In a youth obsessed culture, true health is often overlooked. Instead of obsessively chasing the fountain of youth, individuals should pursue health. A healthy lifestyle will be far more rewarding than trying to maintain an unrealistic, youthful look.
It can be challenging to know where to begin when pursuing health, as our society’s youth-obsessed culture often overshadows proper knowledge in relation to health. Two areas that are essential when pursuing health are physical health and social health.
Physical health goes far beyond proper diet and exercise. While both exercise and food choices are important, other factors that should be considered are sleep and a robust social network.
Resistance Training. For many individuals, especially women, cardio has been thought to be the best form of exercise, especially if you are trying to keep a trim/slim figure. Our understanding of exercise has missed the mark. Studies show that resistance training has the longest sustaining impact on your health. Not only does it increase your body’s ability to burn fat throughout the day, but it also has a positive impact on bone density. This is especially important for women as they age and become more susceptible to osteoporosis.
If you are new to strength training, it is important that you hire a personal trainer. Trainers are well educated in the best exercise for your age, body, and limitations. They will help to give you a foundation of knowledge so that your form, technique, exercises, and reps are properly executed.
Diet. As you age, your muscle mass decreases up to 8% every 10 years starting at the age of thirty. When you hit 60 years old, the percentage of muscle you lose increases even more. In combination with increased strength training, aging adults should also make a concerted effort to eat more protein. This will actively help to counteract the loss of muscle in the body. It is recommended that adults eat at least 90 grams of protein every day to maintain muscle.
Sleep. Sleep is essential at all stages of life. Some make the false assumption that as you age you need less sleep, but all adults need at least 7-9 hours of sleep every night. It has also been suggested that women may actually need 8-10 hours of sleep every night.
When you sleep is also important. While many individuals keep late hours, this can be detrimental to health. The most vital hours for sleep are between the times of 10pm to 2am. This is when you dump the toxin load from your body, if you are not sleeping at this time, toxins can build up in your liver.
Additional benefits to sleep include proper hormone balance, a decrease in your cortisol (stress) levels, a greater ability to maintain a healthy weight, and also a healthier immune system that is more capable of fighting off the growth of cancer.
Many studies have suggested that a robust social network increases your chances of survival by as much as 50%. This means that the key to longevity is friends. This is perhaps part of the reason why women tend to live longer than men. Among other physiological factors, women tend to build more community around them.
Your lifespan can be significantly impacted by your community, and as such, building community is an essential component of health. Community also positively affects your mental health. An encouraging and uplifting community helps to decrease a person’s anxiety and stress levels, helping to connect them to others and work toward common goals that lift each other up.
In our society where youth is prioritized over health, many individuals will pursue things that can have a detrimental impact on their health. When you instead focus on the right exercise, diet, sleep, and social network, you will find that youth is just a state of mind achieved through living a healthy life.