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"How to Stay Fit and Well over 40: Tips from Fitness Dynamics"

Staying fit and healthy becomes increasingly important as we age. With the right approach, however, anyone can achieve their fitness goals. At Fitness Dynamics, we believe that regular exercise and healthy eating are the keys to a happy, healthy life. Here are some of our top tips for staying in shape over 40:

Aim for Regular High-Intensity Workouts: Regular exercise is essential for staying fit, and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a fantastic way to get your heart rate up and burn fat. At Fitness Dynamics, we offer low-impact HIIT workouts, walk-fit & Tone and body weight training with Pilates that are all easy on the joints.

Focus on Sleep: Getting enough sleep is essential for muscle recovery and overall health. Regular exercise can help improve sleep quality, as can a comfortable mattress and sleep environment. Science has proven that regular exercise improves sleep quality, which enables your body to recover, repair, and build muscles worked during exercise.

Sleep is as important for good health as diet and exercise, as it improves your brain performance, mood, and health. Not getting enough quality sleep regularly raises the risk of many diseases and disorders, ranging from heart disease and stroke to obesity and dementia. Set yourself a wind down routine for your evenings, prepare for bed early before TV time, that's face clean, teeth clean (this helps discourage snacking late too), PJ's on etc and in that last hour before bed dim all the lights that you use, try not to use your devices to avoid the stimulating effects of blue light that interferes with the melatonin release required to make you feel sleepy, but if you must use them then at least give yourself some protection with blue-light blocking glasses and screen protectors. Here are some links and discount codes for two well recommended companies Block Blue Light - Blue Light Glasses Backed by Science & Sleep Friendly Lighting - Use 10% discount Code: SAM10 and Ocushield - Medically Rated Blue Light Blockers - Use 20% discount code: DYNAMICS20

Eat More Protein: Protein is essential for muscle recovery and building, especially as we age. Make sure to include plenty of lean meats such as chicken and turkey, legumes, beans, lentils, eggs, fish, nuts and tofu in your diet. Research shows that athletes aged forty and over have impaired post-exercise recovery and therefore need more protein than younger athletes. Some studies indicate that those over forty require far more protein than younger athletes, in the range of 35 to 40g per serving.

Protein powders can be a reliable source of protein to supplement plant-based and lean meat/fish proteins. These can be made as post-workout smoothies or as occasional meal substitutes. Protein is also important as it helps you avoid overeating and drinking refined carbs and caffeine, as it keeps you feeling fuller for longer. When used in conjunction with strength training, protein helps you to build more muscle, which increases your metabolic rate and boosts your energy levels.

Workout to Maintain Muscle: Strength training is essential for building and preserving muscle mass, which decreases as we age. We recommend working individual body parts with 10 sets of 8-15 repetitions per week, including your arms, core, and legs. These sets can be broken up into two training sessions of five sets each across the week, or more sessions with fewer reps. For example, you can split this into upper body, lower body, and multiple days. Remember to allow time to warm up first with dynamic movements/stretches.

Stay Hydrated: Drinking enough water is crucial for optimal muscle performance and preventing fatigue. We recommend drinking 1-2 litres of water per day. Always have a bottle of water handy to sip throughout the day to avoid even slight dehydration, leading to symptoms such as fatigue, poor training performance, and increased risk of injury.

Avoid Late Night Eating: Eating late at night can lead to weight gain and disrupt your sleep. In fact, over 40% of all the calories we consume nowadays are after 6pm, and this isn't ideal. According to research, people deemed to be in the obese category tend to eat most of their calories an hour before bed. The more you eat after 6pm, the greater the likelihood you will drink alcohol and consume ultra-processed foods.

To reduce late-night eating, try having nights of the week with no snacking after dinner. By cutting down on late-night eating, you can reduce your caloric intake and improve blood sugar levels. This can not only help control weight but also manage symptoms of menopause such as sleep and mood disturbances, as well as changes in libido. If you struggle with late-night snacking, try finding healthier alternatives like fruits or nuts to munch on, or consider adjusting your dinner time to earlier in the evening.

Reduce Intake of Refined Carbohydrates and processed foods: Refined carbs such as cakes, biscuits, sweets, crisps and carbonated sugar and sweetener drinks can lead to sugar crashes and lower energy levels, making it harder to stay motivated to work out. To avoid feeling less satiated and hungry, choose whole grains and natural sources of carbohydrates, like fruits and vegetables, water and naturally sugar free kombucha drinks. Avoiding processed foods as much as possible can benefit gut health by reducing the intake of high levels of salt, sugar, and unhealthy fats. Instead, choose whole, unprocessed foods and limit sugary drinks, snacks, and fast food. This can promote a healthy gut microbiome and reduce inflammation in the body.

Improve your Gut Health: Aim to eat at least thirty different plant-based foods a week, including fermented foods and drinks such as kefir, kombucha, kimchi, or sauerkraut and unpasteurised cheeses contain live bacteria that can help populate your gut with healthy microbes. Studies have shown that a diverse and thriving gut microbiome is linked to a range of health benefits, including a stronger immune system, better mental health, and reduced inflammation throughout the body. Eating a variety of plant-based and fermented foods gives your microbiome (and taste buds) variety, which will increase the number and diversity of your microbiome. I have personally found great relief and health benefits from adding fermented foods and drinks to my diet as well as massively increasing the variety of plant-based foods I eat each week. Why not try writing down each different plant-based natural food you eat for a week and see how you get on. The photo below is what 30+ plant based and fermented foods/drinks look like on supermarket delivery day! Sometimes I buy less fresh and more frozen vegetables as these are highly nutritious, can be stored for a long time and cost less!

