Staying fit as you age

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Aging is unavoidable. You cannot chase or bribe time, but you can try to age with grace. It is not a mere matter of looking youthful, rather, it is about being fit as we age.

The journey of aging does not always have to be a grueling one. Yes, your cells are aging, your metabolism is slowing down, you are gaining weight, your coordination is not what it used to be, and your bones creak like the floorboard of a haunted house.

However, there are still ways in which you can facilitate your body in decreasing the debilitating impact of aging. Just because you are nearing your midlife, you should not limit yourself to your bed.

On the contrary, being active is a good way to stay healthy, as your Internal Medicine specialist in Lahore will also tell you.

Benefits of exercises and physical activity for aging bodies.

Exercise is a word dreaded by many, and yet it is the best way to ensure health. While calling it a fountain of youth would be slightly misleading, as nothing can defy time, but it surely does decrease the rate at which you age.

As we age, muscle is lost by the body, especially in men due to the decrease in the levels of testosterone. Excess of fat also settles in the vessel, causing them to become hard and making it difficult for blood to reach places. Enter, cardiovascular and heart diseases.

There is also the danger of diabetes, and the havoc that it wreaks on the body. These chronic ailments significantly decrease the quality of life but can be effectively prevented with exercise.

Moreover, exercise also helps in strengthening the bones, and in building muscle. It is thus great for improving mobility, even in cases where people suffer from osteoporosis.

Exercise also helps in releasing endorphins, the good hormone that helps in uplifting mood and also acts as a pain reliever, so you do not have to be an old curmudgeon. It also helps in relieving stress, which helps in lowering the chances of mental health problems like depression and anxiety.

Similarly, exercise also makes the heart strong, so the heart rate and pressure, both remain normal. Since it’s harder to keep off excess weight with aging, and as obesity brings in a plethora of problems of its own, the fact that exercise is helpful for staving off extra pounds is crucial.

As sleep gets harder with age, exercise also helps in resolving the problem of insufficient shuteye. Overall, exercise is very helpful in improving longevity.

Exercises that are best for you

Whereas it’s good to be ambitious, it’s better for older people to stick to exercises that are not too hard on their aging bodies. Some exercises that are good for older folks include:

Walking

An exercise that helps not just your body, but your social life as well is, exercise. It is easy to do, is a rather pleasant experience, and it also gives you a chance to train for more ambitious exercise regimens that you might want to try later, after getting fit.

Swimming

 It works up all the muscles yet is low impact. Thus, people who are older can manage easily to get some exercise by swimming some laps. There is also lesser danger of falls as well. In the hot summers, it can be rather refreshing as well.

Strength training

Strength training exercises are beneficial for all age groups. They help keep the muscle lean and the bones strong. This then helps evade the risk of falls, which makes strength training especially useful for older people.

You can try to lift weight, do some pushups, go for the squats; there are so many types to choose from!

Cycling on machines

Stationary bikes and elliptical machines are also useful forms of low intensity exercise. As cycling motion is also easier on the joints than walking, so people having knee ache should try cycling instead.

Staying fit: The challenges

It can be harder to exercise for older people, due to the fear of injuries. Unlike when in youth, the body does not spring back to normal after an accident. Therefore, it’s important to be careful.

There are ways you can reduce the chances of injury. 

Warm up

It’s important not just for older people, but anyone starting off exercise should warm up to prepare their muscles. The risk of injury runs higher if you just start suddenly.  Instead, do some light exercises to get your heart rate going.

Stretch properly

A good stretch is a vital part of cooling down. Incorporate stretches otherwise as well, as these help in preventing tears to the tendons.

Footwear is important

People doing intensive training, especially resistance training like running, jogging, jumping, climbing etc., where your feet are working, should be careful in their choice of footwear. Not wearing appropriate shoes can cause sprain, injuries, tears to the tendons etc.

Exercises like yoga that are not high in intensity are usually done bare-footed, so if you have any problems with sports shoes, you can always change the exercise style.

Do not push too much

 It is vital that you listen to your body and not overdo the exercise. It can lead to injuries, making the entire ordeal futile. So, if something causes you pain or is very hard to do, leave it.

If you have special healthy conditions that might prevent you from doing intensive training, you should talk with your Internal Medicine Specialist in Karachi first, and seek their opinion as you might endanger your health otherwise.

Read More: Health and Fitness Tips for A Healthier You

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