You can nip it, tuck it, lift it and inject it, but you can’t escape it. Your body is ageing and you simply can’t turn back time. But there is an affordable and enjoyable way you can keep your independence, stay exuberant and even look sexier and years younger – it’s called exercise. Here are some facts and pointers to help you stay healthy and fight off that old sourpuss, Father Time.
Beginning as early as the age of 25, your body begins to lose a pound or two of muscle/year, especially if you’re sedentary. Regular exercise not only prevents this from occurring, but activities like weight training, swimming, cycling, martial arts and circuit training can prevent loss of bone density and help build muscle well into your 90’s! The more lean muscle you carry, the better your metabolism will function keeping you energetic and ready for all kinds of fun activities from a game of badminton to a frisky night between the sheets. Exercise also helps stop, delay and sometimes improve serious illnesses like heart disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes and osteoporosis. An active lifestyle will also keep you mentally alert and sharp as a tack!
Whether you’re 15 or 95 everyone needs certain combinations of activities to stay fit. Cardio or aerobic exercise gets your heart rate up, burns calories, and builds stamina. Strength or weight training helps preserve and build lean muscle. Flexibility exercises help your joints stay limber and maintain their full range of motion. Balance training, especially after the age of 50 helps prevents falls if you want to stay active and safe.
Here’s the lowdown on 5 activities that are sure to keep you feeling energetic and ready to go:
Walking and jogging are simple activities that you can work into every day. On your own or with others these are fine ways to burn calories, get your heart rate up and lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Take some small hand weights with you to work arms and shoulders as you’re moving.
Dancing is a superior way to be social, improve balance and even build muscle. Take your pick from ballroom, line, square, or even dance based classes like Zumba and Jazzercise.
Try a game of golf to destress and enjoy the fresh air. An average round of golf will have you walking more than 10,000 steps or about 5 miles.
Lifting weights will not make you bulky and muscle-bound. But weight training will help build strength, muscle mass and flexibility.
Did you know that you can exercise longer in the water than on land? Swimming puts no stress on your joints as you move, and the water offers the right amount of resistance to build strong muscles and bones.
The list of fun activities is endless. Try a game of tennis, but watch your joints, especially your knees. Cycling is wonderful, but don’t forget to wear a helmet. Tai chi and yoga are superlative ways to improve flexibility and clear your mind of distractions.