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Use it or lose it

 

How surprised would you be to find out that one of the biggest reasons people over 60 have for not exercising is that they are ‘too old’?

 

Quite the opposite is in fact true. As I’m always being told by other fitness professionals - ‘you either use it, or you lose it.’ That sentiment can be applied to a 25 year old athlete taking too many rest days, or an 80 year old who wants to continue living independently in their own home.

 

NHS guidelines for exercise for adults aged 65 and over

The NHS suggests weekly exercise based on the following guidelines. There are so many sets of guidelines that could be followed all over the internet, but this is essentially a well rounded suggestion of how we can all keep in good physical condition later in our lives.

 

At least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity such as cycling or fast walking every week, and muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms).

Or

75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes) of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity such as running or a game of singles tennis every week, andmuscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms).

Or

An equivalent mix of moderate and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity every week (for example two 30-minute runs plus 30 minutes of fast walking), andmuscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms).

 

Now, I’d imagine that if you’ve not been doing much exercise for a while, those guidelines might seem a little daunting. But it’s worth remembering that these are recommended guidelines and can be used as goals, if your start point is a little way off.

 

The body and ageing

As we age, a number of physiological changes occur in the body, changes to our heart and our lungs, to our senses and to our bones and joints. It’s so important to be aware of these changes, and to be aware of the impact this can have on the types of exercise we do. For example, for someone who might have severe osteoporosis, high impact exercise should be avoided. Someone with osteoarthritis would be advised to stretch daily, and someone who has had a knee replacement would be advised to avoid breast stroke legs when swimming. It’s always worth speaking to a health care professional to seek exercise advice where specific conditions are concerned.

 

Psychological impact

Whether or not someone has been exercising consistently throughout their life, it must be really tough to suddenly feel limited. People who have been active their whole lives, might one day find themselves with osteoarthritis or having a hip replacement, finding it hard to re gain control, and almost impossible to make their bodies do what it once could. However daunting it may seem, it’s worth remembering that when we are active, we generally feel happier too.

The key is to finding physical activity that you’ll enjoy, - it could be walking or jogging outdoors, going to an exercise class, (for example, pilates classes always come highly recommended) which will also add a social element to working out, or maybe exercising with a personal trainer.

Comments....
22/5/2018 20:52 - This is fantastic information Emma, something for everyone, well done
22/5/2018 21:43
 Markwell Fitness replies - Thanks for the feedback Glen!
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