As we approach the end of the year, New Year’s resolutions are on many people’s minds. For some, being fit and healthy will be at the top of the list.
However, for a number of our readers, they are already ahead of the curve.
From nutrition to changing your mindset to discovering new forms of exercise, they shared their journeys to healthy living and leaked their top tips for keeping fit in response to the Telegraph’s Midlife Fitness Files .
Below, we reveal a collection of readers’ top health and fitness tips over the year.
For some, 2022 has been the year to achieve a healthy weight. Although it may become more difficult with age, a number of readers have proven that it is not impossible.
Reader Philip Smithfor example, shared how, approaching his 50th birthday, he decided that enough was enough. Philip said: “I weighed 20 stone, wore XXL shirts and 42-44 pants”.
From October 6, 2021 to date, Philip has lost nine stones.
He goes on to reveal what has worked for him: “Eliminating binge eating, using a popular food tracking/calorie counter app (MyFitnessPal) to monitor intake, and getting out for a walk every day. As the weight went down, I used Apple Fitness free trials to do core and strength exercises at home, which helped tone the sagging areas.
“I eat normal foods in healthy amounts and my body has adjusted well. I still walk every day and can supplement walks with mountain biking as well.
“Today I’m 11 stone, 28-30 inches tall and feel great.”
Similar to Philip, Paul Murray and John Dawkins combine daily exercise (even if it’s just one walk a day) with suppressing binge eating and eliminating “excesses” – just simple meals. It allowed Paul to maintain a trim weight of 11.5 stone for over 28 years and has meant John, which is in the early 70’s, is the height he had at 20 – 10.5 stone with a waistline of 31 inches.
The state of mind is also essential for Philip and Anne-Marie Lowndes. Anne suggests that “portion control and being aware of what you eat and how it impacts overall food intake” is the easiest way to maintain a healthy weight.
Philip says, “It just takes willpower and hard work. You have to want to be healthy more than you want for the next drink or snack and be true to yourself when logging your food and drink intake.
Another reader, William Blaney, advised: “You have to start mentally and physically. That’s the hardest part, but once you’ve done that, anything and everything will pay off.”
While some focused on weight loss, others focused on recovery.
It seems for two of our readers, Mary Loughlin and Fiona Stewartspecific forms of exercise helped.
Married – who is 68 – has taken up swimming to relieve his back pain.
She says she swims for half an hour three times a week and walks her dog a lot the rest of the time.
In addition to swimming, she was referred to a fitness instructor by her doctor who told her she should have 90 grams of protein a day. “It’s a lot higher than the usual daily recommendations, but it definitely worked for me,” she said.
However, Married doesn’t like protein powders (neither does her doctor), so she gets her protein from fat-free natural yogurt, lean meat, cheese, eggs and milk – “just basic, natural, healthy foods and nutritious”.
Now she feels great. “It seems that diet and exercise are essential at any age,” she concludes.
Meanwhile, Fiona shares his Pilates experience: “I started Pilates six years ago. It allowed me to overcome breast cancer and an intestinal resection. My only regret is that I didn’t start it sooner.
Same Fiona’s the 66-year-old athletic husband is a total convert and would recommend it to anyone of any age.
Mental and physical well-being
For others, the goal was to improve their mental and physical well-being – and for the majority of readers, finding a form of exercise they enjoy has helped them do just that.
Edwina Fowler shared how she works out regularly and her chosen form of exercise is the hula hoop.
“I’ve been doing hoop for about 17 years. It’s such a great cardio workout for the whole body… There are so many body-to-body transitions that keep you moving and feeling a real sense of well-being,” she says.
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