We know that life expectancy is getting longer and longer with each generation and yet the notion of slowing down and taking it easy as you get older still somewhat persists.
It’s an age-old myth, but perhaps one you feel you’ve earned and indeed, one that may have its appeal when you find you’re busier than ever and you’re sinking into a comfortable sofa at the end of the day contemplating the aches and pains your body is reminding you of as you do so!
Are we right to be taking it easy as we get older?
Well, a team of biologists and biomedical researchers at Harvard University have established evidence to show that humans actually evolved to be relatively active in their later years..decades after they stopped reproducing.
Now, this is the clever bit…physical activity in later years actually shifts energy away from processes that can compromise your health in favour of the mechanisms that extend it. In other words, your body cleverly shifts its energy allocation in favour of the processes that slow the body’s gradual deterioration over the years. In doing so, it protects against developing chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
What the catch?
It is physical activity that has been shown to guard against deterioration, which means it’s time to get active..possibly more active than you’ve ever been! This is not the time to slow down and do less if you want to ensure your later years are spent in good health.
The good news is that you don’t have to be active all day, every day! Just 10 mins a day of exercise will make a difference, but once you’ve got started, why not make it 20 or 30mins!
Here are some easy ways to boost your activity level day to day”
- Factor in an exercise session into your daily schedule. For example, if you know you are out for lunch, work backwards and allow enough time to go out for a walk or do a 30min exercise session (online or in-person). The New Healthy has workouts already uploaded onto the member’s area and from January 2022, regular weekly sessions will be added to keep you active without having to waste time looking for a suitable workout.
- Try to avoid using the car as often as you can. Consider leaving the car at home if you can reach where you need to be in 30mins or less.
- Embrace housework! You’d be amazed how much valuable physical activity housework offers; reaching, stretching, lifting, moving and if you work quickly, it can quite easily become an aerobic workout session!
And finally, my favourite…
- Always use the loo furthest away! Whether that’s upstairs at home or on another floor at work, use your “comfort breaks” as a form of activity!
Any other tips to get active and avoid taking it easy as you get older?
READ MORE: 3 things you’re doing over 50, that you shouldn’t