Ex­er­cises for healthy age­ing

Irish Independent - Weekend Magazine - - WEEKEND MAGAZINE COMPETITION -

As we age, our bod­ies change. We lose mus­cle mass and bone strength, our me­tab­o­lism slows and we be­come more seden­tary. A range of is­sues can be­gin to kick in: os­teo­poro­sis, arthri­tis, ex­pand­ing waist­lines and in­creas­ing risk of car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease. Ex­er­cise can re­duce your risk of con­tract­ing these con­di­tions or help you to man­age them.

As you get older, ex­er­cise plays an even more im­por­tant role in your life. I rec­om­mend achiev­ing a min­i­mum of 180 min­utes a week of mod­er­ate-in­ten­sity ex­er­cise for a health­ier and hap­pier life. That ex­er­cise can take any form, a form that you must en­joy and work hard at.

Most peo­ple will do some form of car­dio- Sit on a chair, en­sur­ing that the chair is safe to work with. Place your hands by your hips and place your feet out in front, legs par­al­lel to the floor. Bend your el­bows as far as you feel com­fort­able, keep­ing your bum close to the chair, then straighten your arms back to the start­ing po­si­tion. vas­cu­lar ex­er­cise and ne­glect the form that will bring so many ben­e­fits: re­sis­tance. Re­sis­tance ex­er­cise is any form of weight train­ing. Your body is a weight and mov­ing with it can im­prove the strength of mus­cles around your joints and in­crease mus­cle mass and tone.

Com­bin­ing car­dio and re­sis­tance ex­er­cise with some stretch­ing is the per­fect recipe for age­ing healthily. Car­dio­vas­cu­lar you can do eas­ily: walk, swim or cy­cle — get slightly out of breath and you’re there. Here, are some sim­ple re­sis­tance ex­er­cises that you can do. Re­peat each move­ment 15 times, and do three sets of each (45 rep­e­ti­tions of each ex­er­cise in to­tal). Aim to do this at least three times a week. Start by ly­ing on the floor with all of your limbs in one line. Point your toe to­wards your face and raise your leg to as high as you feel com­fort­able, re­turn­ing back down. Com­plete 15 and then­hen change sides. Start with your feet to­gether and your arms up in the air above your head, palms touch­ing. Keep­ing your arms straight, tilt the body to the left and hold for 15 sec­onds. Come slowly back to cen­tre and then tilt the body to the right for 15 sec­onds. As you com­plete sets two and three, you can push the body that lit­tle bit fur­ther. Start by plac­ing your back against a wall and your feet out in front at shoul­der width. Lower your body down un­til your legs are par­al­lel to the floor and hold for as long as you feel com­fort­able. As you get stronger, you can hold for longer. 16 Septem­ber 2017 IR­ISH IN­DE­PEN­DENT

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