If time was fast-forwarded to 20 years into the future, how would you fare? Would you still be gainfully employed, in-the-know when it comes to cultural or technological developments, and an asset to society?
These are questions that are tough to answer unless you’ve already embarked on future-proofing yourself. Call it a whole new category of skill sets: Not equipping yourself with them is no different from walking into a room blindfolded. Scary? You bet.
In need of answers ourselves, we’ve spoken to experts in some of today’s most important areas of life. According to Trilogic Fitness coach Eugene Soon, being healthy is important at any point in your life. But don’t forget: Keeping active and eating well go hand in hand. The good news? It’s never too late to start exercising and eating right.
In your 20s
EXERCISE Your 20s are a prime time to achieve maximum fitness because your body is highly resilient, keeping you in tip-top shape for conception. You’re also at your peak cardio-respiratory capability, so it’s the best time to take on races and marathons, and explore new types of workouts.
DIET You’ll achieve peak bone mass by the time you hit 30, so don’t skimp on the calcium. Include lots of milk and dairy in your diet, or incorporate generous amounts of salmon, kale, broccoli or spinach at mealtimes.
In your 30s
EXERCISE Family and work commitments increase, leaving you significantly less time to exercise. Levels of the hormone dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) fall, slowing exercise-recovery time and increasing your muscle-to-fat ratio. Solution: Interval workouts that burn more calories in less time. Also, make weightlifting a priority — your future bone density depends on it!
DIET Bone mass starts declining, so load up on food rich in omega-3 oils, like salmon or mackerel. Also pop calcium supplements with Vitamin D, for better absorption.
In your 40s and beyond
EXERCISE Sarcopenia (muscle loss) sets in — a natural part of the ageing process. To minimise its effects, embrace strength training, which employs different muscles compared to endurance-training activities like biking, swimming and running. Beyond this age group, continuing to exercise is key to feeling younger.
DIET Go easy on carbs and switch to low-GI foods rich in soluble fibre, which lower bad cholesterol. Eat twice the current recommended daily intake of protein (1.5g instead of 0.8g of protein per kg of body weight) to increase the rate of muscle growth while reducing muscle breakdown due to ageing.
Photos: avivaromm.com, daliulian.com, vegikitchen.com