Our top 5 anti-ageing exercises
As we grow older, many of us invest a lot of time, thought and money into attempting to avoid the natural process of ageing. If you are searching for an all-natural method that could protect your brain, bones and muscles from some of the effects of ageing, the answer could in fact be as simple as incorporating a balanced exercise program into your life.
1. Cardiovascular exercise
This form of exercise is essential for heart health. A recent study showed that doing moderate to high-intensity cardiovascular activity 4 or 5 times per week can significantly improve heart performance and can reduce or even reverse the stiffening effect of ageing on the heart muscle. Lower intensity cardiovascular exercise can also benefit heart health. Walking is a great form of this type of exercise. Trying to reach the often mentioned ideal of 10,000 steps a day may not be possible for everyone, but aiming for 30 minutes 5 days a week maybe more achievable. Remember that this can be broken up into chunks, for example walking for 10 minutes three times per day. Swimming and cycling are also great examples of cardiovascular exercise.
2. Strength training
This sometimes neglected type of exercise may help to prevent muscle wastage. Focusing on the major muscle groups is a good idea as this is where we start to see a decline first. They are important for everyday tasks like pushing, pulling and getting ourselves up and down. Squats and lunges are examples of these. Always ensure you have the correct technique when carrying out any strength or resistance training and consult a member of the team if you are unsure. Two to three sessions per week doing 10-15 reps for each exercise is a good guideline. HIIT or High-Intensity Interval Training is a great way to combine strength training and cardiovascular exercise.
Stretching is a very important part of any exercise regime and even more so as we get older and more stationary. Try to include stretching exercises at least twice a week and hold each stretch for 30-60 seconds. Yoga is a great way of building up and maintaining flexibility.
4. Focus on core strength
Our core muscles form part of our inner musculature that helps to support our spine and keep us upright. As we age and often become less active maintaining muscle tone in this area becomes even more important - it helps to ensure we maintain a good posture and can help to prevent back problems. Pilates classes can benefit core and back strength as well as exercises using stability balls.
Falls can become more common as we grow older and become more unstable on our feet. It is therefore very important to work on maintaining our balance. This should ideally form part of any exercise program. Simple movements like supporting yourself while trying to stand on one leg may help to improve balance.
Disclaimer: The content of this page is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. References available on request.