OUR COLUMNIST, LEANNE SHORTER, SHARES HER HEALTH AND FITNESS TIPS:
FOR many people, turning 50 seems to be when you start developing all sorts of aches and pains.
People then use these aches and pains as another reason to avoid exercise.
But ironically, exercise can often be the very cure for those ailments – as long as you go about it the right way.
Here are some steps to take if you haven’t exercised in a while but would like to start feeling the benefits of regular exercise in your life.
Start with seeing your doctor for a complete health check if you haven’t exercised for a long time.
You could also consider seeing a personal trainer who can tailor a training program specific to your needs.
Make sure you have shoes that are correctly fitted.
The wrong shoe can cause knee pain, shin splints, blisters and calluses.
An ill-fitting shoe can also increase the likelihood of falling and considering falls are the leading cause of injury for people aged 54–64, it’s worth paying a visit to a specialist shoe store.
You should also wear loose, cool and comfortable clothes when exercising. Start slowly. Many people make the mistake of going too hard or too fast when they begin and they can end up sore or even injured and become discouraged.
Cold muscles are more prone to injury than warm ones, so spend at least five minutes, or even more if the weather is cold, warming up the muscles with easy exercise, like walking.
You need to cool down after your work out to help your heart and breathing rates return to normal.
Learn and use the proper technique for every type of exercise you do.
Whether it is jogging or aqua aerobics, it’s important to learn the correct technique to get the most from your workout and reduce the risk of injury.
Do some regular gentle stretching.
If you have never stretched before, your muscles can become elastic.
Stretching helps prevent stiffness, maintains joint mobility and works as a wonderful relaxant after a long day.
Try to do a variety of exercises.
Include exercise that increases muscle strength, increases flexibility and improves your cardiovascular fitness.
Resist It Bands are strong on muscles and gentle on joints.
For a variety of safe exercises check out www.resistitbands.com.
Keep in mind that overuse of muscles can cause injury – so don’t overdo it.
The great news is that regular exercise can help you stay healthy for longer.
Leanne Shorter is a qualified Older Adults Trainer and Heart Foundation Heartmoves Leader.
For more reasons why you should make time to exercise regularly, head to www.resistitbands.com.
FITNESS FOR ALL: Leanne Shorter's fitness class in Woodgate is fit for all ages.