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The Age Game


When we are in our teens, we want to look older, but when we are over 40 we want to look younger. What are the telltale signs of our real chronological age? Wrinkles, age spots, amount of hair ( or lack of), body composition, and how we move. Some of these features have a genetic component such as hair loss or joint issues, but the majority are associated with how you live your life.  The main culprit of wrinkles and age spots are smoking, sun exposure, loss of collagen, and a diet lacking in nutrients. Hair growth can be associated with family genes but we can influence hair growth with a diet rich in nutrients. Have you ever heard the term genetics loads the gun, but your lifestyle fires it ? We have all heard the phrase “Mom Bod” or “Dad Bod”. The typical definition for Mom Bod is :


A woman who has had at least one kid and that child has affected her body in such a way that it changes her physical appearance to the point to where she no longer looks like herself.


Versus the Dad Bod


Dad bod is a term in popular culture referring to a body shape particular to middle-aged men. The phrase has been adopted in U.S. culture as a celebration of this particular type of physique. This masculine body type is a cross between somewhat muscular and overweight physiques.


I think most of us would agree that we can’t turn back time (I may be signing the song by Cher in my mind) but we can certainly slow down the process and in some situation feel like we are reversing it. One thing I wish I knew when I was younger was the amount of damage sun exposure can cause. If you were born 45+ years ago then you have probably had lots of unprotected sun exposure unless you had a parent that was in the medical field or  ahead of the curve. There are lots of different products on the market to help improve your skin texture, wrinkles, spots, etc. but the most important tool is mineral sun block so not to increase the damage or reduce the risk of skin cancer. I love my Arbonne skincare and love sharing the benefits with others so let me know if you want more information or you can check it out at The key to skincare is to pick a regiment and stick to it. Just like most things in life, it takes time and consistency. Ingredients, frequency, and cost are all factors when choosing the right skincare for you.


I was lucky enough to grow up in a family that enjoyed family dinners together which consisted of mostly plant and animal proteins, a variety of fruits and vegetables, and the typical starches of rice, potatoes, and noodles. We also enjoyed snack food and soda but not on a regular basis. I look back and see vast differences between how I grew up and how I am raising my kids. The biggest items that are missing are Tang, Kool Aid, milk, Mountain Dew, and Doritos. We drank Tang every morning as kids. It was a small glass, probably 4 ounces. It contained a lot of sugar, but it also contained a decent amount of Vitamin C. The biggest difference was even though we drank and eat some food that were not healthy choices, the quantities were small. We also had some hard rules such as of only drinking water at dinner. We drank so much water we typically finished a pitcher every evening. We had to eat all of our vegetables. I ate everything from canned spinach to ham and bean soup . The only foods I was not will to consume were lima beans and liver. Thankfully Dad did not like liver either so the kids were off the hook too.I started working in the restaurant business when I was 14 so a lot of my meals were eaten there. I still remember my favorites which were meatloaf, potpie, chicken, ribs, and lots of vegetables from green beans, stewed tomatoes, yummy coleslaw and brussels sprouts. I had already established a liking for a wide range of foods, but working in a restaurant helped me to continue to try new foods. If your food choices are limited, I urge you to try different foods especially vegetables and fruits because they contain valuable nutrients that everyone can benefit from enjoying. If you have chidren, then it is up to you as the parent to expose them to a wide variety of foods. Do not give in because they only want to eat chicken nuggets and french fries. The more often they are exposed to new foods the higher the chance  they will try and enjoy them. Don’t be surprised if it does not happen the first few times.


When you see someone walking down the street how can you tell their age? I remember I was getting ready to play tennis a few years ago (I was in my mid 40’s ) one day and I was putting my hair up in a pony tail and my coach said she did not recognize me from the parking lot. She thought it was a teenager. I took it as a compliment, but I got to thinking what made her think I was so young. She was not close enough to see my wrinkles, but what she could see was my posture, as well as my arms and legs. Our posture is the first sign of our age. I remember my grandmother saying not to make certain faces because my face would stay that way. She was not entirely wrong because our face just like every other muscle in our body has a memory. The more we practice a movement the more our body will remember it. If you practice good posture over and over again then it will become automatic. On the other side if you practice bad posture, your body will also remember it. Signs such as rounded shoulders, forward head posture, and the dreaded forward lean are all signs of age. The next sign is how we move. We all know people that shuffle their feet rather than walking. When you sit a lot the hip flexors or front of your legs between your thigh and hip get shortened and weak. These muscles are very valuable in lifting the leg when walking. The glutes aka butt also play a role in this motion which also becomes very weak with extended periods of sitting. Balance is also key especially when walking in an area where the surface is not consistent such as a sidewalk or gravel road. Even though most people don’t think about balance when they are walking it plays a role every time a foot is lifted.

I love helping people of all ages get the most out of life, but my passion is helping people defy aging so they can be as physical as they want for as LONG as they want. My passions are tennis, pickleball, swimming, skiing, and anything outdoors. If you are like me and  want to stay active for many years to come I would love to help you.


Jody Vinson – ACE Certified Personal Trainer and IIN Certified Health Coach

Owner of Back to Basics Nutrition and Fitness in Wichita Kansas

316-650-9437 /