Like many of us, Matt Shirvington, maintains his good shape so that he can keep up with his three active kids and live life to the fullest with his family.

As we age, proper care or maintenance is needed to avoid our bones losing density, muscles losing flexibility and joints becoming worn, making it increasingly important to take care of them once we reach our 30s and 40s.

In order to maintain the flexibility, fitness and vitality of our younger years, Matt shares his tips on how to avoid the ageing niggles and aches, and maintain overall health and fitness.

Nutrition:

•    Take a holistic approach – this attitude towards life can also be applied to nutrition. “I try to stick to a clean diet by avoiding processed foods and drinks where possible. To make it easier to stay on track, I always keep snacks on hand such as a punnet of blueberries or a bag of nuts – they’re a great source of antioxidants and fats. However, everything in moderation is important and there is a time for eating the indulgent foods we love too”. 

•    Supplementation – To help maintain mobility for decades to come, our bodies need sufficient protein, vitamins and minerals for joints, muscles and bones to work together properly.

“The recommended daily intake of certain nutrients increases as we age, so having well-balanced nutrition is key to staying healthy and active. I always include Bodiology to start the day, every day – it’s as simple as adding to a smoothie in the morning and I know it has what my body needs to keep me feeling good. My favourite is my age-defying turmeric, cinnamon, and ginger smoothie in the morning.”

•    Minimise alcohol and soft drinks – hydration is crucial to effective functioning at any age. Certain beverages, such as highly sugary drinks, can reduce the amount of fluid we retain leaving the body dehydrated.

“Limiting drinks with processed or added sugar where possible, is beneficial on all fronts, in particular for managing energy levels, dental health and weight maintenance”.

When it comes to alcohol, this is burned first as a fuel source before the body uses anything else, meaning excess energy can be stored as fat.

•    Incidental exercise counts – “having three kids means finding the time to prioritise your own physical activity can be difficult. But it’s important to remember that all movement, including incidental, counts to our daily exercise, which contribute to maintaining a healthy, mobile and active body”. 

Here are some ideas of incidental exercise to incorporate into your day:

  • Cooking, laundry, cleaning and gardening
  • Movement - sitting up and down, carrying objects and walking the dog
  • Walking to and from work and around the office
  • Taking the stairs instead of the lift

•    Opt for a combination session – combination sessions are perfect for the time poor, being an efficient way to get a great work out.

“Incorporate a run into a park work out, by jogging there with a medicine ball or ride your bike to and from the gym for a weight session. Medicine balls are one of my favourite pieces of workout equipment - they’re super versatile, mobile and can be used for increasing strength, power, stability in a full body strength and conditioning workout”.

•    Keep yourself accountable –it’s easy for life to get in the way or for time to be prioritised elsewhere when it comes to exercise. However, squeezing 30 minutes of daily exercise in with a friend a few times a week, is often all that is needed for exercise consistency.

“A great technique which I find works well, is organising an active meeting such as a workout or cycle with a friend or family member. The obligation of catching up with a friend or family assists with motivation instead of finding an excuse – win, win”. 

•    Keeping up with the kids – make a regular day out with the family, an active one, by getting creative with the kids.

“Skipping competitions, doubles tennis, short jogs, bike riding or kicking a footy in the park are fantastic ways to ensure you’re getting the body moving whilst also having fun with the family and kids”.