We are living longer but are we ageing well? That is the question my guest, Peta Gillian, CEO of Strong Healthy Women is asking today. Peta has been a regular guest contributor and I recently attended one of her quarterly Ageless Confidence Events. I wrote about the event in a recent post Ageless Confidence.
At the event, Peta talked about the 5 Pillars of Ageing Well and I asked her to share her thoughts as part of the Ageing Well in August series. Peta encourages Women Over 50 to be active and healthy through her Strong and Healthy Wellness Programs and you can connect with Peta through her website and social media links below.
The 5 Pillars of Ageing Well
We hit midlife and those preventable health diseases like heart disease, some cancers, type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, cholesterol and cognitive problems start to show up in our lives. That’s a lot to think about, right?
The great news is that “it’s never too late to make changes to our lifestyle, no matter how old you are”.
What’s even more interesting is that we’re born to age. Ageing well is different to living healthy. In my opinion aging well is when we say to ourselves “this is the second part of my life and I’m taking control of my choices”. It’s about taking action that effects not just life now, but life in the future and the choices available. It’s about embracing the life we have and using the lessons we’ve learnt and continue to learn.
I read a study recently about the common threads of “100+ year old’s” and although not called the same, these commonalities are closely linked to our 5 Daily Practice Ageless Confidence Success Series.
The first cornerstone is MOVE.
You’ll find information about moderate exercise for 30 minutes a day or walk 10,000 steps, which is all great advice. We take a different approach to MOVE. Track the amount of time you sit for. You might be really surprised by how long this actually is. Make a commitment to yourself to stand more and move more frequency. And yes… for sure add in walking and a specific strength, balance and flexibility program for reversing the effects of ageing.
The bonus is when you move more, you start to reduce the risk of those preventable health diseases we talked about earlier.
When we talk EAT, this is not just about food, it includes the amount of water, alcohol and sugary drinks that are consumed.
And just like MOVE, there’s a bonus, you start to reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
When it comes to eating, stick with the basics (protein, healthy fats and carbs), eat real foods including fruit and veggies and limit processed foods. Most importantly, it’s about variety. Different foods from the colour wheel and mixing it up, so your body and mind continues to respond.
Never think of what you’re eating as a diet, it just doesn’t last. It’s about making lifestyle choices. Sure, you might choose to get help and guidance with eating plans if you want to lose weight, but always think about the long-haul. What can you sustain?
Remember that it’s about being healthy from the inside/out and knowing what your numbers.
Live’s my personal favourite, it’s about choosing how you start your day. How you start the day has a roll-on effect to the rest of the day. Choose a positive framework, happiness and thankfulness.
When you engage in “the 3-minute morning practice” it helps create healthier behaviours. You relax your muscles and help reduce stress. It’s like a morning detox for the mind and body. When you take the time for concentrated breathing you feel calm, less stressed, and your energy increases. Your set up and ready to roll with whatever comes your way.
I read that when you feel socially isolated it’s like smoking 15 cigarettes a day and we all know that smoking is not good for our health. There is some evidence that suggests that being lonely increases the stress hormone cortisol that not only increases the risk of heart disease but brain disease and possible premature death.
As humans we crave and need contact with others. We need those people who believe in us, are there for us, have fun with and add joy to our lives. It’s about feeling socially connected, loved, valued and cared for. We need to be seen, heard and appreciated.
Not just that, I believe that Connect has 3 components – YOU, NATURE and OTHERS. Not only is it important that we have social connections, but, that we also take time to connect with ourselves and be still to recharge our batteries and there is no better way to do that, then in nature.
Rest is about recharging. Time out to recover when we’ve been sick or completed a hard workout. It’s about finding a Wind-down routine that works for us and then getting the right amount of sleep to reenergise and restore.
What I’ve found over the years of working with women is that once menopause hits, for many of us the sleep routine is interrupted and getting back to a good night’s sleep can be really difficult. That is why the wind-down is critical. Allowing our body and mind to relax, time for our food to digest and having the ideal environment are all key components.
Quality rest helps protect our mental and physical health, the quality of life and most important our safety. When our sleep is compromised so too is our ability to react.
Here’s to living and ageing well. xo Peta
Peta is the creator of FITFlex (a fitness and flexibility program for women 50+), FastFIT and Fuelled Up and launched Ageless Confidence in 2018 from her desire to give back to the community and help women no matter what stage of life to “believe they can, and they do”.
She started her own well-being journey after watching the effects of preventable disease on the women in her family. She faced a health issue of her own in her 40’s. And then menopause hit her like a tonne of bricks, which started the process of research and finding her way through strategies that completely transformed her health and has since taught these same strategies to thousands of other women.
Peta loves skiing, hiking, travelling, staying active and loves reading to learn and grow.
Peta Gillian is a qualified fitness and lifestyle professional with 14 years’ experience working with women. Featured in Prevention Magazine, a regular on the Fit N Fifty Plus Podcast Show and a Finalist in the Australian Fitness Industry Awards, Peta is passionate about helping women 50+ to remain fit, healthy and mobile throughout their lives.