Most people don’t give middle age health much thought, but did you know that making healthy decisions now can help to protect your body in the future?
The 40s and 50s are on the way, whether you like it or not. It will also be a surprise for some people. Why? Because now is the exact time that all of our less-than-ideal decisions may come back to haunt us. You are aware of things like a few (hundred) late nights, ongoing stress, your former love of adrenaline-inducing activities, and even the fact that on some weeks, chocolate is essentially your best friend.
Fortunately, not everyone will experience aching joints, a chronic illness, or even worse things as they age. However, it is true that as you approach middle age, your past decisions start to catch up with you. By making a few minor lifestyle adjustments now, you can spend that time living your best life rather than having to deal with poor mobility or worse.
What Does “future Proof” Mean?
The concept of becoming “future proof” in terms of our bodies’ long-term health is currently gaining some traction. The fundamental tenet is that the choices and deeds we take today can promote the long-term growth of our bodies. Consider it a way to avoid falling behind the times.
Living your best, healthiest life now is the best way to prepare for the future, as opposed to making a sudden 180-degree turn if we receive a dreadful diagnosis or a chronic illness.
So how can your body be prepared for the future? Here are 9 ways to show your body the daily care it deserves in order to stay healthy going forward.
The Benefits Of Future-proofing Your Body
It goes without saying that maintaining good health—whether it be physical or mental health—means you’ll be feeling better. In the short term, taking care of your muscles and joints will make you move better and more effectively on a daily basis, lowering your risk of pain and injury. Long-term, you’ll shield your muscles and joints from needless wear and tear, assisting in preventing irreversible harm, says Dr. Pham.
Future-proofing your body will also help you improve your body awareness, ensuring that you’re moving correctly throughout the day and avoiding bad habits (like slouching or disengaging your core), both of which will help you avoid pain and injury.
How To Future-proof Your Body
You can begin future-proofing your body without purchasing expensive equipment or special workout gear. For maximum gain, Dr. Pham advises establishing a daily routine to combat the negative effects of being more sedentary than in the past.
“As little as five to 10 minutes a day can make a huge difference in how well you walk, run, and carry yourself in the yoga studio or gym,” says Dr. Pham. He recommends focusing on the following exercises:
- Neck strengthening moves like controlled head circles and chin tucks
- Mid-back rotations like side-lying spinal twists
- Hinging movements—like bodyweight deadlifts and glute bridges—for the posterior chain (your low back, glutes, and hamstrings)
- Dynamic hip flexor stretches like kneeling lunges
Along with performing these exercises, Dr. Pham emphasizes the significance of collaborating with skilled healthcare professionals to support, mentor, and advance you through an individual movement routine.
“Working with these whole-body movements and surrounding yourself with the right team of healthcare professionals can generally help protect you from the negative effects of prolonged sitting and the general tension that you build up from regular exercises like walking, running, and strength training.”
Dr. Pham wants daily exercise routines to be as commonplace as tooth brushing. Are you prepared to begin your own future-proofing plan? Follow along with this 11-minute mobility routine:
9 Ways You Can Start Future-proofing Your Body Now
1. Eat Whole
At first, it appears to be very simple. But every healthy body is built on a solid foundation of food. A healthy immune system and a well-functioning body are built on a foundation of eating a variety of whole foods. Get rid of processed foods, beverages, and sugary snacks instead, and whenever possible, choose foods and beverages that are closer to their natural state.
2. Make Sleep A Priority
Our bodies begin repairing, restoring, and recharging our systems while we sleep so that we awaken feeling energized and prepared for the day. While you sleep, more complex processes, such as quicker toxin removal in the brain, take place. Your appetite hormones are regulated, your cardiovascular system gets much-needed rest, and more.
3. Water Yourself
If you’re one of those people who frequently falls short of your water consumption goals, take heart in the fact that you’re not the only one. The good news is that any amount of alcohol is preferable to none, even if you don’t consume the recommended 6 to 8 glasses per day.
Invest in the most beautiful water bottle you can find for yourself, and keep it nearby. Once you get used to the sensation of being hydrated, you’ll find that you automatically reach for your water bottle and are aware of the symptoms of dehydration, such as fatigue, stiffness, and even hunger (which is frequently thirst in disguise).
4. Exercise Daily
The loss of muscle mass that takes place as we age affects our posture, spinal health, and a number of other factors. The decline is slowed by regular exercise. Combine it with the understanding that regular exercise supports mental health, and you have a potent combination.
No matter how busy you are, schedule daily exercise. Go for a walk, run, bike ride, or spin class during a time that is designated exclusively for YOU. The only thing that matters is that you do it; how you do it is irrelevant.
5. Work In Hourly “movement Breaks”
Our numerous devices certainly make life easier, but they also encourage a LOT of sitting. Our poor body is merely on standby while we type, scroll, like, shop, and text. Our bodies were made to MOVE, and many businesses now understand that office workers’ poor health is a result of spending hours a day sat down in a chair.
Therefore, even if you are under a lot of pressure, make sure to set a timer (or use a fitness device that can send you reminders) to get up and exercise every day. Stretch or go for a quick block walk before beginning another section of work.
6. Yoga For The Win
It makes sense why the ancient practice of yoga is frequently credited with lowering stress and anxiety (and even bodily inflammation). Stretching and deep breathing exercises keep our bodies’ fluids flowing and muscles flexible. Mental health is enhanced by mind-calming practices.
7. Get Schooled On Gut Health
There is mounting evidence that our gut health affects our general health in a variety of ways. Taking good care of your gut, including addressing issues like leaky gut, benefits your entire body. A variety of supplements, including probiotics and collagen powder, may also be used; they can be helpful.
8. Plan For A Digital Detox
It’s not that we don’t love our gadgets; it’s just that the constant barrage of buzzes, alarms, vibrations, and messages is making us less relaxed. People check their phones 85 times per day on average, according to a 2015 survey. You can significantly improve your body’s overall physical health now and in the future by taking a full break each day to help relieve stress.
9. Break The Bad Habits
Being a human, having one or two bad habits is normal. However, if you consume excessive amounts of coffee, smoke, or consume more than one or two alcoholic beverages per week, it’s best to stop as soon as possible. Studies show that once you stop smoking, your body starts to repair the damage it has done, and this process continues for months or years. Therefore, take action now to ensure that you won’t have these behaviors into your later years rather than wasting time feeling guilty about them (everyone has them).