Your body is probably the most advanced piece of machinery and technology you will ever own. The human body is a complex machine, capable of innovative changes with DNA and structure, as well as coping with a level of stress that would break lesser vessels. A computer virus can wipe a computer in seconds, but we keep getting up and fighting back.
So the question is; why waste your body’s wellbeing?
Your individual human machine’s components (heart, kidneys, lungs etc) all depend on you to keep them healthy, and keep them ticking. That is much easier said than done as the years roll on, but approaching your older years is no excuse to avoid your biological update.
By keeping active as much as possible as you get older, you are improving your quality of life. The key to this is to remain independent; you can’t expect an agile mind and body to be handed to you on a plate.
If you have been a bit slack in the exercise department since your teens, the important thing to remember is not to rush back into high pressure exercise routines. You should also consider visiting your GP to get a check-up before trying anything too strenuous.
According to the NHS, adults need to do two types of physical activity each week; aerobic exercises and exercises designed to strengthen your muscles. Adults aged 65 or over who are in good health, are advised to complete around 150 minutes of aerobic activity each week.
Aerobic activity requires your body to complete exercise which raises your heart rate and works up a sweat! Good examples of this are:
Moderate Intensity Exercises
- Fast walking – The suggested amount of walking is around 150 minutes per week
- Bike riding on level ground or anywhere with a few hills
- Ballroom dancing – Just the right amount of fun and exercise
- Line dancing
- Gardening tasks – Such as pushing a lawn mower
- Sports with a Partner – For example doubles tennis
Activities which are part of your daily routine (shopping or housework) do not count as an exercise. So scrubbing those floors might not necessarily be increasing your heart rate.
Vigorous Intensity Exercises
- Jogging and Running
- Hiking and Rambling uphill
- Aerobics classes
You should be breathing hard and fast after these exercises for them to count as vigorous intensity. The good news is that 75 minutes of vigorous exercises give you results much like 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercises. Get those hearts pumping!
Muscle Strengthening Exercises
It is essential to take part in activities useful in strengthening your major muscles (i.e. hips, back and legs) on 2 or more days. Just like body building and weight lifting, they are counted in repetitions and sets. Doing your exercises in sets of 8 or 12 repetitions is ideal; completing 2 or 3 of these sets will get the best health benefits.
- Yoga or Tai Chi
- Weight lifting
- Moving heavy loads – Make sure you do not lift incorrectly therefore putting your back under unnecessary pressure
Do what is best for you when it comes to both of these types of exercise. Do not attempt something you are not comfortable with, but at the same time, do not be afraid of trying something new. Work hard and stay safe
It isn’t just our physical wellbeing that is at risk as we get older. Keeping your mind sharp and your senses keen are important in your quest to improve your health.
- Reading – Something so easy and accessible for all helps to keep your brain cognitive. It doesn’t matter if it is your local newspaper or a well-thumbed novel; the simple act of reading exercises your mental muscle by requiring it to decipher letters and words whilst taking on board a theme, story or idea.
- Bingo/Sudoku/Chess – Activities such as these require reasoning skills, and flexing your brain in this manner requires and promotes a healthy dose of logic.
- Do and Review – After a friend or family member visits, make an effort to relax and try and recall the entire conversation in your head. What did you talk about? In what order did these topics come up? Accessing the parts of your memory bank directly linked to short term memory will invariably help you to recall things quicker as time goes on.
Cherish and love your body and your mind; it is what you make of it.
Guest post by contributing Kate S. Kate is a freelance writer, mostly interested in writing about health, education and business niche’s. Securicare Medical provides a one-stop service for all your stoma care and continence needs, catering to all your needs for ostomy supplies.