Starting or maintaining a regular exercise routine can be a challenge as you get older. The pressures of home and family life, as well as big life events can make it feel like there’s little time to exercise, as well as the increase of technology which has made life even easier to avoid it. For those who haven’t exercised before, you may not know where to begin. Or perhaps you think you’re too old or that exercise is boring or simply not for you.
The NHS state that “to stay healthy, adults should try to be active daily and aim to achieve at least 150 minutes of physical activity over a week through a variety of activities.” If you break this down it is only 20 minutes a day and there are so many things that you can do to achieve this. Whether you are a regular at your local gym, go for daily walks, swim regularly or even everyday tasks like cleaning the house; all these things can count towards this. By keeping physically active it not only improves your health and quality of life but it can also help you to live longer.
What are the benefits of exercise?
Aside from weight loss, there is a lot to gain from exercise and it can make a huge difference to staying healthy and diminishing stress, here are some of the benefits;
A healthy heart – reducing heart disease and high blood pressure. Exercise means a healthier heart because it reduces several cardiovascular risks, people who exercise have a lower risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and many other chronic diseases.
Good mental health – helping you to manage stress, anxiety and depression. Studies show that mental decline is not an inevitable part of ageing. People who lead intellectually stimulating lives are more likely to be free of dementia conditions like Alzheimer’s. It is possible to keep your brain in shape and to cope with changes in your mental ability by exercising regularly.
Boost self-esteem, mood, sleep quality and energy levels! Exercise releases endorphins, powerful chemicals in your brain that can make you feel good. By doing regular physical activity this can help increase those levels, increasing your energy levels as well as taking your mind of any anxious thoughts/stresses that you may have.
Help achieve and maintain your ideal weight, reducing the risk of diabetes. Making sure you exercise regularly and keeping an eye on what you eat is of real importance, by watching sugar and fat intakes this can also help deter that extra weight gain. After you turn 50 a major reason for age-related weight gain is that the rate at which you burn calories in food and drink, known as your metabolic rate, slows down with age. The extra calories will turn into surplus body fat over time if you don’t adjust your diet or exercise more.
To strengthen your bones and prevent osteoporosis by doing regular exercise. By exercising you don’t just build muscle and endurance but it is also important for building and maintaining bone density. Weight bearing exercises such as cycling, walking, and swimming are great for this, as well as resistance work, using light weights and flexibility training such as yoga or pilates. These all help to improve balance and co-ordination and help to prevent osteoporosis as you get older.
So how do you start introducing exercising into your life?
It is never too late to start exercising and by having the support of friends, family or a fitness professional, this can give you the confidence and guidance to start. Always check with your GP before embarking on a new fitness regime but you will soon notice the difference and the benefits of exercise!
For more information or advice please contact Allan Barnard, Personal Trainer and Owner of Barnard Fitness on; M: 07828 452029 * E: firstname.lastname@example.org * W: www.barnardfitness.com