Exercise is Personal:
What do we mean by this? Everybody has likes and dislikes when it comes to exercise. Some people like walking, others like going to the gym and some don’t like any form of training. What we are asking you to do to combat pain and injury is to incorporate into your daily routine something that you may not have given much thought to as a form of exercise.
For you to be able to maintain your new regime, it has to be enjoyable if it’s not then you simply will not be able to keep at it. With this in mind, you need to experiment with different ways to exercise so that you can find your groove.
Although Cardio work is a very important aspect of your fitness, they have proven over the past couple of years that for people over a certain age strengthening is more important to provide stability in the muscles and joints, as well as other benefits.
- Resistance or weight training has other benefits, “Strength training helps ensure healthy bones, joints, and muscles,” he says. “It builds lean muscle mass, which is incredibly important as we age.” Jonathan Jordan Personal trainer.
- Strength training – and the muscular adaptations that come with it – affects heart health more indirectly. By increasing muscle mass, it gives your cardiovascular system more places to store its blood, thereby reducing blood pressure on the arterial walls, explains Scott Collier, a researcher, and professor of cardiovascular exercise science at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina.
- “As we age, growth hormones in the body decrease, which contributes to muscle loss,” says Amanda Murdock, CPT, director of fitness for Daily Burn. “Strength training helps us maintain and build muscle tissue.”
- In addition to keeping your body physically strong, strength training can also support your overall cardiovascular health and help you maintain a healthy weight. According to the Mayo Clinic, strength training can also help you maintain strong bones and improve quality of life and independence in your later years
Resistance training does not have to mean weight training!
Water Exercise: The natural resistance of water increases strength while keeping you cool and comfortable. Just 150 minutes of a pool workout per week can help decrease your risk of chronic illness, according to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention. Water aerobics can improve your cardiovascular and respiratory system in the same ways as cycling or running. Water is about 800 times denser than air, so it provides about 12 times more resistance. That means the moves you do in the pool can work your entire body, particularly your arms, legs, shoulders, and core.
Walking: Can be as good as a workout, if not better, than running,” says Dr. Matt Tanneberg, CSCS, a sports Chiropractor and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist in Phoenix, Arizona who works with elite athletes. “You hear of people ‘plateauing’ when they continue to do the same workout routine and stop seeing results. I see patients all the time that plateau from running, they will run the same distance, speed and time, day in and day out. You need to constantly be switching up your exercise routine to get the maximum benefit for your health.” It can also apply to using treadmills!
Tai chi: Studies have found, for example, that tai chi improves balance and prevents falls, a key issue for older people as falls can result in hip fracture and a fear of going outside independently. Research has also suggested that tai chi may be good for reducing pain, for example in people with rheumatoid arthritis. And that it may also help to prevent cardiovascular disease, be effective in coronary disease rehabilitation, and help ease breathing difficulties in people with a long-term lung problem. Also, it has been suggested that tai chi can improve mental health by reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety and enhancing general stress management. Research has also suggested it could help to improve how well you feel physically and mentally.
TRX/ Suspension training: If you haven’t swung from the rafters with TRX suspension training before, the chances are you have already seen or read about it. Invented by a Navy Seal to keep his fellow troops fit in remote parts of the world, it involves the use of hanging bands to engage muscles using just your body weight. By changing the way you angle your body, every muscle can be engaged in a pull or push motion. This fantastic and simple method of exercise can allow anyone to reach their desired goal, be it weight loss, improved muscle tone, or overall fitness, from its low impact nature to engaging your whole body.
Elliptical machines: Get both an upper and lower body workout. An elliptical machine with handles is one of the few cardio machines that can provide you with both an upper- and lower-body workout. The key to maximizing the upper-body benefits is to distribute your weight and resistance evenly. In other words, pump your arms just as fast as you’re moving your legs. When done correctly, the elliptical can target your glutes, hamstrings, quads, chest, back, biceps, triceps, and core muscles.
Core training: You’ll feel better. A strong, healthy body will make you’ feel great. Once you’ve developed your core stability, you can start working on the more superficial core muscles to build strength you’ll be able to see. Exercises like the “plank,” “bridge” and other abdominal moves are great ways to get started. Classes and workouts that incorporate Bosu and stability balls are another good option. It is about working from the inside out. Just because you’re strong, it doesn’t mean you have a strong core. It’s something everyone can work on.
Cycling: It’s easy on the joints. When you sit on a bike, you put your weight on a pair of bones in the pelvis called the ischial tuberosities, unlike walking, when you put your weight on your legs. That makes it good for anyone with joint pain or age-related stiffness, Pushing pedals provides an aerobic workout. That’s great for your heart, brain, and blood vessels. Aerobic exercise also triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s feel-good chemicals—which may make you feel young at heart. Cycling builds muscle. In the power phase of pedalling (the downstroke), you use the gluteus muscles in the buttocks, the quadriceps in the thighs, and the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles in the calves. In the recovery phase (backstroke, up-stroke, and over stroke), you use the hamstrings in the back of the thighs and the flexor muscles in the front of the hips. Cycling works other muscles, too. You use abdominal muscles to balance and stay upright, and you use your arm and shoulder muscles to hold the handlebars and steer.
Yoga: Daily yoga practice will help stretch and tone your body muscles. Popular poses like the plank will simultaneously work on strengthening your arms, legs, shoulders, and abs. You don’t have to be super flexible to practice yoga, the beauty of yoga is that it can be practiced at all levels of ability. A few minutes a day practicing poses like the warrior or the downward facing dog will soon make you feel the difference in your flexibility, whether you’re pretty bendy already or not. Daily yoga helps improve your posture, making you walk taller and sit up straighter at your desk. Aches and pains caused by incorrect body posture such as back pain can also be alleviated.
Pilates: The core muscles of the body are the deep muscles of the back, abdomen, and pelvic floor. These are the muscles we rely on to support a strong, supple back, good posture, and efficient movement patterns. When the core is strong, the frame of the body is supported. This means the neck and shoulders can relax, and the rest of the muscles and joints are freed to do their jobs, not more.
Of course, there are other forms of exercise not listed here, and personal research is required to discover the correct form of exercise. The methods above are particularly effective for people at later age or generally unfit.