Want To Stay Fit For Life? Do These 5 Things Now!

Fitness not only improves your health, it can improve your longevity. It can make you feel amazing well into old age. Here are 5 tips from industry leaders that you can start doing now to stay fit as a fiddle in your later years. Sounds like a good plan, no? Let's get to it:

1. Sleep more -- or sleep better, at least.

Our lives get busy and complicated. There are not enough hours in a day to do most of what we need to get done so what do we do? We cut into our sleep time. There are lots of reasons sleep can be difficult (including hormones as we age) but its importance cannot be ignored. Along with helping your metabolism function optimally, sleep aides in healing and recovery which makes you better able to tackle your physical activities the next day. Try some blackout curtains, lowering the temperature in your room (between 68 and 2 degrees Fahrenheit) to help you sleep better. Adding a calming pre sleep routine can't hurt either -- calm your mind and your body.

2. Stop beating yourself up.

Mike Boyle, CSCS, owner of Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning in Woburn, Massachusetts, says to think of your body as a rope. “If you rub a rope over a rock and watch fibers fray and fray, one day you’ll look at it and realize you’re almost out of rope." This is what happens in our bodies when we do nothing but intense exercise. We aren't suggesting you avoid it, but be smart about it. “When you’re doing things right, your muscles are sore and your joints aren’t,” Boyle says. “When you’re doing things wrong, both are sore.”

3. Move everyday.

In areas of the world with the longest life expectancy, one thing is common: people move consistently. It is a good idea to get your body moving in a full range of motion every single day. It is the move it or lose it principle. You don't necessarily need to do a workout everyday but move. Go for a walk. Work the garden. Play with the dog. Whatever it is, just move.

4. Invest in your health.

Boyle suggests we shift our mindset and consider our health related purchases as necessities and not indulgences. Being out of shape or obese will cost you more down the line. Think of medical expenses alone! Wouldn't you rather spend that money on something else? Maybe your budget won't allow for a gym membership, but you can probably afford a pair of runners. Work within your means to give yourself the tools you need to take care of yourself.

5. Make small, progressive diet changes.

Bad nutrition habits can be hard to break so start small and don't get down on yourself if you aren't perfect out the gate. Start by eating more fruits and vegetables. It is that simple. We have a habit of making the protein the star of the plate but if you shift that a little, you will notice a big difference. Add greens to a smoothie if you are having a difficult time hitting your numbers. The more you do it, the easier it will become. The habits are worth breaking. What habits are you creating to stay healthy down the road? Share your thoughts with us!

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