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10 commandments of keeping a healthy weight when we're older

Sydney-based fitness writer Michael Jarosky recently wrote an article for the boot camp set using the 10 commandments idea. I’ve stolen it and rejigged it for middle-aged and older women.

One: Thou shalt not commit gluttony

In an environment where we’re all surrounded by food and images of food, anyone of any age can easily find themselves overeating. 

If that applies to you, identify where you need to intervene — for example, do you need to quit the mindless snacking, cut back on doing coffee and cake, or focus your meals on protein, fibre and good fat?

Two: Thou shalt drink more water

Our minds might be seduced by all sorts of drinks, but our bodies prefer water.

As the weather warms up it’s timely to remind ourselves that when we feel hungry between meals, the smartest thing to do is drink a glass or two of water rather than automatically reaching for food.

It’s a great way to reduce our caloric intake, and water benefits so many other aspects of our health (e.g. see the post on healthy urinary tracts).

Three: Thou shalt exercise five times per week

That’s the national recommendation for adults.

When we’re younger it’s common to think of physical activity as just a way to burn calories. As we get older we need to recognise it as a wonder treatment for our heart, brain, bones and metabolism. 

And if five times is too much of a stretch, start with three. 

Four: Thou shalt not use excuses in vain

Enough said.

Five: Though shalt rest

Sleep’s critical. Bodies need time to rest and repair. And when we’re over-tired we’re not good at being active or making smart dietary choices.

Six: Thou shalt cut the BS

See number four. Some of us need to confront the fact that we drink too much and stop pretending otherwise. Ditto the nightly desserts or unhealthy snacks.

And some of us need to recognise that we’re more committed to people pleasing than taking a stand for our own health. We can’t make changes if we’re not being honest about what needs to change.

Seven: Thou shalt maintain commitment

Good habits don’t yield results overnight. But when days turn into weeks, and weeks turn into months and years, lives change. Today though all we need to focus on is… today.

Eight: Thou shalt honour thy fibre intake

Vegies, fruit, wholegrains, nuts, legumes. Chewed well. Amen.

Nine: Thou shalt not honour false pathways

Forget quick fixes. Good daily habits — unprocessed food, water, regular activity, plenty of sleep, and learning to reduce or manage stress — are the key. 

Ten: Thou shalt stay inspired

OK, much of the time you mightn’t feel inspired. Inspiration doesn’t naturally hit like a lightning bolt very often. But being healthy isn’t about how you feel; it’s about what you do. Importantly, it’s about what you do even when you don’t feel like it.

It’s up to us to create a future that inspires us, whether it’s about who we want to be for our grandkids or what we want to do with the one precious life we get. You’re the author. Make it worth being healthy for.

Photo Source: Bigstock 

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Sunday, October 28, 2018 | Rhonda Anderson