Fitness for over 50s
As we age or bodies lose elasticity, we start to feel stiff and healing slows down, so how can we keep these symptoms at bay? Yes it’s that word exercise! This doesn’t mean unpleasant torture, but with a little bit of effort you can raise your fitness and increase your flexibility and at the same time encouraging blood and nutrients to the joints and tissues which will keep you supple. You will also feel mentally fresh and alert, knowing the fact that you are doing some exercise even makes you feel better about yourself. There are many ways of becoming fit and more mobile for example yoga, pilate’s, walking or even simple stretching exercises of which can be done sitting down if walking is a problem. These concentrate more on flexibility whereas aerobics or weights are harder on joints and bones. The secret is to start slowly and build up gradually, about 15 minutes is enough each day for a week, building up to 30 minutes which is adequate 3 times a week. This is better than going flat out for an hour once a week.
If you start a racquet sport, or are taking one up that you used to play you will need some shoulder strength. The shoulder has a wide range of movements and depends on the condition of muscles and ligaments. Again start gradually and get fit to play, don’t play to get fit! To hurl yourself back into action will only give you aching muscles or serious sprains and strains. Readjust your expectations and use skill and experience to replace speed and fitness.
ADVANTAGES OF FITNESS
- More energy.
- Better metabolism.
- Helps blood pressure to remain stable.
- Weight is easier to manage.
- Strengthens muscles, joints and bones.
- Generally delays ageing.
- Prevents diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
- You will feel more alert.
- Injuries that occur in the home such as Housemaid’s knee, Tennis elbow, Dislocated shoulder and Lower back can be avoided.
- Prevents Arthritis
This is the hardest part of all! Enjoying what you do is important or you will lose heart, also avoid too much exertion or you will feel exhausted and fatigued. Wear clothes and shoes that you feel good and comfortable in, and if you have a dog what a bonus it will be for him/her having all those extra walks!
It is important to do warm up exercises before any activity to lubricate the joints and surrounding tissues that will be working to help you achieve your fitness goal. Warm up exercises prevent injuries such as sprains and strains and even these alone are beneficial.
I hope this article has aroused a little inspiration and you achieve your fitness goal however big or small and enjoy the benefits.