Sunday, 01 August 2021

F Faith and Fitness

Nobody Ages Backward

Nobody ages backward.

Now that we have that unpleasant fact out of the way, let's get to some good news: You don't need to be a genetically blessed model or have a plastic surgeon on speed dial to keep your body in remarkable shape. Instead, just dive into the closest thing we have to a fountain of youth: fitness.

With the right workout strategy, one targeted for your age and physiology, you can fight back against the inevitable slowdown, build muscle and keep your weight in a happy place. Whether you're blowing out the candles on your 30th-birthday cake or planning a big 5-0 bash, follow our decade-by-decade game plan, based on advice from scientists, nutritionists and fitness pros, to get the body you want right now.

In your 30s.....                                

What's happening: You are still close to peak potential for being in incredible shape.  But your body is in the early stages of rebellion.  Starting in their 30s and early 40s, women lose about 5 pounds of muscle in every decade.  That's a body bummer, since the more muscle tone you have, the leaner you look (because muscle is more compact than fat) and the more calories you burn at rest (because it takes more energy to maintain muscle than fat). But the good news is, it's in your control!  Exercising is the key!

Fitness game plan: It's essential to stay at your ideal weight during this decade to set yourself up for success later, when biology makes it more challenging. That means cardio is key.  You can  get good results from 30 to 40 minutes of whatever heart-pumping exercise you like four or five times a week.  Mix in muscle-building exercises to jack up your metabolism even further and tone up: Do as many reps as you can of a strength move (say, push-ups or lunges) for one minute. Follow that up with two minutes on a bike at a challenging pace. Continue alternating, varying the strength move each time, for 15 minutes.

Nutrition game plan: To lose weight at this age, a moderately active 5-foot-5, 150-pound woman should consume around 1,500 calories a day (but no fewer!).  That can lead to a loss of 5 pounds in about 5 weeks, 10 pounds in about 10 weeks and 15 pounds in about 15 weeks.

The secret to regulating your hunger hormones and making chip binges less likely, is eating on a regular schedule. That means having breakfast within an hour of waking up and spacing remaining meals three to five hours apart.

Also, make sure you're getting 1,000 milligrams of calcium a day: The mineral is needed to help muscles contract and maintain strong bones. By the middle of this decade, what you have in your "bone bank" is what you have for life, but you can build and maintain it.  Good calcium sources include yogurt, salmon,  almonds and leafy greens such as kale and spinach.

In your 40s.....

What's happening: Thanks in part to hormonal fluctuations, your metabolism starts to sputter as you head into menopause, causing weight gain. If you skip out on strength training, you'll likely lose another 5% of your muscle mass.

But (deep breath!) these are just "ifs" and general rules. In fact, the average age of female participants in the Ironman World Championship is 41.

Fitness game plan: While you need to continue with your cardio, strength training, any exercise that puts progressively greater force on your muscle and bone, is more important than ever for keeping muscle mass and bone density at their peak and fending off unwanted pounds. Think about gradually working up to heavier dumbbells or adding more reps of push-ups. The key to a better metabolism is breakdown and repair of muscles.  Strength training builds muscle mass and bone density.

Nutrition game plan: Don't cut your calories any further. But do aim for balance in your meals by focusing on foods rich in good carbohydrates (like fruit and whole grains), lean protein (fish, yogurt and beans) and healthy fat (avocado, nuts and olive oil). The carbs will give you the fuel you need to stay energized all day, while the protein and fat will help you heal and maintain the muscle that's so crucial to maximizing your metabolism in your 40s.

In your 50s....

What's happening: As you go through menopause, your estrogen production declines, accelerating bone loss. This is why you can expect up to a 30% decline in bone mass in your 50's if you skip exercise, setting you up for osteoporosis. Lack of estrogen has also been linked to weight gain, especially around the abdomen. Then again, there are ways to maintain your fit body.

Fitness game plan: Turn to a combination of regular walking, strength training and stretching to keep yourself lean, strong and safe, since in the next couple of decades, balance issues can lead to injuries.

Yoga is a great addition to your routine if you're not already into it.  People between the ages of 45 and 55 who did yoga at least once a week for four or more years gained about 3 fewer pounds than people who didn't.

Nutrition game plan: You should keep aiming for that 1,500-a-day calorie count, and make sure you're eating enough protein. By the time you reach 50, you don't process it as well as you did in previous decades.  So you have to exceed the recommended daily amount of 46 grams.

I have a very diverse group of clients.  They range in age from 12 to 80!  Each decade has their own set of needs and I have learned to train accordingly.  My oldest client, Dewey Shirah, just turned 80 years old!  He has been training with me at my gym 3 days a week for hour long sessions for almost a year! He has been consistent and dedicated.  Of course, I modify the workout routines to accommodate him in the workouts.  He exercises in a group with other people of various ages. I modify the workout for each person on their  level.  Mr. Shirah amazes all those that workout with him with his strength and endurance!  He takes his health and fitness seriously and it shows!  He has always taken his health and fitness seriously.  This is the reason why he is 80 years old and doing very hard and intense workouts!  The way we treat our bodies when we are in our 20's, 30's, 40's sets the stage for our health and fitness for many years to come.  The more we invest  in our health and fitness the better our quality of life will be and the longer our life will be! Mr. Shirah has proven that!

I Corinthians 9:27:  I don't know about you but I'm running hard for the finish line. I'm giving it everything I've got.  No sloppy living for me!  I'm staying alert and in top condition.....

Columnist: Kellye Davis Williams


Kellye Davis Stellman is a personal trainer, gym owner, and certified Life Coach who focuses on the health and well being of her clients as well as coaching them to make positive changes that will impact the rest of their lives.  She helps them achieve their health and fitness goals as well as encourages them to strive for and achieve their “life goals” with her message of hope. 

Kellye resides in East Atlanta with her husband Keith.  She has 4 daughters and 3 grandchildren.  She is an active member of The Tabernacle Church.  In her spare time she loves traveling, spending time with her husband and daughters, shopping, and simply enjoying coffee with friends. 



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