Guest blog by Norwich Osteopathic Clinic
Exercise choices for younger people tend to be widely discussed.
However, as you age exercise may seem more of a challenge – so if you want to increase your activity levels in the new year but are not sure which one will suit you then here are some of our suggestions….
The findings of the Start Active, Stay Active report from the Chief Medical Officers (2011) recommend that people aged 65 years and over need to do two types of physical activity each week: aerobic and strengthening exercises.
Those who are generally fit, and have no health conditions that limit their mobility, should try to be active daily and should do either:
1) At least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity such as cycling or walking every week, and strength exercises on two or more days a week that work all the major muscles (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms)
2) Seventy-five minutes of vigorous aerobic activity, such as running or a game of singles tennis every week, and strength exercises on two or more days a week that work all the major muscles (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms).
This sounds like a lot but it is actually easy to do once you know how….
Aerobic activities are exercises that raise your heart rate and are important for your cardiovascular health.
If you are exercising at a moderate level you can still talk, but you can’t sing the words to a song.
If you are exercising at a vigorous level you won’t be able to say more than a few words without pausing for breath.
Activities requiring moderate effort include walking, water aerobics, ballroom dancing, cycling, playing doubles tennis, or pushing a lawn mower.
Activities requiring vigorous effort include jogging, aerobics class, swimming, fast cycling, singles tennis, or hiking uphill.
Daily chores such as shopping, cooking or housework don’t count!
Strengthening exercises increase muscle mass, which is very important for maintaining bone mass, regulating blood sugar, and maintaining a healthy weight. Muscle-strengthening exercises are counted in repetitions and sets.
To gain health benefits from strength exercises, you should do them slowly, and repeatedly until the worked muscle is exhausted.
Examples of muscle-strengthening activities include yoga or pilates and lifting weights.
You don’t need specialist equipment – even an old two litre plastic bottle of milk filled with water can act as a weight!