Oftentimes, we get hyper focused on the numbers when it comes to getting healthy or staying fit — counting macros, weighing yourself, calculating your body mass index and measuring your waistline. But what exactly are you comparing these numbers to? If you’re comparing them to a younger version of yourself, for instance, you’re bound to be disappointed.
“As you age, your metabolism slows, and without daily light to moderate activity — such as resistance and weight training — to boost that metabolism, a person will lose muscle mass,” says Kathy Gotz, a certified personal trainer and owner of True Body Fitness in Los Alamitos, California. “Therefore, as you age and continue with your current dietary habits, you will have more fat and less muscle on your body.”
But not all hope is lost — you just need to be aware of the changes your body is naturally experiencing as you advance in years, and then adjust your habits and expectations accordingly.
“My experience is that BMI paired with body-fat percentage is the best indicator of overall health,” says Gotz, who notes that a healthy BMI range for any woman regardless of her age or height is between 19 and 24.
Gotz examines each decade of life and provides her do’s and don’ts on how to maintain your health:
“Being healthy, no matter what life stage you are in, is all about making the best choices possible for yourself,” Gotz says. “Numbers on a scale or tape measure can’t tell you that you have more energy to play with your kids or grandkids, or that you now rock those jeans that have been sitting in your closet for ages, or even that your cholesterol level is down and your doctor says you no longer need to medicate. Your body is a temple, so treat it like one.”