Tag Archives: Fitness

What is getting a lot of press at the moment is the Build Strength part of the guidelines. It's always been there but it is now given greater emphasis as the evidence it helps maintain physical function, reduce the risk of falls, and help people feel more confident can not be overstated.

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Very important muscles to exercise as we age are the upper back muscles to prevent that hunched over look where the chest muscles are too tight and the upper back muscles are weak.  Exercises that don't use any equipment to work the upper back aren't thick on the ground, however there are a couple.  If you can't safely get up and down from the floor (which this exercise requires) then please comment and I will post another exercise that you can do.

The (snazzily named) Y-T-I raises target the muscles of your upper back that stabilize your shoulder blades  and strengthen your shoulder muscles.

Y Raise

  1. Lie facedown on the floor with your arms resting on the floor above your head, completely straight and at a 30-degree angle to your body, so your body forms a Y shape.
  2. Your palms should be facing each other so that the thumbs point up (as if you were doing an ok sign!)
  3. Raise your arms as high as you comfortably can, concentrate on your upper back doing this work and not your arms.

 T Raise

  1. Still lying facedown move your arms so that they're out to your sides—perpendicular to your body.
  2. Your thumbs should be still pointing upwards with palms now facing forwards.
  3. Raise your arms as high as you comfortably can, concentrate on your upper back doing this work and not your arms.

I Raise

  1. Still lying facedown move your arms so that your body forms a straight line from your feet to your fingertips.
  2. Like with the Y your palms should be facing each other  with your thumbs pointing up.
  3. Raise your arms as high as you comfortably can,  concentrate on your upper back doing this work and not your arms.

Do 10 reps of each Y, T and I  (immediately after one another) and then rest for 1 minute before doing another 10 reps of each exercise.

For a no equipment required lower back and core exercise please see the following article I wrote which details both Bird Dog (great name!) and the plank.

Before starting any new exercise program please check with your doctor and clear any exercise changes with them

If you have any questions on this article, or any questions about exercise and the over-50s please post a comment. By subscribing to this blog you will be informed of any new articles. You will not receive any spam email.

 

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Last week I bought a magazine called Glamour. Now I gave up buying women magazines about a year ago and both my bank balance and my attitude towards my body has thanked me. However this issue had a free nail polish and I do love nail polish. Whilst flicking through the magazine I came across this bit of advice:

"I prefer to keep the weights low" (the "celebrity" personal trainer advocates 3lbs) which apparently will "create more of a woman's body - sensual and sexy, but strong" ...continue reading

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Did you know current research  by researchers at the U.S. National Cancer Institute has shown that participation in  regular exercise  after 40 may raise life expectancy by up to 7 years?

That regular exercise could be as something as simple as a brisk walk.

In addition to living longer regular exercise may also lower risk for memory problems.

I run a small group exercise class in Farnham Park every Friday morning for the over 50s. We combine a brisk walk with resistance exercises using dynabands or body weight.  This is a class for all levels of fitness – each exercise will have an adaptation for you.

So if you fancy living longer and being physically and mentally fit to enjoy those extra years why don't you come along and join us. If you have any questions then please call Helen on 07785747669.

Before starting any new exercise program please check with your doctor and clear any exercise changes with them.

"Age UK in conjunction with Bannatynes, David Lloyd Leisure Ltd, LA fitness and Nuffield Health Fitness and Wellbeing Centre’s (including Greens Health and Fitness) present Age UK’s Gym Open Day on 10 July 2012.

Go along to your local participating gym to gain free access for the day. Attend a class, take a dip in the pool or take a tour and learn more about the benefits of physical activity." ...continue reading

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If you have arthritis in the knee you have probably been told you can't do squats & lunges, which are traditional exercises to strengthen the quadriceps (muscles on front of thigh). Yet having strong quadricep muscles can help with the arthritis as  stronger muscles provide better support to the joint. So what can you do? ...continue reading

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Someone has tweeted me and asked how they can get back into their exercise routine after being on holiday. This is something I am asked a lot, people use a holiday as a motivational tool to do exercise, therefore when the holiday is over why bother continuing?

I feel people should use whatever method works for them to get themselves moving but as well as short term (1 month) and medium term (1-6 months) goals (such as looking good on holiday) it's wise to plan long-term ones as well. You can use the fulfilment of short term goals to contribute to the achievement of long term goals and therefore continue to exercise and eat healthily all year long.

A long-term goal is generally set over a course of a year, so this is where the big numbers start to come into play. In my SMART blog post I stated it wasn't a good idea just to say "I want to lose weight" it needs to be measurable so I suggested

“I want to lose 6 pounds in the next 6 weeks, I will do this by cutting down on portion size and exercising 3 times a week”

This would be your short-term goal. Your long term goal might be to lose 2 stone and as a long-term goal that would be fine. If you just wrote I want to lose 2 stone then it might seem daunting from the outset.

From a fitness point of view I know someone who currently has a long-term goal of the Great South Run which is 10 miles, however her short and medium term goals include finishing the couch potato to 5K training programme and then participating in several 5K and then 10K runs. The short/medium term goals help make the long-term goal achievable.

Ok so that's the science bit, and most of the time it works. But what about the times you just can't be bothered whatever the long term goal maybe?

Well here are some ideas that might help those 'whatever' days:

  • Put on work-out clothes when you get up
  • Schedule it in diary
  • Ring a friend and get them to join you for a walk/run/swim. You may not exercise as intensely due to chatting but at least you are moving.
  • Write down how it feels AFTER you have exercised and stick it somewhere you can see it
  • Allow yourself a treat after you have exercised. This doesn't have to be food related!

Thinking positively helps, instead of thinking oh that exercise session is going to make me feel hot, sweaty and may hurt (in a good way!) think about the benefits you will be getting.  When you exercise endorphins are released which are the body’s natural feel good chemicals and therefore boost your mood naturally. So next time you are in a bad mood and can't be bothered to exercise think about the fact exercise might be the cure!

I would love to hear any motivational tips or tricks that you use.

I hope you have found this article informative. If you have any questions on this article, or any questions about exercise please post a comment. By subscribing to this blog you will be informed of any new articles. You will not receive any spam email.

The Department of Health described self-care in 2005 as “the actions people take for themselves, their children and their families to stay fit and maintain good physical and mental health; meet social and psychological needs; prevent illness or accidents; care for minor ailments and long-term conditions; and maintain health and wellbeing after an acute illness or discharge from hospital.” ...continue reading