It’s Never Too Late to Start Exercise
As we age we are no longer in the same physical condition as when in our youth. The four main areas we decrease in are strength, balance, endurance and flexibility.
A few simple exercises can help prevent the onset of various conditions.
Strength – ensuring you perform strength training helps to maintain good muscle mass which keeps your metabolism working effectively. It is also important in helping your joints strong and preventing the onset of osteoporosis and arthritis.
Try this simple exercise for the upper body:
Extend your arms, shoulder width apart and place palms upward facing on a wall. Bend your elbows to bring your torso towards the wall, pause for a second and then push away from the wall. Repeat for 8-10 repetitions
Balance – is vital to help prevent falls, especially on uneven surfaces, when using stairs or reaching up for something.
Try this movement to build the lower body muscles which help stabilise:
Stand with your back against a wall. Slide your body down the wall until your knees are bent at 90 degrees and hold this position for 30-45 seconds. This will help strengthen around the joints whilst working the glutes, quadriceps and hamstrings.
Endurance – by building cardiovascular fitness you will be able to perform longer, go further and be faster.
There is a wide variety of options for all:
If you belong to a gym then a treadmill allows walking whilst controlling the speed and replicating hills. You also have low impact options of cycling or the elliptical which unlike walking/running has no impact on joints. If you do not use a gym then going for a walk and increasing the distance or speed provides variety and benefits for overall fitness.
Flexibility – this is important to maintain freedom of movement for everyday tasks.
A simple daily movement can keep you lose and prevent muscle tightness:
A toe touch is a simple stretch for the hamstrings and to maintain flexibility in the lower back. Stand upright with feet hip width apart. Inhale and bring your arms down towards your knee. Keeping your legs straight, lower the hands down the front of your leg as far as flexibility allows. Hold the stretch for 5-10 seconds and slowly return up to the start.