The microbiome is crucial to your overall health and is now considered another organ inside your body. The number of good gut bacteria in your microbiome affects the aging process, digestion, immune system, protection against certain diseases, brain function, and your mood. Try Booyah Vitality for their immune boosting Kombucha health drinks that are 100 % raw, natural and vegan.

Fermentation is a process in which bacteria and yeast break down sugars, enhancing food preservation, and eating fermented foods can also boost the number of beneficial bacteria, or probiotics, in your gut. Probiotics are associated with many health benefits, including improved digestion, better immunity, and increased weight loss.

Here are some common health conditions associated with the microbiome:

Acne, Antibiotic-associated diarrhoea, Asthma/allergies, Autism, Autoimmune diseases, Dental cavities, Depression and anxiety, Diabetes, Eczema, Gastric ulcers, Hardening of the arteries, Inflammatory bowel diseases, Malnutrition, Obesity.

Eat polyphenol rich foods: Include polyphenol-rich foods like dark chocolate, red wine, berries, and nuts in your diet. These antioxidants can help reduce inflammation and promote the growth of healthy gut bacteria. And yes, high % dark chocolate can be a delicious and gut-healthy treat! I don't know about you, but I love the fact that high % dark chocolate feeds the microbes in a good way! Unsweetened cocoa powder, or high-cocoa content dark chocolate are the closest alternatives to the cocoa used in studies that found that, when consumed in moderation, chocolate promotes friendly bacteria, and, therefore, a healthy gut, keeping inflammation at bay. My favorite is Co-op's 85% Peruvian cocoa dark chocolate, I do try to limit myself to one strip devoured slowly!

Eat more omega-3: Omega-3 fatty acids are essential nutrients that are important for brain and heart health. New research suggests that omega-3s may also play a role in gut health by promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria. Good sources of omega-3s include fatty fish, chia seeds, flaxseeds, and walnuts.

Along with the brain and gut health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, these essential nutrients are also important for hormonal balance, especially for women going through menopause. Omega-3s can help reduce inflammation, which can contribute to hot flashes, mood swings, and other symptoms of menopause. They can also help support healthy estrogen metabolism, which can be important for reducing the risk of breast cancer.

As well as eating more omega-3 rich foods like fatty fish, chia seeds, and flaxseeds, women going through menopause may also want to consider taking an omega-3 supplement. This can help ensure that they're getting enough of these important nutrients to support their hormonal health during this transition. However, it's always a good idea to talk to your doctor before starting any new supplements.

Having enough fat in the diet is important for hormone metabolism in women because certain hormones, including estrogen, are made from cholesterol, which is a type of fat. Without enough fat in the diet, the body may not be able to produce enough of these hormones, which can lead to imbalances and a range of symptoms.

In addition, fat plays a significant role in transporting hormones throughout the body. Hormones like estrogen are fat-soluble, which means they need to be bound to a carrier protein to travel through the bloodstream. Without enough fat in the diet, there may not be enough of these carrier proteins available, which can lead to hormonal imbalances and related symptoms.

However, it's important to note that not all fats are created equal when it comes to hormone health. Saturated and trans fats, which are found in many processed foods and animal products, can actually promote inflammation and disrupt hormone balance. On the other hand, healthy fats like omega-3s and monounsaturated fats (found in foods like nuts, seeds, avocados, and olive oil) can help support hormone metabolism and reduce inflammation.

It's also important to keep in mind that hormone balance is complex and can be influenced by many different factors, including stress, exercise, and sleep. Eating a balanced diet that includes a variety of healthy fats, along with plenty of whole, nutrient-dense foods, is one important way to support overall hormonal health.

Increase your dietary fibre: Overall, increasing your fibre intake is an important part of a healthy and balanced diet, and can provide a range of benefits for your overall health and well-being. Most people do not eat the recommended daily amount which is around 30g. When increasing fibre, it's best to start slowly and work your way up gradually to avoid digestive issues, If you increase the amount too rapidly, it can have the opposite effect and cause gas, bloating, cramping, diarrhea and abdominal discomfort. The benefits to our health are definitely worth perservering with a gradual increase as eating plenty of fibre

Overall, increasing your fibre intake is an important part of a healthy and balanced diet, and can provide a range of benefits for your overall health and well-being. Most people don't eat the recommended daily intake of around 30 grams. When increasing your dietary fiber it's best to start slowly and work your way up gradually to avoid digestive issues. If you eat too much fiber, or increase the amount you eat too rapidly, it can have the opposite effect and cause gas, bloating, cramping, constipation or diarrhea and abdominal discomfort. However, the benefits to our health are definitely worth perservering with a gradual fiber increase and make for a much more interesting and tasty diet!

Aim for Consistency: Establishing healthy routines and sticking to them is key to long-term success. Even short, regular workouts can have a significant impact on your fitness level. Forming good habits for self-care in your weekly plan, including sleep, exercise, movement, stress reduction, me time and good nutrition are all essential for mind and body wellness. As we age, we can't "get away with" and recover from late nights, over drinking, or eating carb-laden "beige" meals in the way that we may have been able to as youngsters!

At Fitness Dynamics, we offer a range of classes and programs designed to help you stay fit and healthy at all ages, especially over forty. From low-impact HIIT strength workouts to Pilates and stretching, we have something for everyone. So, pull on your leggings/joggers and join us online or in a class soon!

See you soon, Sam

177 views1 comment

1 comentário

Membro desconhecido
21 de mar. de 2023

A great reminder of what I SHOULD be doing 😊 Thanks for the support as ever Sam!

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