Health and fitness mistakes in old age

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Photo: Source: Shutterstock.

We’ve been told physical exercise and healthy eating may improve longevity and the quality of life, but older people engaging in healthier lifestyles have been warned to ‘be careful’.

Britain’s New Age magazine lists some of the top diet and fitness mistakes to avoid in order to help you ‘age well’.

Fitness and ageing mistake #1: Over-indulging in desserts. The process by which sugar is broken down damages collagen which helps in keeping the skin smooth and firm. Experts recommend eating low-glyecmic carbohydrates, such as whole grains that are naturally low in sugar, thus limiting the loss of collagen.

Fitness and ageing mistake #2: You completely avoid fat, carbs and calories. When you consume an unbalanced diet, your nails, skin and hair may suffer. A diet that is devoid of calories from fats can have a derogatory impact on cell division, cell regeneration and can also play havoc with your skin texture and tone. The ageing body reportedly needs fatty acids which the body cannot produce on its own and are used to maintain hydration. A part of the brain's building blocks, foods such as fish, whole grains, cereals and oils, may also help in preventing memory loss.

Fitness and ageing mistake #3: You completely miss out on essential nutrient intake. You tend to avoid magnesium and copper intake, which is reportedly important in maintaining joint cartilage and flexibility. These nutrients, as well as other essential micro and macro nutrients, help in eliminating pain and may assist in strengthening joints which is needed in old age. Eat foods such as nuts, spinach and dense lean protein.

Fitness and ageing mistake #4: You don't follow a strength training routine. An average 30-year-old can expect to lose about 25% muscle mass and strength by the age of 70 years and another 25% at 90 years. Decline in strength can easily be regained by older adults by performing strength training. Strength training works well for most adults as the loss in muscle mass in old age affects the body in more ways than one.

If your muscles are stronger then they can ‘pluck’ much better nutrients and oxygen from your blood and any kind of activity will put less pressure on your heart.

Fitness and ageing mistake #5: You don't give your body a break. If your exercise routine is very intense, you need rest days in order to avoid overuse and muscle injury. It is important to plan your exercise routine well. If there is no balance between breakdown and recovery, then your muscle might be in a chronic state of inflammation.

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