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How to keep healthy, mobile and strong in old age…

16/03/2019
How to keep healthy, mobile and strong in old age…

It’s inevitable that as we age our health, mobility and strength declines. That said you can offset this process by taking extra good care of your body, which i’m going to help you with in this article.  

If you can maintain a good level of fitness and mobility it’s going to give you a better quality of life, and allow you to do the things you love, whether that’s running around with your grandkids, gardening, bowling, walking, running, or ball room dancing! Activities like this not only do wonders for the body but also for the mind too – which is just as important to keep healthy.   

Staying fit, strong and mobile can also offset any facilities that you may need as you age, things like stairlifts, wheelchairs, walking sticks and help from a carer.  

In this post i’m going to give you 4 tips and explain how to keep healthy, mobile and strong in old age…

Disclaimer: Before trying out any of the tips in this post speak to your GP to make-sure that you are eligible, and that these tips wont negatively effect you i.e. interfere with any medication, or physical conditions you may have. 

If you are unsure of how to do the exercises and need expert advice then hire a professional to show you, for example a personal trainer. If any of the exercises hurt then stop immediately and seek professional support from a doctor, physio or chiropractor – depending on your requirements. 

#1 Mobility 

As we age our joints tend to stiffen and cease up, making movement more difficult. The natural ageing process combined with lessened activity leads to further decline. One of the ways to keep yourself mobile is to move more i.e in the form of exercise like: walking, bowling, and any other form of physical activity.

The other way to keep your joints mobile is to take your body through a mobility workout. You can do things like turning your head side to side, touching your toes, and arm swings. 

#2 Strength 

As a personal trainer who’s completed over 10,000 x 1-1 personal training sessions i’ve worked with lots of people who are 70 years old and above. My oldest ever client was 85!

One of the things I get my elderly clients to do alongside mobility work is: strength training. Now when I say strength training i’m not talking about lifting BIG heavy weights, like some 20 year old in the gym! NO, what i’m talking about is bodyweight exercises, like squats and low impact exercises that involve training the arms with dumbbells, and using cardiovascular machines like the rowing machine.

The strength exercises that I use help to keep my clients muscles strong, mobile and coordinated. They can also help improve a persons balance (another key component to maintain as you age).

Here’s a look into a workout that I do with my LEP Clients (feel free to pinch any of the exercises)…

#3 Stretching 

Alongside the mobility and strength work you can work on your flexibility by ‘stretching’ – which will help lengthen your muscles, reduce tightness, and allow you to do more on a day to day basis.

I’d recommend trying the stretches in the video below. Hold each stretch for 30-60s. Before doing your stretches make-sure that your body is nice and warm. You can warm it up by having a warm bath, or walking/jogging on the spot for 2-3 minutes. 

#4 Cardio 

The final area that were going to look at is improving your cardiovascular fitness, which will keep your heart strong, improve circulation, burn fat, and help to keep your joints, muscles and bones strong.

I’d recommend low intensity and low impact cardio, things like swimming, walking, cycling, rowing, the cross trainer machine, etc. Pick exercise(s) which don’t hurt your joints or cause pain and do things that you love. That could be going to the gym to do aqua aerobics, or joining a walking group, or even playing bowls once per week at your local club. Do something active, that brings you joy and happiness.

I hope this post helped, thank you so much for reading,

Nick 🙂  

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