Hi, I’m Nicki and I’m really pleased to be contributing to Bubele Edit each fortnight with some great tips on how to stay fit and healthy no matter what age or how many children you’ve had (or plan to have).

I’m in my 40s and I have always been into fitness, health and well-being. Throughout my 20s I trained hard but like many didn’t focus on technique. I looked fit but wasn’t sufficiently equipped with the correct knowledge which resulted in a back injury in my late 20s.  During this time I turned to Pilates and what started as an interest soon turned into a passion. 12 years later, with a range of qualifications and 10 years studio-based coaching under my belt, I’m so proud to have helped hundreds of women aged from 30 to 75 to gain confidence both physically and mentally.

I have learned that good posture and technique is essential when working out and understanding the effect of each exercise, allows you to achieve better results in less time. Very few women have the time to commit to long hours in the gym and it’s not necessarily the answer, so I have developed my own method perfectly suited to women approaching 40 and beyond, fusing together the best of Pilates with cardio exercises into carefully curated classes lasting 10-30 minutes a day, 4 times a week via the Niix app. Check out how it works.

Here are a few tips I have put together for you for slowing down the dreaded ageing process:

Consistent, focused training will raise your vitality

First the bad news: science has yet to find a way to avoid ageing completely. Sorry. Even the greatest beauties or the wealthiest or most intelligent people, age. It’s a fact for anyone who is born.

There is also, however, good news. To age is also to grow – and that’s the positive way to think about the whole process. We forget that you can, in fact, get better with age – just as long as you’re willing to put in a consistent, focused effort.

Get new habits

That’s right: if you want to ‘avoid ageing’, you may have to tweak your current habits. With concerted, small steps you can alter many of the elements of ageing that so many of us feel are inevitable.

You may think the first impression people have of someone else is their clothing or outer appearance. Actually, the first thing people notice about another person is vitality. Whether this comes across in the lilt of their step, their posture or the look in their eyes, energy is key to avoiding ageing in a way that can surpass the visual.

Energy levels

Focusing on what gives you energy is vital. This isn’t all about looks (well, it is a bit about looks). Mainly it’s about creating the best you for now and the future; how you look, how you feel and how you seem. Some studies suggest high levels of exercise could lead to nine years’ less of ageing.

Importance of sleep

Essential to having more energy is sleep. Indeed, many say sleep is the new money. In the US, the National Sleep Foundation convened a panel of 18 researchers and scientists who reviewed more than 300 sleep studies to determine the correct amount of sleep we need. There’s no fixed time, but adults between the ages of 26-64 were recommended to sleep seven to nine hours a night.

Getting an extra hour or two not only boosts your health – in many ways – but also means you’re less likely to snack to keep your energy up when it might flag later in the day. Sleep is free. Maybe you might have to give up a few of your binge TV sessions, but revamping your body is worth it. Put an alarm on an hour-and-a-half before you intend to go to bed to remind yourself to wind down. Turn off your phone and head to the bedroom – where there should be no TV, iPad, laptop or other media device.

Take time for yourself

Avoiding ageing does require taking your life seriously to give yourself the kind of love and attention you give to your partner, your children and your family. If you feel you have trouble taking time out for yourself, keep in mind one thing: if you’re not happy, nobody’s happy.

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