We’ve seen the rise of #fitspo on Instagram, our news feeds are filled with toned bods, green smoothies, mini gym workouts, and organic, raw, vegan food. But how do we sort the hype from what we really need to keep our bodies in peak condition?
The answer isn't as simple as many want it to be. In fact, we should be doing different things to stay healthy throughout each decade of our lives.
We spoke to cardiologist Dr Ross Walker, who clued us in to what we should be doing more of to reduce the risk of chronic disease and related conditions further down the track as we age.
Exercise is key in this decade, according to Dr Walker. Exercise helps reduce the risk of all forms of vascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and osteoporosis. "At this age, we should be taking advantage of the fact that this is as good as it’s going to get [in terms of your body function]," Dr Walker explained. "It’s up to the age of 30 that the human body is most supple."
What better reason do you need to pound the pavement or work towards conquering a long distance run? The more good habits we develop in this decade, the more likely we are to continue with them in our 30s and beyond.
Quitting your addictions is paramount in your 30s. You may find you’re not recovering from that weekend of binge drinking as well as you did when you were in your 20s. "This is perfectly normal, and a rather unfortunate side effect of ageing," Dr Walked reassured. However, that smoking habit you have? You might find yourself with a persistent cough, not to mention that feeling of being short of breath when playing sport or exercising. Dr Walker strongly suggests cutting addictions out of your life now, to help avoid the devastating health effects.
A key feature of our 40s is the slowing of our metabolism. Our fat storage mechanisms slowly lose the ability to process and distribute fat for fuel, which leads the accumulation of fat in certain areas. For females, this occurs most commonly around the backside and the upper arms. However, dangerous fat accumulates in two main areas, with the belly fat being the worst. According to Dr Walker, belly fat is also an indication of fat in more serious sites, such as vital organs and arteries.
During this decade, we should be focusing on our eating habits. The best advice here is to decrease your food portions, and, if there are deficiencies in your diet, consider a supplement. For example, a daily multivitamin has cumulative health benefits.
Fish oil is particularly helpful as an anti-inflammatory. There is strong scientific evidence that inflammation is a key factor in all modern diseases.
If you find yourself lacking in energy, Ubiquinol is a fantastic way to naturally boost your energy levels without relying on that extra cup of coffee.
50s and beyond
Make sure you get tested! Dr Walker insists people schedule regular appointments for health screenings, and ensure some of the more serious assessments for heart disease and various forms of cancer are taking place. While every case is different, these kinds of diseases are more common among people over 50.