One of the most common comments I received after my P90X transformation was that I looked 10 years younger.
While looking at a picture of my 28th birthday along side my 31st birthday, I was amazed to see how true those comments were! (I’ll show the picture later in the post.)
In fact, I just celebrated my 34th birthday and a new acquaintance made a joke about how old I might be asking if it was my 22nd or 23rd birthday. Of course I went along with the joke and said it was my 21st, even though my kids are 9 and 7 years old. LOL!
When I admitted that it was my 34th birthday his jaw fell on the floor. In truth, he thought it might have been my 27th or 28th. #totallyflattered
Now. I talked about the secret sexy weapon for women before, but I think it’s definitely worth re-visiting in more detail.
Forget about the latest anti-wrinkle creams and liposuction — MUSCLE is what makes you look younger and age more slowly. Let’s talk about why and how you can put this to work for you.
Facts About Aging
Across the board for both sexes, it is scientifically proven that around the age of 40 your body begins to age faster. #notcool
I don’t know about you, but I can’t think of ever hearing anyone saying, “I sure do wish I would age a little bit FASTER.” Have you? No?
That’s because NOBODY says that! (Well, except maybe teenagers…) But without the proper nutrients and exercise, your body will age 6 MONTHS EXTRA for every year that passes.
So to put that into perspective, let’s say you’re 40 now, by the time you reach age 44 you will LOOK and FEEL like you’re 46 IF you aren’t getting the proper nutrients and doing the right exercises. #yikes
Here’s another alarming aging fact – 90% of people over the age 35 lose enough muscle each year to burn off 4 pounds of body fat. This not only affects your shape, tone and strength but you will GAIN more fat every year even if your calories stay the same.
Errrrrr…….PUT. ON. THE. BRAKES!
Let’s STOP this process!
All of the things I just shared with you are totally reversible. You DON’T HAVE to just “let life happen” to you. You can take control of your aging and make a difference by being intentional with the way you eat and the exercises you do.
How awesome will it be to age only six months for every year that passes? HELLO. You will be proud to celebrate your birthdays because you are getting BETTER with age rather than declining in health and looking older.
How do we do this? There are 5 no-no’s I want to share with you.
WARNING: Read this with an OPEN MIND because it may go against what you’ve seen, heard or read.
I know, I know you’re already questioning this and I get it. So many diets these days are all about keeping it low-fat. Honestly, it seems to make sense: If you don’t want to gain fat, stay away from fat.
HOWEVER, not all fats are bad!! Your body NEEDS healthy fats to regenerate your vital hormones and maintain your organs.
Here are just a few reasons that having a healthy fat intake is GOOD: For us women, having a higher fat intake will help keep our hormones more balanced and regulated.
Women who follow a low-fat diet often finds themselves sick more often and looking more gaunt and ghostly.
Also, 60% of our brain is fat! All those omegas and essential fats help ensure that our brains stay healthy and that we don’t develop neurological disorders.
So for a more vibrant, healthy glow eat your healthy fats, but remember to always do so in moderation.
Check out this infographic for more fat facts and suggestions of fats to eat.
<Click the “FAT” picture to zoom in and read it.>
I will be the FIRST to admit that I LOVE cardio-type exercises — dancing, MMA, athletic agility exercises — LOVE THAT STUFF. But I have noticed that when I’m just doing a lot of cardio and get away from regularly doing resistance training, my body doesn’t change much.
It is great for lifting your spirits and improving your cardio endurance, but it does nothing to really change the shape and tone of your body. If anything, too much sustained cardio can make you lose more defined muscle tone. #runningyourassoff Literally.
In addition, I was shocked to learn recently that rather than reversing the aging process, too much cardio can actually ACCELERATE it by increasing free radicals that will eat away at your essential nutrients and tissues.
We’ll talk a little more about the alternatives later in the post. Let’s move on to the third no-no for now.
No-No #3: Using Your Age As An Excuse
So often I hear both women and men alike blame their physical shape on their age. But the truth is, the reason they are in the physical shape they are, is because they chose to believe they were too old to maintain a healthy physique and quit trying.
Earlier in the post I referred to a picture from my 28th birthday side by side with my 30th…here it is. Take a gander.
Suppose I had just not even tried because, “What’s the use? I’m just getting old and this is what happens when you get older. It just runs in my family.”
Among many other things, my kids would have missed out on so much had I just decided to give up. My 9 year old and I have run 5K’s together. I get outside and play baseball with them, tag, you name it! If I want to do it, I CAN!
There are scientific studies that show men/women in their 90’s are still capable of gaining muscle mass with resistance training.
Therefore, there is NEVER a time to GIVE UP on yourself!
There may be naysayers who think you are nuts…..fuggeddabout it. Don’t listen to them.
Instead, surround yourself with positive people who do believe that it’s worth taking care of yourself for the rest of your life. I have been so blessed with an amazing support system with my Beachbody family — coaches and clients. We all support and encourage each other to strive for growth in every aspect of life. ALWAYS.
If you don’t have that and want to be a part of our support system you are more than welcome. You can set up a free account here.
No-No #4: Dehydration
DRINK YOUR WATER, PEOPLE! It’s such a small, but vastly important thing.
Water does SO many good things for your body, like:
- Burn fat #yesplease
- Suppress hunger #i’lltakeit
- Renews your skin to give you a vibrant, healthy glow #boomshakalaka
Just simply drinking 12 ounces of water a day will take a few years off of your face in just a matter of weeks. I do recommend that you drink more water than that every day (I aim for half my body weight) but start there and work your way up if necessary.
Being dehydrated causes your kidneys to have to work harder and causes your liver to have to take over. With your liver being the #1 FAT BURNING organ in your body, I’d guess that you’d rather have it working on burning fat than having to do the work of your kidneys because you didn’t drink enough water.
Have I sufficiently beaten that horse? 😉
Let’s get to the final no-no.
Ahem. I have definitely been guilty of this one. As I mentioned in No-No #3, I have been known to WAY OVERDO the cardio.
And even with throwing in a little resistance training from time to time, now knowing that too much cardio increases free radicals, it’s no wonder I wasn’t seeing any real changes in muscle tone or growth. Or fat burning for that matter.
Strength or resistance training — you will hear it stated both ways but they are one and the same — is a MUST if you want to really reverse the aging process.
Resistance training works to increase muscle strength and endurance by doing repetitive exercises with body weight, actual weights, weight machines or resistance bands. And remember the facts we talked about earlier — 90% of people over the age 35 lose enough muscle each year to burn off 4 pounds of body fat?
This is why it is a MUST!
If you’re not sure what to do or how to do resistance exercises, checkout this infographic for a list of strength-based home workout programs. I’d love to be your free coach and support you as you do these programs in your home.
You don’t need a gym to get ripped and be in the best shape of your life. All you need is commitment and some floor (and possibly doorway) space.
Let’s Wrap This Up
We’ve gone over the no-nos, and I hope this has helped shed some light on areas where you can start making changes today.
Remember: Knowledge is power. Don’t let yourself become a victim of excuses or being uninformed.
Tap that information super highway for motivation and inspiration. Just remember to always consider the source when it comes to fitness tips.
As important as it is to be active, it’s equally essential that you practice good form. If you have any questions along the way in your quest toward becoming your best self, remember that I’m here if you need me.
For now, I’ll leave you with this last bit of fitspiration: