Are you finding that some tasks you used to be able to do easily are becoming harder?

Unfortunately, despite some of the great medicines and treatments we have available to us today, there are some aspects of becoming older that start to occur naturally.

However, the good news is that we can do things to slow these aspects down.

What might happen to my body as I age?

As we age we will find that our bones might shrink, they can lose density (osteoporosis) and, our muscle mass starts to decrease. Our muscles, tendons, and joints can also lose strength and flexibility with age, which affects coordination, stability, and balance.

How can we reduce the natural effects of getting older?

The answer is strength training, and it is critical to do this as we age. Problems with bones, muscles, and joints can be minimised with a fitness programme that has an emphasis on strength, balance, and core movements.

So what exercises will help to keep me strong and mobile?

Firstly, exercises to improve the strength of the core. All movements, even though we may not be aware of it, start with the core; our core muscles steady our body and make balance and posture easier. They are the main support for our spine. There are compound exercises that help to build the core as well as the plank.

Secondly, find exercises to strengthen the legs. If we find ourselves sitting more than we used to, our leg muscles will weaken. This means that our legs will not be strong enough to hold us upright, possibly resulting in falls and stumbles. Practicing squats is like getting in and out of a chair and is a great way to build leg strength.

Thirdly, find exercises to improve balance. Balance is key so that we can stay upright and avoid serious falls which may impact the quality of life afterward. The single-leg exercise is a great place to start using a wall or chair to steady yourself; timing yourself and seeing if you can increase how long you can stand on one leg will improve strength and balance. Always remember to do this with a small bend in the standing leg.

Keeping strong as we get older is a key way to maintain health our independence – keep it at the top of your mind and to-do list every day.

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