Exercising in later life is key to maintaining a good quality of life.
There are important reasons to keep exercising as you enter your golden years. Exercise is key to maintaining a great quality of life while you get older. No one wants to be suffering with back pain or chair bound for 10 years (that’s a long time!).
It’s never too late to exercise. We all know the commonly touted benefits of exercise: lose weight, improve your fitness, perform in a sport etc. As you get older priorities change. You don’t want that “summer body” or to run a marathon. What becomes important is staying fit and healthy, steering clear of health problems that can plague you in older age. That includes heart disease, dementia, osteoporosis, falls, joint issues and more.
You can train safely in older age. Exercising can help the “older and wiser” to maintain independence, increase or maintain overall quality of life and reduce the risk of disease, injury and illness.
Exercise will help you live your life to the fullest. You want to be able to: move around on your own, pick up grandchildren or holiday bags, get up and down the stairs without pain.
Why do I need to exercise?
The over 65s are the most sedentary age group in the UK. This level of inactivity is linked with a higher risk of obesity, heart disease, earlier death, low back pain and more. Exercise can help to limit many of these problems.
Our muscle naturally decreases with age. It’s important to keep training in order to maintain and build it. Muscles keep us strong, help to move our bones and joints properly, protect our back and spine, support our limbs.
The feel-good factor
Exercise is a powerful tool for the mind and mental health. Rates of dementia and likelihood of loneliness are higher in older age, so it’s important to keep your brain active and happy. Exercise releases endorphins – chemicals in your brain which help to improve mood, relieve stress and anxiety. Exercise has also been proven to improve brain function, memory and help fight depression. Exercising with other people is a great way to socialise, meet new friends and spend time doing things you enjoy.
What exercise should I do and why?
There are many forms of exercise you can partake in for various results. Try to include both cardio and strength exercises. Cardio gets your heart and lungs fit and strong. Strength training improves our muscles, ligaments, tendons and bones.
It’s best to do something, rather than nothing. And to do something you enjoy. Examples include: walking, tennis, yoga, strength training, cycling, aerobics, Pilates, dancing, group fitness classes.
Benefits of exercise:
- Retain and build strength
- Improved mood and brain function
- Improve quality of living and maintain independence
- Lower risk / severity of heart disease, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, falls, low back pain and more
- Improve/maintain brain function and mood
- Maintain muscle mass to protect the bones and joints
- Improve heart strength and function of the cardiovascular system
- Improve lung capacity
- Help manage conditions such as high blood pressure and Arthritis
- Improve recovery from illness and injury
How do I get started?
- If you are new to exercise you should consult with your doctor before starting an exercise programme.
- It may be useful to attend classes or work with a trainer in order to have a professional supervise and teach you, at least to start with
- Do something you enjoy – walking, playing tennis, hiking, dancing
- Current illnesses or conditions won’t necessarily stop you exercising, find out from a professional
At The Fit House we run FIT VIP classes which are tailored specifically for older clients 60+. Get in touch with us or visit our class timetable to sign up!