Healthy Moves

Core-strength­en­ing work­outs

Health & Nutrition - - CONTENTS -

Most of what peo­ple call age­ing, and most of what we all dread about get­ting older, is ac­tu­ally de­cay. We are struck with real age­ing, but de­cay is op­tional. What do we mean? In the ab­sence of sig­nals to grow, your body, in­clud­ing your brain, de­cays, and you ‘age’. The keys to over-rid­ing the de­cay sig­nals? Daily ex­er­cise, good nu­tri­tion, emo­tional com­mit­ment and a real en­gage­ment with liv­ing. But it starts with ex­er­cise. You have to ex­er­cise be­cause it’s who you are, where you came from, hun­dreds of thou­sands of years ago. Hu­mankind grew up, hunt­ing and gath­er­ing, which re­quired hours of walk­ing, with in­ter­vals of run­ning and sprint­ing in be­tween. Ex­er­cise, then, is the sin­gle most pow­er­ful sig­nal you can send your body that it’s spring, and time to live and grow. It isn’t com­pli­cated, but you have to do it ev­ery day. Aer­o­bic, bal­ance and strength train­ing help you age healthy...

BAL­ANCE TRAIN­ING

Bal­ance, co-or­di­na­tion and pro­pri­o­cep­tion (your sense of where you are in space) are all run by your brain’s sig­nalling sys­tem. The brain has 100 bil­lion neu­rons, or sig­nal senders, each with con­nec­tions to 10,000 other neu­rons. And one of your brain’s big jobs is dic­tat­ing – in ex­quis­ite de­tail – how you move. But there’s a prob­lem: Ev­ery­thing you don’t use rots! Es­pe­cially the sig­nalling sys­tem that gov­erns the body’s fine mo­tor move­ments. Which means, of course, that your bal­ance and co­or­di­na­tion go to hell and you don’t know where you are. Sounds like the very def­i­ni­tion of old age, doesn’t it.

2 EX­ER­CISES THAT CAN HELP 1 Hip Cir­cles

Why bother? Moving in three dimensions is an ex­cel­lent way to main­tain flex­i­bil­ity in your hips. Step 1 On all fours, lift one leg out to the side, then back, up, and down in a cir­cu­lar-style mo­tion. Do 10 clock­wise on one side, then 10 coun­ter­clock­wise. Keep your lower back still. As your mo­bil­ity im­proves, in­crease the size of your cir­cles. Step 2 Re­peat on the other side.

2 Over­head Reach (Dry Back­stroke)

Why bother? This one is out­stand­ing for mid-back and shoul­der mo­bil­ity. Step 1 Lie on your back with one leg bent. Reach over your head with your right arm, as if do­ing the back­stroke. Re­turn the arm to your side. Step 2 Al­ter­nate be­tween the right and left, 10 times each.

STRENGTH TRAIN­ING

If it’s aer­o­bics that keeps you alive and moving, it’s strength train­ing that of­fers you qual­ity of life. The rule: Strength train two days a week. For the rest of your life. Nor­mal age­ing is grim. It means los­ing 10% of your mus­cle mass ev­ery decade af­ter age 40. Ditto bone mass. At 60, you can’t get out of a deep chair. Or the tub. Your joints hurt. So do your back, your hips, your knees. You fall down and break a hip. You’re a bor­ing old wreck. That’s nor­mal age­ing. But do se­ri­ous strength train­ing two days a week and you’ll have lit­tle mus­cle loss and much less bone loss. You don’t need ma­chines. Use free weights, elas­tic bands, your own body. Worry like crazy about pos­ture: Lousy pos­ture is the mother of bad hips. Which are the mother of bad backs. Get a de­cent ex­er­cise book or video. Do­ing strength train­ing wrong is worse than not do­ing it at all.

5 EX­ER­CISES TO BUILD MUS­CLE 1 The Squat

Why bother? It’s superb ex­er­cise for strength­en­ing your core and the big mus­cles of your legs. Step 1 With your core tight­ened and your back straight, drop your butt back and down un­til it al­most touches the chair. Hinge from the hips. Step 2 Re­turn to stand­ing po­si­tion. Re­peat.

2 Split Squat

Why bother? This one helps im­prove your hip sta­bil­ity and bal­ance. Step 1 Stand with one foot about 18 inches ahead of the other. Step 2 Lower your butt un­til your front thigh is par­al­lel to the floor. Rise. Re­peat on the other side.

3 Ro­ta­tion With A Medicine Ball

Why bother? You’ll boost your arm strength and flex­i­bil­ity. Step 1 En­gage your abs. Be­gin in a squat po­si­tion, bring­ing the ball down and right. Step 2 Swing the ball to the left and over your shoul­der. Re­turn to cen­tre and re­peat.

4 Side Plank

Why bother? This en­hances lat­eral hip and core sta­bil­ity. Step 1 Lie on your side, up on one el­bow. Lift your hips and knees off the floor. Step 2 Hold for 10 sec­onds. Re­lax. Re­peat 3 times.

5 Crunch

Why bother? It’s great for build­ing abs. Step 1 Lie on your back with your knees bent. Con­tract your abs and lift your shoul­der slightly off the floor. Step 2 Hold for 3 to 5 sec­onds. Do 3 sets of 10 rep­e­ti­tions.

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