Active Ageing And What It Means
If you’d like to know more about the buzzwords “active ageing” and what it means – read on! It’s the concept of enhancing opportunities to enable people to be active, happy and healthy later in life. Exercising into your latter years has numerous health benefits. In fact, one study found that those who engage in at least three hours of recreational sport a week for 10 years between the ages of fifty and sixty could increase the life expectancy of formerly sedentary individuals.
Julie Robinson, optimal ageing expert and founder of fitness initiative, Move It or Lose it, explains.
“People are living longer than ever before and because of this, attitudes towards ageing are changing. It is no longer expected that you slow down in your later years. And, in fact, the opposite is now being promoted. It’s great to see such a positive shift in messaging and with musculoskeletal conditions being the leading cause of disability in the UK, it’s never been more important for people to prioritise joint health and keep active at any age.”
Although numerous studies have concluded that physical activity is a key contributor to longevity, you should ensure you’re exercising in accordance with your age and ability. A routine which worked in your twenties may no longer be suitable. So what exactly should someone over the age of fifty be doing to keep fit?
Whilst younger adults often go straight into high-intensity workout routines which can run the risk of injuries, older adults have a natural decline in bone health and muscle mass. There’s also hormonal changes for women to contend with.
Unfortunately, many women find their joints suddenly become stiff and painful during perimenopause and menopause, which inevitably deters a natural desire to keep fit. Interestingly, joint pain affects as many as 40% of all menopausal women and joint stiffness is the most common contributor to impairment of quality of life and work in women of a menopausal age.
Julie Robinson comments: “Joint pain may not subside when hormones level out after the menopause. But there are many lifestyle changes that can help ease the pain and prevent it from getting worse. Commonly affected joints include the knees and hips so be sure to implement some specific exercises to support these areas. Walking is a great low-impact exercise which supports both the knees and hips. Walking helps to keep the joints flexible and strengthens the surrounding muscles.”
Julie also recommends tailoring your fitness routine to incorporate both low-impact exercises and strength training.
“If you’re over fifty, try to tailor your exercise regime to accommodate for natural changes in joint health. I’d even recommend adding in gentle strength training to help build up lost strength from an age-related decrease in muscle mass. Weights can often feel intimidating but start off small and go at your own pace. Research suggests that when done regularly, strength training can help preserve bone density, independence and vitality.”
Help Relieve Discomfort
Staying active in your later years is imperative to help prevent physical decline. However, for the 20 million people in the UK suffering with a musculoskeletal condition such as arthritis, keeping up with a substantial exercise routine is not always possible.
Julie says, “Although I’m an advocate for active ageing, conditions such as arthritis can have a great impact on our desire to exercise. Pain and discomfort often accompany chronic health conditions, with many believing that exercise will exacerbate symptoms. In fact, keeping active can actually help relieve discomfort by reducing joint pain whilst increasing strength and flexibility. For those looking for additional support, joint movement may be made easier through the addition of a clinically backed supplement, such as GOPO® Joint Health which in numerous studies has been shown to reduce joint pain and stiffness.”
Credits: Author Yvonne McKenzie and Magazine The People's Friend
No doubt you’ve come across the many videos of so-called influencers setting fitness challenges on the various social media channels. From waist training using uncomfortable corsetry to extreme cardio daily challenges, there are so many trends out there often being promoted by unqualified people. According to a survey carried out by Origym, a third of British people interviewed said ‘picture perfect’ social media images make them want to lose weight.
So this month we are going to take a look at some of the most popular trends and offer some alternatives to help you set realistic goals that you can achieve safely.
Exercise Trends to Avoid
The best way to improve your fitness and body shape is to take part in moderate, regular exercise and eat a healthy balanced diet. Try not to aspire to unrealistic body shape goals and instead aim to have a strong, healthy body. Fitness classes and one to one sessions are a great way to get in shape under the supervision of a qualified instructor. There, you can get help and advice on how to tailor workouts to suit your ability and fitness level and set achievable goals for life-long health and well-being.
Nutrition Trends To Avoid
The NHS Eatwell guide contains great information on how to follow a healthy and sustainable diet for the whole family. Balance is key- don’t deny yourself treats, instead focus on eating well throughout the week.
Social media is a great tool for finding out about fitness and nutrition but should be done with caution. Research any fitness/nutrition advice and always consult your doctor before embarking on a new exercise regime or diet.
Contact Amanda for more information on how you can improve your health and fitness, At Smart Fitt there are lots of classes to cater for all fitness levels and physical abilities as well as personal training sessions and nutrition advice.
Do I Need a Personal Trainer?
We all know that exercising as we age is important to help maintain our physical and mental well being. Walking, running, strength training and fitness classes are all great ways to stay healthy and active but have you ever considered hiring a personal trainer?
A personal trainer is not just for those who are training for big events, although obviously personal trainers are amazing for this too, one-one fitness sessions with a personal trainer will be tailored to an individuals needs and goals, often including nutrition advice making them a great option for someone struggling to get fit on their own.
Reach your Goal
If you are trying to get fit but have hit a barrier, maybe feeling like nothing is working anymore or you are unsure if you are doing the right type of exercises, then a personal trainer is a brilliant way to reach your target. Your trainer will be able to work out a bespoke plan for you to help you achieve your goals while making sure you are working all the muscle groups and avoiding risk of injury. Having that scheduled time with your personal trainer will help make you accountable meaning you’ll be more likely to succeed.
Get Ready for an Event
If you are training for a specific event, maybe a run or a charity challenge, then a personal trainer will be a great addition to help you get ready for your challenge. When training for longer events it’s easy to over (or under) train and a personal trainer can help make sure you are training at the right pace. If you are training for a run, cycle ride or swimathon it can be easy to focus completely on cardio exercise and miss out on the all important strength training- a personal trainer will schedule in a good balance of strength and cardio training to make sure you have a well rounded regime.
If you are at the start of your fitness journey you might not feel ready to hit the gym or join a class. A personal trainer gives you accountability and allows you to ease yourself back into exercise without the pressure of worrying how you look to a group of strangers. Just a few weeks of personal training sessions could help you feel confident enough to join a class or venture into the gym. Group classes or crowded gyms aren’t everyone's cup of tea and personal training is a great alternative.
Advice and Support
When you choose to work with a personal trainer you get that extra support you don’t have access to in a group situation or when you work out alone. We have probably all experienced that uncomfortable situation where you go to use an exercise machine with absolutely no idea how to use it but with a personal trainer you will never have that issue. One to one sessions mean your qualified instructor can really ensure you are doing any exercises correctly, they can advise on intensity and explain how you can get the most out of your exercises.
If you would like more information on professional personal training, contact Amanda here. Amanda can also offer you nutritional advice to make sure you are eating a balanced diet that will fuel your workouts and help with your weight loss, fitness goals as well as having a bit of fun!