Acing the Long Game of Life


Staying healthy, especially as we age, is about more than hitting the gym. It’s about ensuring you are giving your body the fuel and rest it needs to recover and excel. Superstition’s health & fitness expert, Drew Saenz, compiled some tips for acing the long game of life.

The name of the game as we get older is to continue being able to do all the things we love to do without pain or injury. But it isn’t just orthopedic stuff (back, shoulders, knees) that can get in the way. There are some key biomarkers that tend to either flare-up or diminish as we exercise, and not being aware of them could compromise our longevity.

Oxidative Stress: This is when the body becomes overwhelmed with free radicals or unstable molecules that can result in cellular damage and accelerate the aging process.

What To Do: Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables (antioxidants) and incorporate proper rest and recovery days so you’re not overdoing it with your training.

Blood Glucose: Proper blood sugar regulation is imperative for overall health and longevity. A poor diet, stress, and lack of sleep can impair the body’s ability to regulate glucose levels.

What To Do: Eat balanced meals and snacks throughout the day, especially blueberries (loaded with flavonoids, which have been linked to better brain health with aging). Also, combining your berries with a protein source like meat or cheese can help keep blood sugar levels in check.

Vitamin D: Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that promotes healthy aging by promoting calcium absorption (bone health) and also helps regulate the nervous and immune systems. Vitamin D deficiency can leave us more susceptible to stress fractures and can cause poor sleep.

What To Do: Eat plenty of foods rich in vitamin D, such as salmon, egg yolks, fortified dairy products, swordfish, and cheese. I personally recommend supplementing with Vitamin D, especially in the winter months when we’re getting less exposure to the sun.

Cortisol: This is your body’s stress hormone, and it can become elevated from unhealthy stress management, inadequate sleep, overtraining, and lack of recovery.

What To Do: Sleep at least 7 hours per night, engage in healthy stress-relieving practices (like yoga or meditation), and incorporate adequate rest and active recovery days into your training routine.

Magnesium: This mineral assists with healthy blood pressure and blood sugar levels, boosts the immune system, and assists with muscle contractions (think weight training). Adequate magnesium levels contribute to improved sleep quality, mood and recovery from strenuous activities, and levels decrease as we age.

What To Do: Eat plenty of magnesium-rich foods, such as salmon, pumpkin seeds, and beans.

You see, it isn’t just achy joints that can set us back in our pursuit of health and fitness as we age. Stress, diet, and sleep play a critical role in our overall health and longevity.

Members at Superstition Mountain Golf & Country Club can work directly with TeamUp Health and Fitness and our incredible fitness team to ensure they have their exercise routines dialed in. Reach out today to learn more about membership at our Arizona private golf community