We all want to live longer and maintain a high quality of life as we age. As we approach the age of 50, strength or resistance type of exercise is crucial for maintaining the ability to have an active and independent lifestyle. But when you hear of someone saying you should do strength training, what do you think of? Is it a bodybuilder like Arnold Schwarzenegger, or The Worlds Strongest Man?
What is strength training?
Strength training encompasses any of the following
- Free weights such as dumbbells
- Resistance bands of varying length and tension that you flex using your arms and legs
- Exercises that use your body weight to create resistance against gravity
Let’s just put your mind at rest. Strength and resistance work does not mean you have to lift or stretch until you’re blue in the face. A simple strength or resistance workout can be as little as 10-15 minutes without significant stress or strain on your joints or extremities. It’s really important that you’re doing the exercises slowly and consistently on a regular basis.
Research tells us that strength training can help to reduce the pace of bone loss, there are some studies that have demonstrated that strength and resistance training can actually help to build bone. Doing the right type of strength exercises can reduce the age-related decline in bone mass. Movements and exercises that place careful stress on bones help to form additional calcium deposits and stimulate bone forming cells. The combination of positive stress on bone from aerobic and strength training leads to stronger, denser and more functional bone. Weight-bearing exercise and resistance exercise are particularly important for improving bone density and helping to prevent osteoporosis.
Find some strength and lets get physical!
Joining a safe exercise class with a qualified teacher or perhaps a gym may allow you to try some different types of equipment or apparatus.
Our FLexercise teachers have a passion for health and wellbeing, they all want to help you to get fitter and stronger. Many of them use resistance bands, weighted balls and even weights. Our teachers will take great care in making sure you do the exercises safely and correctly. It may take one or two months before you start feeling the health benefits, flexibility, ease of movement and potentially less muscle aching and joint pain.
What can you do at home?
There are things around the house you could use. Bags of potatoes, that’s for all of you hardcore exercisers! Cans of soup or baked beans are as good as small free weights. Whilst you’re waiting for the kettle to boil you could sneak in a few press-ups against the kitchen work-top. How about sitting on a chair, with your legs close together and extended out with a heavy book balanced on your shins, slowly raise and lower your legs. Remember to pull in those abdominal muscles. Use the back of a dining room chair and do some balance work standing on one leg at a time for 10 seconds slowly removing one then both hands.
Finally why not look around your home to see what you could use to adapt exercises and give you the resistance of your body weight to increase your strength. And if you really want to make some improvements to your fitness why not find a FLexercise class near you.
Make a decision today to get your get your body fitter and stronger.
You can’t turn back the clock but you can wind it up again!