Playing the Long Game

published6 days ago
3 min read

Most people think of joint pain as something that holds them back or causes them to fall off track with their workouts.

You know the drill … achy lower back, cranky knees, ticked off shoulders …

But it isn’t just orthopedic stuff that can get in the way. It turns out there are some key biomarkers that tend to either flare up or diminish as we exercise, and not being aware of them could compromise our longevity.

Here are some of the red flags, and what to do about them:

Oxidative Stress: This is when the body becomes overwhelmed with free radicals, or unstable molecules that can result in cellular damage and accelerate the aging process.

What To Do: Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables (antioxidants), and incorporate proper rest and recovery days so you’re not overdoing it with your training.

Blood Glucose: Proper blood sugar regulation is imperative for overall health and longevity. A poor diet, stress and lack of sleep can impair the body’s ability to regulate glucose levels.

What To Do: Eat balanced meals and snacks throughout the day, like blueberries (loaded with flavonoids, which have been linked to better brain health with aging). Also, combining your berries with a protein source like meat or cheese can help keep blood sugar levels in check.

Vitamin D: Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that promotes healthy aging by promoting calcium absorption (bone health) and also helps regulate the nervous system and boost immunity. Vitamin D deficiency can leave us more susceptible to stress fractures and can cause poor sleep.

What To Do: Eat plenty of foods rich in vitamin D, such as salmon, egg yolks, fortified dairy products, swordfish and cheese. Think about supplementing with Vitamin D, especially in the winter months when we’re getting less exposure to the sun.

Cortisol: This is your body’s stress hormone, and it can become elevated from unhealthy stress management, inadequate sleep, overtraining and lack of recovery.

What To Do: Sleep at least 7 hours per night – preferably more, but start there – and engage in healthy stress-relieving practices (like yoga or meditation).

Magnesium: This mineral assists with healthy blood pressure and blood sugar levels, boosts the immune system, and assists with muscle contractions (think weight training). Adequate magnesium levels contribute to improved sleep quality, mood and recovery from strenuous activities, and levels decrease as we age.

What To Do: Eat plenty of magnesium-rich foods, such as salmon, pumpkin seeds, and beans.

You see, it isn’t just achy joints that can set us back in our pursuit of heath and fitness as we age. Stress, diet and sleep play a critical role in our overall health and longevity.

Colin

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3. Free Exercise As Medicine Workshop REPLAY: Balance

Falls are the most common cause of serious injuries in older adults. Balance issues tend to start after 40 with the loss of strength but don’t worry there are few things you can do about it.

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If you’re feeling frustrated or stuck when it comes to your fitness progress, let’s chat. Sometimes it just takes an outside perspective to find simple fixes that will get you back on track.

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