My approach to senior fitness and staying younger has three key components:
As we age, into our fifties, sixties and seventies we often notice that doing certain tasks becomes more difficult; we just become less supple. Getting in the car can become difficult, likewise touching our toes or tying our shoe laces. Ageing muscles naturally shorten and tighten making injury more likely if we suddenly try to perform a stretch that we have not done for some time. Stretching is a necessity for us as we age.
Stretching is crucially important and can really start to counteract some of the effects of getting older and reduce the risk injury in the short term. A key part of the warm up is dynamic stretching as this prepares the body for exercise. The cool down focuses on static stretches and these can help increase flexibility in areas such as the back, legs and arms.
Another aspect of aging is our loss of muscle (sarcopenia) it starts slowly in our 30’s and accelerates as we age. This often goes unnoticed as inactivity or a poor diet can replace this muscle with fat, leading to other health problems such as diabetes or heart issues. This process can alter the shape of our bodies, reduce our vitality and reduce our ability to perform some basic functions such as shopping, mowing the lawn or lifting our grandchildren. Regaining our muscle definition can often re-sculpt our bodies in both men and women into a more youthful form, surprisingly quickly. Basic exercises such as boxing, squats or resistance bands can all be used to start to recover some of this missing power.
When we are young it is not difficult to climb the stairs or walk to the shops. However, as the years take their toll the ability of our hearts and lungs to keep us moving as we used to, diminishes. The good news is much of this is reversible, even in our senior years! By taking the correct approach, we can start to rebuild our aerobic capacity allowing our lungs and heart to work harder longer giving us back the vitality we have lost. Cycling, jogging or aerobics can all be used to increase our ability to provide oxygene to our musles more effectively when we need it.
If you’re in Harrogate, Ripon, Otley, Knaresborough or anywhere else in the Harrogate area and would like to find out more about my approach to fitness and helping you stay younger for longer, please get in touch.