The key ‘concept’ in having nutritional health and fitness that will give you the best quality of life as your age is lifestyle – look at some of the definitions:
- Typical way of life
- Way of living that reflects a person’s attitudes
- A person’s habits and standards for how they want to live
These definitions all imply that lifestyle is how you live, based on your habits and viewpoints – in this case, how you will approach your nutrition and fitness, in order to have the best long-term health and quality of life.
Additionally, nutritional health and fitness has taken on added importance, because quality of life has become such a dilemma. Studies have shown that although the average life span has increased, so has the number of health problems and disease as we get older.
What a terrible situation – living longer but also getting sicker, while doing so.
I wasn’t smart enough to make changes to my nutrition and fitness level issues, until a health scare made me do so in my mid-50s. But if I had really thought about what was going to happen to the quality of my life as I got older, it would have been more than enough motivation to have made lifestyle changes a lot sooner.
I am going to be 61 years old – here are some of the nutrition and fitness related basics of my lifestyle:
- I workout 6-7 times per week – 4 days I lift weights and do bodyweight metabolic and core exercises, with the other 2-3 days also including around 20 minutes of sprint intervals on a bike.
- My eating is very nutritionally sound and ‘clean’ – I eat a high protein diet, with lots of vegetables and fiber, and slow digesting carbohydrates.
- I don’t eat processed foods or refined sugar – which is why I spend so much time trying to convert desserts recipes and make them healthy.
I am living a middle age fitness lifestyle, and have never had better nutritional health. I may not know how many years I have left – but I know what I can do to ensure that I have the best health and energy possible for those years.
Nutritional Lifestyle Changes
Your weight, and especially your percentage of body fat, are important components of nutritional health.
However, dieting is not sustainable as a lifestyle.
As well, eating fewer calories in order to lose weight only, really doesn’t have anything to do with nutrition.
And if your calorie reduction is too severe, you will lower your metabolism and keep your fat burning hormones from working optimally. As a result, you will not lose the weight you anticipated, which makes the diet counterproductive.
For instance, what are a couple of the first things that dieters tend to do: (1) they start eating low fat foods (2) they start eating sugar-free or artificially sweetened foods.
But are those good nutritional decisions?
Healthy fats don’t make you fat, and they have many nutritional benefits:
- Fats provide energy
- Fats help with the absorption of fat soluble vitamins
- Fats slow down digestion, which helps control blood sugar levels
Additionally, low fat doesn’t infer that the fat or food isn’t nutritionally harmful. For instance, most low fat foods have added sugar to make them taste better, but sugar is inflammatory, and it increases the release of insulin and the storage of food as fat.
Substituting butter with margarine, to decrease fat content, is actually leads to eating one of the unhealthiest foods there is – margarine is hydrogenated oils and trans-fats, and these should be avoided.
There are similar nutritional health problems from sugar-free and artificially sweetened foods. Yes, you may be eating fewer calories, but you are eating unhealthy alternatives for the sugar.
High fructose corn syrup is one of the most widely used artificial sweeteners, and like trans-fats, it is also one of the unhealthiest foods. HFCS is actually sweeter than sugar, and your body has a similar response. It causes you to crave more sweets and eat more, because it keeps you from becoming satiated.
And the most dangerous response was shown in a study, where the subjects were given beverages with sugar or with HFCS – both groups gained weight as was expected, but the high fructose corn syrup beverage caused additional belly fat, which is the most dangerous and harmful body fat.
These are just a couple of the examples showing nutritional problems with diets, and there are many more. Your objective may be to lose weight, but you need to do so by making good nutrition decisions that can be followed as a lifestyle and not as a quick weight fix.
By doing this, you will be able to lose or maintain your current weight – and you will increase your energy level, decrease your body inflammation, and decrease your body fat.
Physical Fitness Lifestyle Changes
As discussed, dieters make numerous nutrition mistakes trying to lose weight. There are also a number of issues regarding exercise and fitness.
For instance, walking around the block a couple times a week might be a little exercise, but it will never lead to physical fitness. And what is known as steady state cardio, like walking on a flat treadmill at the same speed, is certainly better exercise – but it’s still not enough.
Again, think of this in the context of lifestyle and what is going to be the most meaningful for your long-term health and quality of life.
Two big problems related to aging are (1) the slowing of metabolism (2) or the loss and degeneration of lean muscle mass – it is reported that this can become as much as 2 percent per year.
These are reasons why it is so important to include resistance and strength training in your physical fitness program – and more beneficial than your treadmill cardio.
When you lift weights and/or do bodyweight resistance circuit training, you are doing exercise that will increase your metabolism. By keeping your metabolism at a higher level, you will be able to more effectively burn fat.
And think about what keeping your muscle mass and strength will do for performing all those everyday tasks, and especially for decreasing the risk of injuring yourself.
Nutrition And Fitness Education Resources
Below are 2 nutrition and fitness programs I bought and kept – I don’t have to tell you how much junk is out there.
These added a lot to my education on how to maximize my nutrition and fat burning – go to the websites to see just how in depth they are and how they could be beneficial for you.