Strength

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?

It doesn’t really matter what type of exercise you do as long as it’s safe and it requires effort.

Not strong is not good
This is extremely important. If your muscles are not strong they can’t properly support and move your bones and joints.

Weak is bad
Weak muscles make you far more prone to fatigue, postural strain, pain, imbalance, inflammation, injury, damage and debility.

The only way
The only way to keep your muscles strong is by exerting them often and the best way to do that is with plenty of activity and exercise. Ideally you should exercise 3 times a week or more.

Clear to go
You don’t want to have a heart attack or stroke or do yourself an injury so get medical clearance before you start stretching and exercising.

Strong is good
Good strength in your muscles is essential for your body to continue working properly and for you to maintain maximum mobility as you get older. Especially if you have problems with pain and stiffness.

Classic
Walking is an absolute classic, you just have to stand up and start walking at a brisk pace. It’s great for your legs back and heart but doesn’t work your upper body much so it’s not the only thing you should do.

Lift
Lifting weights is excellent for improving strength. It’s a very concentrated, time efficient way to exercise. You should definitely get instruction as to how to lift properly.

Go hard (gently)
Basically, you start by warming up then rapidly increase the intensity to 50% for 30 to 60 seconds. Then back off again for a few minutes, until your heart rate and breathing slow back down. Then go harder again, then back off, go harder, etc for 10 to 15 minutes to start with. No need to go over 20 minutes.

Improve
As your fitness improves, you can go harder on the intense bursts. When you start feeling fitter and stronger you can push it up to about 60% of your capacity, then 70%, then 80% and so on. As the workout progresses, so do the intensity of your bursts.

Think tortoise not hare
Obviously how hard you go depends on your level of fitness and injury. Always, always start nice and easy. Slowly, progressively increase the intensity of your sessions. There is no hurry.

You can apply this principle to any form of aerobic exercise. Walking, running, cycling, swimming, aerobics, martial arts, dancing etc.

Interval training
Increases the intensity and effectiveness of your workout and reduces the time of your workouts. When you are doing any ‘cardio’, do short intervals of increased intensity. So weather you are walking, running, swimming, cycling, or on a rowing machine, warm up, then go harder for 30-60 seconds, then back off til your heart rate and breathing are back to normal, then go harder again. Repeat this cycle over and over.

Whatever
Whatever you do, start slowly and build up your flexibility, stamina and strength. Get instruction for any new activity you may try. Find something that you like doing and get into it a few times a week or more.

Exert yourself
Supple, strong muscles are essential to keep your body working as well as it can throughout your life,especially the second half. They don’t just happen by themselves, you have to get out there and exert yourself regularly.

Prioritize
Make stretching and exercising an increasing priority in your life. They need to be as important and normal as eating, sleeping and showering, they really do.

If you only do 1 thing
The older you get the more important this becomes, it really, really does. If there’s one thing worth spending time and energy on when you get older, it’s keeping your body working as well as it can.