It’s no secret that our bodies change as we get older — depressing but true. Since there’s no trick to help you stay young forever, arming ourselves with mind/body best practices remains the best preparation for embracing inevitable physical change from an educated standpoint. We’ve tapped five fitness experts (over age 30) to find out which preventive tips you can begin to incorporate into your routine now.
Have an outlet for stress
“Throughout our 20s, there is so much growth, change, excitement and stress. Gentle, calming practices like yoga reduce anxiety, depression, and exhaustion and protect from disease later in life. Adding a restorative and meditative practice to your routine is essential.” Samantha Garrison, Yogala owner.
Don’t slack on strength training
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“One of the hardest things to come to terms with is the slowing of your metabolism. Start strength training now; creating dense muscles to burn more calories during and after your workouts helps to counteract a sluggish metabolism.” Jenn Lacy, Bar Method Silver Lake co-owner.
Put yourself first
“Make yourself a priority no matter how crazy things get with demands from work, school, etc., and set aside a minimum of three hours a week to work out. Start looking at your workout as a reward, not a punishment for overeating or slacking off. Fitness is a lot more fun when you approach it from a healthy, positive state of mind. On days when you feel sluggish or unmotivated, think about the endgame. Will a workout make you feel better or worse? The answer is generally better.” Mary Helen Bowers, Ballet Beautiful founder and CEO
Work on physical balance
“With age, we lose the ability to stay upright and to protect ourselves from falls — something you’re not thinking about in your 20s. Employ a practice at least twice a week that focuses on improving your balance. Balance gives us our ability to stand. Equally, strengthening and lengthening all of the muscles in the body will help the body achieve balancing skills so the body functions easily through everyday activities. Standing balance protects joints and knees from injury; this becomes increasingly important as we get older.” Leslie, White Cloud Pilates West owner
Stretch every day
“Stretching is essential before and after you work out — which you should regularly do. Post-30, gravity isn’t your friend, so it’s important to start incorporating fitness regularly early on. Stretching will warm up the muscles and protect you from becoming sore, post-workout. It should be part of your day, just like waking up, brushing your teeth, and hitting the gym.” Ilana Kugel, Koral Activewear creative director