(BPT) – Do you ever wake up and think “Wow, I don’t feel as young as I used to?” It’s a sentiment shared by people of every age group. Fortunately, it doesn’t matter if you’re 20 or 60 – feeling fit and aging well can be a reality with the right mindset and proper exercise and nutrition.
Tavis Piattoly is a sports dietitian, expert nutritionist and co-founder of My Sports Dietitian. He lends his expert insight into how people of three different age groups can feel fit, healthy and happy:
Young adults – up to age 30
Starting a career, getting married, buying a home – these are just a few big life events people in this age category often experience. It also means less time to focus on fitness, and often an increase in unhealthy eating on the go.
Physical activity: Piattoly suggests young adults do what they enjoy most, fitting it in on a regular basis.
“Any form of physical exercise and exertion is beneficial for the cardiovascular system, but adults under 30 usually like sporting events,” he says. “This is the age where former athletes or very active post-graduates are still looking to play a sport for fun.”
Nutrition: “The metabolic rate of this age group is declining, so they can’t live on fast food for breakfast, lunch and dinner like they did in college,” Piattoly says. “It’s time to clean up the diet and make smarter choices such as reducing sugar intake and avoiding fast food as much as possible. Prevention should be the focus.”
Supplements: Piattoly says a multivitamin, Nordic Naturals fish oil and probiotic are a must.
Middle age – 30 to 50
In this age bracket, regular checkups with a physician are important to test for common conditions like high blood pressure. The stress of having children and growing a career can take a toll. Eating out due to lack of time becomes common and can cause weight gain.
Physical activity: Piattoly suggests regular strength training three to five days per week to prevent the progression of muscle loss that begins around age 35.
“For cardiovascular-related exercises, it is important to do what you enjoy as you are more likely to stay motivated and consistent,” he says.
Nutrition: “It’s important to eat smaller more frequent meals throughout the day, such as every three to four hours, and to make sure a source of lean protein is included at every meal and snack,” Piattoly says. “Protein is more thermogenic than fat and carbohydrates, so your body burns more calories when consuming protein.”
Supplements: In addition to all the supplements recommended for the young adult group, Piattoly suggests vitamin D and turmeric extract, a great natural anti-inflammatory agent, for 30 to 50-year-olds.
Boomers – 50 plus
People of this age are concerned with their health and risk for disease due to family history or lifestyle factors from their youth. Additionally, progressive loss of muscle mass and weaker bones increases risk for injury.
Physical activity: Piattoly says regular strength training three to five days per week prevents the progression of muscle loss and maintains good bone strength to prevent falls.
“For cardiovascular-related exercises, it is important to do what you enjoy as you are more likely to stay motivated and consistent,” he says. “You can still participate in cardiovascular-related sports like tennis and basketball. For lower-impact sports that are easier on the joints, I like swimming and cycling.”
Nutrition: “Since the immune system is not as strong as it once was for this age group, a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is key, such as five to 10 servings per day,” Piattoly says. “Protein is also a critical nutrient for the preservation of muscle mass. I usually recommend making a smoothie or shake at least once a day, which can include protein powder, fruit and some veggies.”
Supplements: “For heart and brain health, I’m a big fan of omega-3 fish oil, particularly from Nordic Naturals. They make triglyceride form fish oil, which is the optimal form for absorption,” says Piattoly. “Fish oil also supports joint mobility and healthy immunity.”
Additionally, a vitamin D supplement for bone health and, potentially, calcium for osteoporosis, and creatine to reduce the risk of age-related muscle decline are all worthwhile considerations.