Five ways older adults can improve fitness
It's no secret regular exercise is key to maintaining general health as we age.
A recently released study conducted by researchers from the University of Trieste in Italy found that just 20 minutes of daily moderate to vigorous exercise in early old age (70-75) may best stave off major heart disease, including heart failure, later on.
Accordingly, Penny Weston (pennyweston.com), is adamant that it is never too late to start. Read on for the leading fitness expert's top tips for older adults wanting to establish a fitness routine.
Ease in gently
The sooner you start incorporating exercise into your life, the better, so commit to starting straightaway.
"Before starting a new routine, or making a significant change to your current routine, make sure you speak to your doctor who can advise on a sensible plan based on your personal circumstances," she shared.
National Health Service (NHS) experts recommend 150 minutes a week of moderate activity, including activities such as dancing, or cycling in flat areas, or 75 minutes of vigorous activity, something that leaves you out of breath like hiking up hills or aerobics.
"It is important that every day of the week includes light activity, but the good news is that even mundane household chores like making the bed and pushing the vacuum around count!" the fitness pro explained.
Find an exercise you enjoy
Spend some time trying out different dance fitness classes, go for a swim, or look into yoga or Pilates.
"Exercising isn't a chore when it's something you enjoy. Making it an integral part of your social life is a great way to ensure your motivation remains high on days when you're not really in the mood," explained Penny.
Keep your bones strong
Maintaining bone strength is important in older adults and weight-bearing activities can have a positive impact on this.
"Depending on your current level of fitness and your interests, this could be anything from a brisk walk to a game of squash or a round of golf," she continued. "Yoga and Tai Chi are both excellent for this and help maintain a great level of flexibility as well."
Getting outside and in the fresh air can make a real difference to your mood.
"Any exercise has a really positive impact on your mental health and this is never truer than when spending time in the great outdoors! Sunshine naturally boosts your production of feel-good hormones and the fresh air can improve the quality of your sleep," Penny added.