Ex­er­cise for all ages

> Here are ways to keep you fit and healthy

The Sun (Malaysia) - - LIFESTYLE - NEVASH NAIR

THE world of health and fit­ness is a maze that will con­fuse any­one. Thanks to the in­ter­net and power of so­cial me­dia, in­for­ma­tion is only one click away.

But in this end­less stream of in­for­ma­tion, it is easy to find stud­ies that con­tra­dict each other.

Thank­fully, there are ex­er­cises and ac­tiv­i­ties that have been proven over and over again to help any­one look­ing to live a healthy life­style, re­gard­less of age or gen­der.

Re­mem­ber, age is just a num­ber and there isn’t a per­fect time to start ex­er­cis­ing. Start to­day and reap the ben­e­fits in the fu­ture.

Your body’s a tem­ple Body­weight train­ing is suit­able for any­one at any age.

Stud­ies have shown that de­vel­op­ing lean mus­cles is great for blood ves­sels, lungs, hor­mone pro­duc­tion and the heart.

Body­weight re­sis­tance train­ing also has a pos­i­tive ef­fect on men­tal health, ac­cord­ing to the Amer­i­can Acad­emy of Pe­di­atrics.

For ath­letes around the world, it is one of the best tools for fat loss and mus­cle gains.

One of the old­est forms of strength train­ing, body­weight ex­er­cises also help keep our joints healthy as we age.

If done cor­rectly, it can also help fight mus­cu­lar and joint pain – mak­ing it per­fect for se­niors – while push-ups, squats and planks are safe enough even for chil­dren.

Make a splash South­east Asia has been buzzing about Sin­ga­porean Joseph School­ing’s gold medal ef­fort at the Rio Olympics re­cently. Hope­fully, this will start a move­ment to get more peo­ple swim­ming.

It is never too late to start swim­ming as it can help re­duce the risk of heart dis­ease and Type 2 di­a­betes. It is also ideal for those suf­fer­ing from arthri­tis as it in­creases flex­i­bil­ity and mo­bil­ity with low im­pact on the body.

Be­sides its ob­vi­ous safety ben­e­fits, chil­dren who swim at an early age are less likely to be obese as they grow older.

Re­search also in­di­cates that chil­dren who swam dur­ing their early child­hood years per­form bet­ter in aca­demics com­pared to their non­swim­ming coun­ter­parts.

And spend­ing time by the pool is a fun-fam­ily ac­tiv­ity.

Na­maste! As they say, if you can breathe, you can do yoga. Ex­perts in­sist that you can be a yoga prac­ti­tioner re­gard­less of your age and still reap ben­e­fits from it.

Most schools in In­dia start teach­ing yoga to Year One pupils as part of their phys­i­cal ed­u­ca­tion pro­gramme. They be­lieve the breath­ing tech­niques re­duce men­tal dis­trac­tion which leads to bet­ter con­cen­tra­tion. This in re­turn will help stu­dents with their grades.

For se­niors, yoga can help slow down the many symp­toms of age­ing.

Its ben­e­fits for se­niors in­clude im­proved blood cir­cu­la­tion, clear res­pi­ra­tory func­tion and healthy joint mo­bil­ity.

Best foot for­ward Walk­ing is the old­est form of ex­er­cise for mankind and prob­a­bly the most nat­u­ral thing a healthy hu­man can do.

It is a cheap ac­tiv­ity (all you need is a pair of good walk­ing shoes) and it in­stantly cre­ates bond­ing time be­tween child and par­ent.

Re­search has shown that chil­dren who walk reg­u­larly have calmer per­son­al­ity.

For se­niors, walk­ing 30 min­utes a day can sig­nif­i­cantly im­prove men­tal health and re­duce heart prob­lems.

Nevash Nair is cur­rently on his own fit­ness jour­ney in Thai­land. Con­tact him via email at life­style. nevash­nair@the­sundaily.com.

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