How to Stay Young After 50
Do you want to stay young even after 50? Here are just a few little tips to maintain your health and enjoy life!
Staying young after 50 is both in the body and in the mind. Taking care of your garden, preparing good meals, playing sports, helping our children to integrate into active life: these are all ways to stay in shape and enjoy a new youth. But, there’s a lot more than you can do.
Troy Helming, aka @SolarNinjaTroy and the co-founder of Traverse Fitness in Richmond, California, has created exercise routines for people and working on improving their health. He’s been invited to compete on the hit NBC TV show American Ninja Warrior three times (Seasons 10, 12 & 13), plus he was selected for a “walk-on” position for Season 11. Traverse Fitness is the largest ninja warrior gym on the West Coast, but you don’t need to train for the American Ninja Warrior show if you want to stay fit during your middle age. In fact, there are several things that you can do, according to Troy, that will greatly improve your overall health. Here are a few golden rules from him on how you can stay sharp and healthy.
Golden rule 1: eat well — during an 8-hour window — to stay young after 50!
Our food is our primary medicine. Since the beginning of time, we have known which foods are successful for us… and which ones are less successful for us! 50 is a pivotal age when our needs and tastes will begin to balance out differently. Maybe the 3pm coffee will make it harder to sleep? Maybe your morning cup of tea, which has served as your breakfast all these years, will finally turn into toast… after you realize that, in fact, in the morning, you are hungry! To remain young after 50, take out the tablecloth, have a healthy first meal of the day around 11 am or noon!
Troy has practiced intermittent fasting since he was 49: he eats during an 8-hour window and fasts the remaining 16 hours in each day — except on Sunday when he eats during a 12-hour window as a planned “cheat day.” Troy’s exercise & fitness regimen prior to intermittent fasting was able to finally lower his body fat below 20% to about 16–18%. But he couldn’t seem to get leaner and maintain it, no matter how much he worked out or changed his diet. After reading about the 8–16 eating schedule, he decided to try it for a month. The fat — especially the stubborn belly fat — began to melt off. And when Troy eliminated simple carbohydrates like potatoes, bread, muffins, baked goods, chips, pizza crust (he prefers cauliflower crust), and most dairy (except cheese & yogurt) … the fat melted off even faster. Intermittent fasting helps the solar ninja maintain body fat of 8–13% depending on diet & exercise: a full 10–15% below where he was before he began training to be an elite ninja warrior.
Don’t hesitate to put your eating habits back on track. The nutritional and caloric intake requirements do not decrease with age; studies prove that it is even the opposite (which is why older people are more likely to suffer from undernutrition). But the way you digest and assimilate food can change. Menopause is also a time of change for the body and can be the occasion to consult a nutritionist?
Troy’s diet during the 8-hour window consists of nearly unlimited vegetables, plenty of protein like eggs, peanut butter, fish, cheese & plant-based protein sources (your protein can be from animal meat or from vegan sources — both can be assimilated by the body), and healthy snacks like nuts, fruit, seeds (pumpkin, chia, sunflower, etc.). He refrains from adding his usual non-dairy milk substitute to his matcha or chai tea in the morning until he’s ready to eat a meal at around noon (Troy’s eating window is noon to 8 p.m. daily). Troy eats his biggest meal of the day for the 1st meal at noon and tries to eat a modestly small dinner at around 7 p.m., with snacks of his favorite nuts (pistachios & almonds) up until about 8 p.m. Troy uses supplements to improve his results — see his blog and social media posts for more on his recommended anti-aging supplements that can also help one wean oneself off most prescription pharmaceuticals — but food and exercise as the baseline are more important than supplements.
Remember to consume at least 1.5L of water per day in the water, tea, and unsweetened herbal teas to stay young after 50 years. Oftentimes, people mistake being hungry for being slightly dehydrated. Drink water (especially alkaline water if possible) when you feel hungry, and you might just be able to delay that next meal another hour. Especially in the morning, when you’re craving food, tea is a wonderful way to trick your body into waiting another hour or two before that first meal. And don’t hesitate to try out new recipes and innovative foods: 50 years old is the age to feast and enjoy food! Just be sure to select the right foods
Golden rule 2: take care of yourself!
Facials for women and massages for both men & women, for example. Good students of hygiene know that it is essential to remove make-up and cleanse the skin in the evening (but only if you’ve worn make-up)… and it is never too late to adopt good habits! For skincare, try simplifying your life by using squalene oil (from olives) on your face each night rather than the plethora of products marketed to women & men for their faces. To stay young after 50 , give up fad products that don’t suit you: opt for few products, but of good quality.
Removing toxins from your body is important at all ages but becomes critical after 50 when our cells are not as effective at doing so on their own. We are inundated with toxins from air pollution (drive electric & replace natural gas usage in your home with electric heating & electric induction super-fast burners for cooking) & water pollution that we cannot completely avoid (use an alkaline water machine at home to help purify water and raise the pH to 8 or higher, like a mountain spring!), pesticides & herbicides in foods (buy organic!),
Beyond that, to assist our bodies in removing toxins, Troy recommends deep tissue massage (monthly if possible), infrared or conventional sauna (he sweats in a sauna almost every day), drinking lots of water (alkaline helps to reverse the aging process & protects the body from cancer, infection, etc.), and walking every day (at a minimum, if you are unable to exercise) to help flush out the nasties.
Golden rule 3: stay active to stay young after 50!
Stay active, yes, and in many different ways! We can opt for walking or cycling, which allows us to move without polluting. Swimming is also a pleasant and gentle physical activity for the joints, which will help to maintain muscle mass and to stay young after 50 years.
For exercise, Troy recommends H.I.I.T. (High-Intensity Interval Training) of any kind, rather than endurance cardiovascular exercise (such as jogging or biking for long distances). Troy prefers ninja warrior obstacles, but he mixes in other H.I.I.T. training such as sprint training (sprint nearly all-out for 30–50 meters, then walk to lower the heart rate for a minute, then repeat the process 10x). He does the same thing occasionally with biking, swimming & rowing (sprint hard for 5–10 seconds, then go slowly for a minute to recover and repeat 10x). Troy has also practiced yoga since 1991 (30 years at the time of this writing).
Leisure centers often offer courses for adults, at attractive prices, for gentle gymnastics, water aerobics, stretching … We can also bring together several friends to afford a “private” lesson: more and more sports coaches come to your home and offer special rates for small groups. The more, the merrier!
The mistake to avoid is to “restart” a sport that you haven’t done for a long time (like going back to jogging, for example) too quickly, too aggressively, without the right shoes, the right pace, and the correct amount of effort. Instead, learn to gently ease your way back into it because that’s what’s going to play a critical role in helping you improve. Start small (baby steps!) either outside or on a machine at home or in a gym. It’s more important to enjoy the experience than to push yourself too hard: you want it to be pleasurable — otherwise, most of us are unlikely to keep it up!