Good day to you.  Today I have the pleasure of offering you a great guest blogpost by an awesome Fitness and Nutrition coach, Mrs. Gillian Stephen, who I’ve recently met via Twitter.

Here is Mrs. Stephen’s biography in her own words: 

I’m a Fitness and Nutrition coach and also a mother of 2, a 1 year old and a 3 year old that keep me very busy.

The main areas that I focus on are weight loss and pre and post natal. The latter certification was brought about by my own pregnancies. I realised the importance of my own diet and fitness through pregnancy and post natal, to regain my shape and prior fitness levels.

I support individuals by helping them put together a strategy for weight loss. It incorporates making better food choices and fitting exercise into their busy schedules such that they lose the weight and keep it off, a lifestyle change.

Contact information for Mrs. Gillian Stephen:

I hope you enjoy Mrs. Gillian Stephen‘s educational thoughts on ageing, exercise, and good health.  Please read on …

Let’s face it none of us are getting any younger, so the old adage of,”Use It or Lose It” with regards to your fitness levels, becomes even more crucial as we age.  I personally don’t fear getting older but my wish is that I am healthy, so as not to be over reliant on others.  At the same time maintaining a healthy lifestyle does not guarantee no ailments but you reduce your risk and your body is more able to fight disease.  Your fitness levels are not a given and as you age if you are not actively working at maintaining your fitness levels it will decline. This is something that I have experienced at first hand after both my pregnancies, where it took time to regain my prior fitness levels having not trained as intensely or as frequently because of physical and time constraints.

A study done in 2010 at the German Sport University Cologne and published in the journal Deutsches Arzteblatt International found that a decline in fitness is less as a result of ageing but more attributed to a sedentary lifestyle.  It looked at a group of marathon and half marathon runners ranging in age from 20 – 79.  It found that, when the older athletes continued to train for the same duration and frequency as the younger athletes, there was a very gradual drop off in their performance.  Another study done last year at the University of Missouri-Columbia and published in the Journal of Applied Physiology appears to reinforce this.  It also found that an active lifestyle reduces age related risk factors whilst a sedentary lifestyle can in fact accelerate ageing, with a loss in muscle mass and a decrease in bone density and strength.

So what does this mean for you?  How regularly do you currently exercise?  You should be doing moderate amounts of aerobic physical activity for at least 150 mins a week or vigorous physical activity for 75 mins a week and at least 2 strength training sessions per week.  Try to aim for 30 mins a day, 5 days a week of physical activity.

Your workout routine should consist of cardio to get your heart rate up, burn calories and increase the efficiency of oxygen consumption e.g. walking, running, cycling, swimming.  Strength training to boost metabolism and help build muscle and tone e.g free weights, body weight, gym machine.  Flexibility and balance work e.g. yoga, pilates, stretching.

The benefits will be:

• Increased lean muscle mass to burn fat

• Maintain bone density to prevent diseases like osteoporosis and arthritis

• Weight Management

• Maintain mobility

• Maintain strength

• Prevent Cardiovascular disease

• Maintain flexibility

Don’t wait until you start to feel the effects of ageing or you need to exercise, start now laying down a good foundation to reap the many rewards.

Research, educate, and advocate all celiac and gluten-free.  Educate yourself on the benefits of being with Fitness and Health so you may enjoy a more active lifestyle longer.

Peace be with you