Institute on Aging defines healthy eating as foods that:
- Emphasizes vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products.
- Includes lean meat, poultry, fish, cooked dry beans and peas, eggs, and nuts.
- Is low in saturated fats, trans fats, salt, and added sugars.
- Balances the calories from foods and beverages with calories burned through physical activity so that you can maintain a healthy weight.
De-stress Your Life:
Doctors at the Mayo Clinic report that long term stress puts you at increased risk of health problems, including:
- Heart disease
- Sleep problems
- Digestive problems
- Memory impairment
- Worsening of skin conditions, such as eczema
That's why it's so important to learn healthy ways to cope with the stressors in your life. The ACSM has a list of ways for you to manage stress .
8 P.M. UPDATE: The latest snowfall totals vary across Indiana. Areas north of downtown Indianapolis such as Westfield and Pendleton received 3.1 inches of snow as of 7:30 p.m. Areas south of Indianapolis in Nashville, Bloomington and …
Firefighters had to free a car that landed on top of guide wires Friday evening on the city's west side.
Snow plowed through parts of central Indiana, hitting communities south of Indianapolis the hardest.