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Never Too Late! How to maintain strength as you age.

Sep 26, 2018

For many people, retirement marks a time of new beginnings.

More time with the grandkids, new hobbies, greater opportunities to travel. But it can also be a time for finding new ways to maintain or build your strength while discovering talents you never knew you had. This is important because at present, too few people are doing as much exercise as they should each week – particularly to strengthen their muscles and bones.

Finding something that you love to do is the perfect way to help you remain active and strong as you age – while having fun at the same time.

Many of us overlook everyday opportunities to strengthen our muscles.

These can be as simple as:

  • Carrying the shopping
  • Scrubbing clean the car
  • Digging in the garden.

Try to incorporate those into your daily routine to feel the benefits. But as with any activity, our bodies adapt quickly. So always make sure you are making it that bit harder – carrying the shopping a little further, for example. Small amounts can add up to a big difference over time to keep you stronger for longer.

How much should I be doing?

Studies show we lose 3-5% of muscle every year from the age of 30 if we do not take steps to maintain it.

Losing that strength puts us at greater risk of falls and other ill-health so it is vitally important to make countering the decline a priority in your life.

The official guidelines call for everyone to do activities that strengthen your muscles and bones twice a week.

Meeting that target will help you not only prevent falls, but improve your mood, help your sleeping patterns and bring benefits for your overall health and wellbeing.

It’s never too late to be what you might always have been. There are so many activities out there that you may have wanted to do in the past but never got around to and retirement is a great opportunity to put that right.

Activities found to have the most benefit for muscle and bone strengthening include:

  • Ball games
  • Racket sports
  • Dance
  • Nordic walking
  • Resistance training.

At goPhysio, we run a class specifically designed for older people, so you can exercise safely and with the right guidance and supervision to give you the confidence you may need. Read more about our Active Ageing Classes gophysiotherapy.co.uk/wwt-older-people here.

Also try to do the home-based exercises twice a week to supplement those activities.

But if none of those float your boat, there are plenty more to choose from – for instance, how about playing the drums? Or Pilates?

Whatever you do, just make sure it has a strength component.

Ask your physio for suggestions or visit the BBC’s Get Inspired website.

Tips for starting a new activity:

  • Find something you enjoy so that you’ll keep going
  • Set goals for yourself – big or small – to keep you motivated
  • Pace yourself – start slowly and gradually build up
  • It’s ok to ache but if pain persists, ease back and go slower

Need more motivation and support? Why not come and see a member pf our team to help you realise your potential and put a plan in action.

 

Read More

Pilates at goPhysio gophysiotherapy.co.uk/clinical-pilates
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