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Healthy Ageing

We believe in the power of nutrition to support healthy aging and promote optimal wellness for women. Our approach is tailored to your individual needs and preferences to help you enjoy a healthy, sustainable lifestyle.

For many, the best cardiovascular exercise is walking, but for others it might be cycling, jogging, a sport like tennis or some combination of activities. Any activity in which your heart rate goes up and stays relatively high for a good amount of time will contribute to aerobic fitness and a higher VO2 max. There is no sugar-coating the fact that you need to do a lot of it. Official guidelines are 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week, or 75 minutes of intense exercise, this should be considered the bare minimum. We suggest aiming for 30 minutes of cardiovascular activity a day, and a commitment to reducing your sitting time. Gradually but surely, your cardiovascular fitness will improve over time.

 

The effect of VO2 max on function in older life is illustrated very well in this chart here.

Healthy Ageing Vo2 Max measurement graph image

Living well in older life starts now, whether you are already there, in mid-life or even earlier. The fitter and healthier you are NOW, the better you will live in older life, whatever that looks like to you. There are gains to be made at every age and at every stage and it is never too late to start.

 

As with all health goals, there’s no magic technique, supplement or amazing new longevity drug to guarantee a healthy older life, just good habits, performed consistently for years and decades. These habits are aimed at building and maintaining a high level of cardiovascular fitness and strength, avoiding chronic disease and minimising your risk of developing cancer.

 

The strongest predictor of function in older age is VO2 max, which is simply a measure of your aerobic fitness. This declines predictably with age and so the higher level you start with, the higher the level in your later years. If you are out of breath climbing some stairs in your 40s, it is going to be a lot harder in your 70s. But at any given age, it remains possible to improve this with training. That training is cardiovascular exercise, in whatever form you are able to keep doing for years. It explains why owning a dog is associated with longer life. The best form of cardiovascular exercise is that one that you enjoy.

Older woman doing a marathon

The strength of your muscles and bones also makes a huge difference to how well you can perform the tasks of daily life in older age. While no less important than aerobic exercise, it doesn’t need to take up so much time. A couple of sessions of strength training per week, that can be done at home or at the gym, alone or with a trainer or a group, using weights or simply your own bodyweight, should be enough for most. And if strength training is your thing, you can do a lot more!

 

Exercise will make a huge difference to the third goal – avoiding chronic disease – simply meeting the official guidelines reduces mortality risk by up to 30% and exceeding the guidelines reduces it even more.

 

After exercise, the most powerful way to reduce chronic disease risk is to maintain a healthy body weight, as a rough guide that means keeping your body mass index (BMI) under 25 kg/m2. This will also reduce cancer risk nearly as much as quitting smoking. We know that this is easier said than done, and if you are someone who has always struggled with body weight, investigating all options, including weight loss medicine and surgery, would be beneficial in reducing disease risk and for your health and physical capabilities in later life.  

 

Beyond body weight, monitoring and addressing specific markers, particularly blood pressure, blood glucose and blood lipids and doing whatever it takes, including medication, to keep these within normal ranges will significantly reduce your chances of being hampered by disease in later life.

Getting Started

Want to talk?

If you're ready to improve your nutrition and overall health but you're not sure where to start, book a free discovery call with us. During this call, we can discuss your needs and goals and help you decide on the best course of action. Don't let the first step hold you back, let's take it together!

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