Inside of every old person is a young person wondering what on earth happened and where the years went. I’m appealing to that young person right now to take action and help me help you get healthier. Doctors say that it’s never too late to improve your health. Here is a bit of helpful advice to get you motivated to take off extra weight and add more movement to your life.
It’s Not Just About Your Weight
Let’s start by losing your scale. If you’re overweight, you know it without needing the numbers, you feel it in your bones and your joints, and when you put on your jeans in the morning. Odds are, your doctor has already spoken to you about it. Nobody is surprised to learn they’re overweight or obese. But it may surprise you to learn that you’re likely not just overweight, but malnourished. Surprised? You shouldn’t be. The Western Diet is calorically rich but nutrient poor, offering us an abundance of processed starches and sugars, but a sad dearth of necessary nutrients. On top of that, many of us are sedentary and not getting sufficient exercise. This leads our bodies to convert all that sugar to fat and store it anywhere it can. This contributes to metabolic syndrome, and ultimately, to diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Rectifying the situation will require a two-pronged attack: the dreaded diet and exercise regimen.
You Are What You Eat
So we’ll start with what you’re putting in your mouth. Processed foods are poison. They have been stripped of their micronutrients and frequently of their fiber content, and they’ve been souped up with addictive sugars and unhealthy types of fat to make them more appealing and to make them last longer in transit and on the shelves of your local grocery store or fast food joint. Cut them out of your diet.
Start thinking about what you’re eating. Whole grains, heart healthy fats, fresh fruits and vegetables, and nutritious lean protein need to fill your pantry and fridge. Try to avoid eating out. Instead, cook at home, so you can know exactly what is going into each meal. Junk food and empty calories encourage depression and emotional volatility, but real food improves your cognitive ability and gives you more energy. You will feel better if you eat better. I’m not even advising you to portion control, or count calories. If you eat the right kinds of foods, you’ll feel fuller, longer and help avoid cravings for unhealthy sweets and snacks.
You Need To Move:
Regular exercise will preserve physical agility and mobility, burn fat and improve your mood and mental outlook. You need to get at least 30 minutes of moderate movement per day, and more if you can handle it. Every time your body is engaged in exercise, you can be burning fat stores and building muscle. That muscle is key, because you need it to have an efficient metabolic system, converting fat to energy. Diet alone won’t do; you’ll lose weight by losing muscle and plateau before you reach your desired weight loss goals.
A home gym can be set up with a few essentials such as a yoga mat, dumbbells and resistance bands. These inexpensive items will help you do many types of exercises such as strength training and stretches. Strength training is great for reducing fat without losing muscle mass. For cardio, you should get up and get outside. Do something fun, ride a bike or go for a jog. If you need lower impact, a walk is good and will be easier on your joints.
Swapping fat for muscle will make your body denser, but more compact. Your clothes will get looser, but you may notice a slight weight gain. Don’t be alarmed — just take your cue from how you’re feeling. A better diet and a good exercise program will show results in how much energy you have, and how much better you feel and look. Make a commitment to improve your health and extend your life by losing that extra weight. It’s never too late to get in shape.
*This article was written by guest blogger, Kevin Wells of Senior Diabetic