Health Tips for your 30’s, 40’s, 50’s & 60’s

Peter GaffneyBlog

I am sure you have all heard the statistics about your metabolism slowing down once you reach your 30’s (your ‘metabolism will slow 2-8% per decade after 30 and an average adult will gain one pound per year’ Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics).

What other health and fitness effects occur during the decades after that? In this blog, I discuss the main changes that occur to the body and what you can do to slow down the aging process.

TIPS FOR YOUR
0's

Your 20’s was a decade of freedom and getting away with a lot of unhealthy nutritional habits. You could eat and drink what you wanted and keep a trim looking figure.

Unfortunately, once you hit 30 things change. Probably for the first time, you will lose lean muscle and there will be a decrease in bone density. At this stage the average 30+ should be doing 2 resistance training sessions a week with 100+ minutes of aerobic exercise.

Due to your metabolism (Basal Metabolic Rate) slowing down, you will also need to watch what you eat for the first time and start to really understand calories and the food choices you are making. Research has shown that one needs to decrease calorie intake by, on average, 200kcals (compared to your 20’s). Sleep should be a minimum of six hours and maximum of eight hours at this point in your life.

TIPS FOR YOUR
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Subtle changes are occurring throughout the body. Hearing, bone density and eye sight are all decreasing. Weight is now also creeping up for most people. Career and family obligations are pressing which can often lead to higher levels of stress and anxiety.

Women’s oestrogen levels start to decrease and men will lose bone calcium. Calcium is lost through hair, nails, skin and can not be replaced through the body.

A big shift in your training style needs to occur from aerobic (cardio) to strength (resistance). Focus on full body big compound movements such as squatting, lunging, bench press, deadlifts etc.

In terms of nutrition, calcium can be found in foods such as yogurt, kale, broccoli and cheese. One’s target should be 1000mg a day. If you struggle to eat these foods, then a calcium supplement would be an ideal substitution.

TIPS FOR YOUR
0's

In the 50’s, a lot of men and women find themselves gaining weight excessively around the mid-section which is detrimental to overall health for a variety of reasons; ranging from cardiovascular disease to type 2 diabetes. As a general rule, a man is considered to have excessive belly fat if his waist is over 40 inches and a woman over 36 inches.

Other big health shifts are in the heart, digestion and joints:

Heart

Your heart will begin to beat more slowly and therefore, has to pump blood harder. Blood vessels begin to stiffen which can lead to an increase in blood pressure and other cardiovascular problems.
There are a number of things you can be doing to keep your heart healthy, fit and strong. From a nutritional point of view limit salt intake (salt should not be added to food) and a reduction of saturated fat should also be factored into your diet. Saturated fat generally comes from animal products such as hard cheese and red meat as well as it being present in baked goods such as cakes and pastries etc. As a rule of thumb if the saturated fat total is more than one third of the total fat in a product then don’t buy it!

Digestion

Constipation is also a more common occurrence in your 50’s in comparison to your younger years.
Your nutrition should focus on a higher fibrous diet which can be found in dark green leafy vegetables and whole grains. An increase in water will also help.

Joints

You may find that some of your joints become inflamed and less flexible.

My suggestion would be to focus on longer warm ups and cool downs. Try new disciplines like yoga and pilates to compliment your calorie burning sessions. Omega 3 will also play a part in helping decrease inflammation and these can be found in oily fish e.g salmon and mackerel.

In your 50’s, you may want to think about supplements. My suggestion (once cleared with your doctor) are the following:

  • Vitamin B12 &B6
  • Folic Acid
  • Calcium
  • Vitamin D
  • Omega 3
TIPS FOR YOUR
0's

Your 20’s was a decade of freedom and getting away with a lot of unhealthy nutritional habits. You could eat and drink what you wanted and keep a trim looking figure.

Unfortunately, once you hit 30 things change. Probably for the first time, you will lose lean muscle and there will be a decrease in bone density. At this stage the average 30+ should be doing 2 resistance training sessions a week with 100+ minutes of aerobic exercise.

The good news is that today’s generation is the healthiest generation of 60+ year olds to date. People are more active and are working longer (potentially not through choice).
What health changes occur though?

Brain Health

Brain circuitry starts to slow down which makes it more difficult to access memory.
A diet high in anti-oxidants such as citrus, peppers and chili (all vitamin A and C) can help combat this. Mental stimulation is also of prime importance such as doing puzzles and hand eye coordination sports will help the central nervous system such as tennis, karate etc.

Metabolism

By this point your metabolism is working 15 to 20% slower than it was in your late 20’s. A focus on the amount of lean protein (turkey, chicken and white fish) you eat along with regular strength training can help close this gap.

You should also be aiming to do at least 140mins a week of aerobic activity to help prevent a sedentary lifestyle. Disciplines such as yoga can also be beneficial at this stage in your life to help reduce anxiety and blood pressure.

Conclusion

Whatever stage of life you are in, I think the critical focus needs to be how can you provide your body with energy, vitality and longevity? Understand that you cannot get away with what you once ate and know that through carefully planned exercise, training and nutritional guidance you can feel fit, strong and most importantly, healthy.

Success in fitness,

Pete

Peter Gaffney

Peter has had fitness running through his veins his whole life. Having grown up in sunny Australia, sport was instilled from a very young age. Now living and owning a personal training company in London Peter combines his love of fitness with his proven methods to get client results every time.

Peter has had fitness running through his veins his whole life. Having grown up in sunny Australia, sport was instilled from a very young age. Now living and owning a personal training company in London Peter combines his love of fitness with his proven methods to get client results every time.