Aging --- isn't it fun? Our bodies are constantly going through changes and, as we age, your priorities must shift to be appropriate for where you are in the aging journey. More importantly, your margin of error gets smaller as each year passes.
Now, I'm not going to stop you from training hard well into your thirties, forties, fifties, and beyond. Quite the opposite, actually. I work with clients in all age groups on a daily basis. While I wouldn't consider being in your thirties as being old by a long shot, it's no secret that your mid-thirties is the beginning of a shift away from your impervious youth.
It's vital that you understand a few things about setting and achieving nutrition and fitness goals as you get older. Be honest with yourself regarding where you are NOW, set your focus on maintaining optimal health, and realize that you can't deviate much from your regimen.
YOU AREN'T 18 ANYMORE
I hear it all the time:
"I used to have abs."
"I could lift twice this much in high school."
"I used to be able to eat whatever I wanted."
Well, guess what? Those days are gone. Let's own up to where we currently are in our lifetime and how your lifestyle has changed since you were a care-free spring chicken. As you get further into adulthood, you add stress, reduce physical activity, and occupy a lot of your time doing things that may take away from your pursuit of optimal health. Be realistic about what is happening in your life right now and don't put so much pressure on yourself to keep up with the barely-legal you.
FOCUS ON HEALTH
Besides the minority of those that are focused on competitive sports, the goal for most of us should be health. Always have goals that keep you pushing forward, but be patient in achieving them. Good nutrition and fitness will keep everyone feeling younger, but avoiding and preventing injury should be a priority.
You'd love to show up that know-it-all 21 year old kid that's working out next to you, wouldn't you? Is it worth getting hurt and spending the next 9 weeks hobbling around, not achieving your goals? Hell no it's not.
Warm-up and cool down properly around workouts. Find a good flexibility routine (ROMWOD.com?!). Don't push through physical pain. Focus on sustaining a decent level of lean muscle mass.
STAY IN YOUR LANE
Most importantly, our margin of error becomes slimmer as we get older. This means that your favorite cheat meal sticks around your mid-section a little longer. The weight increase on your deadlift requires the use of some fractional plates, rather than the 10 pounders. That nagging ankle problem is taking longer to heal.
You simply can't get away with drinking a six-pack of beer during the weekend anymore if a six-pack of abs is what you really want. Ask yourself if the temporary pleasure you are seeking is worth the prolonged displeasure of being further from your overall objective.
Especially for those of you who do not have a long history of weight training and solid nutritional habits, be extra-determined when sticking to a plan. You can absolutely continue to crush your goals. It just takes a stricter approach.
And if you are just now getting into the fitness and health game, it's never too late to get started. Find a physical activity you love or try us out for a free week to work with experienced coaches. Whatever it is, keep your mind young and your body active.