Is it all downhill?
Age is not an excuse to stop exercising. Yes it certainly can become a little bit more challenging and some exercises may need to be adapted to suit the individualbut overall the best thing that we can do to help our bodies cope with the ageing process is to…. EXERCISE!
Now, I’m not advising you to go out and run a marathon or take part in an iron man competition (although of course it’s completely possible!) but I amtalking about regular steady weight bearing exercises that are carried out carefully and consistently.
As we hit 40 our bodies start to change. Our bones shrink in both size and density which can weaken them and makesus more susceptible to conditions such as osteoarthritis & osteomalacia. These can cause the cartilage within our joints to break down causing pain and stiffness. Bones begin to soften, muscles generally lose strength and flexibility which can often contribute to fatigue, weakness and reduced tolerance to exercise. Our joints also become stiffer and less flexible because the amount of lubricating fluid inside them starts to decrease.
Now it all sounds like a bit too much doom and gloom, but it doesn’t have to be that way. There is an endless list of exercises that will benefitour bodies as we get older, essentially weight bearing exercises such as walking and weight training. These are by far the best type of exercise for maintenance of bone mass. Regular exercise will also help to slow down the rate at which the boneshrinks. Stretching is another – an excellent class such as pilates is perfect for older adults, especially if you haven’t exercised for a while as it is a safe way to restart a workout program focusing onbuilding a strong core and strengthening our deep abdominal muscles that are closest to our spine.
I could go on but I think you’ve got the picture. There is however, one extremely important last point that I would just like to mention as so many of us tend to overlook it – its not just how our ageing bodies will benefit from exercise but also our ageing mind. There has been countless research carried out that shows how exercise helps to alleviate depression, as it increases the production of serotonin which is a critical neurotransmitter found in our brain andassociated with good health and mental wellbeing. Exercise also improves our memory, helps to de-stress us and very importantly, allows us to become more focused.
Now I don’t expect you to just take my word for it – here at Fitness Republic we would love for you to either give us a call or pop in for a chat so we can help, guide & advise you on where to start or how to progress.
Just remember that getting older doesn’t mean we are unable to exercise, in fact quite the opposite as the more we do the happier not only our bodies will be but also our mind.
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