Strength, muscle tone, flexibility and the aging process

Strength, muscle tone, flexibility and the aging process
16 May 2019, 12:34

Some estimates suggest we may lose bone density from age 25 on and 3-5% of our muscle mass every decade from age 30 onwards. This will obviously depend on a number of factors including individual genetics, diet and the physical activity of your personal lifestyle, this could be summed up in just a few words if you don’t use it, you may lose 
it.

The loss of strength and muscle mass is known as sarcopenia; so number one prevention is better than a cure so let’s deal with people over 65 in good health and no apparent risk factors, you’re having regular check-ups with your health professional and you have got the all clear. So just how much and what type of exercise do you need to incorporate into your lifestyle.

The general consensus is around 2-3 hours of moderate aerobic activity each week, this may include walking with a friend or your best mate your dog, cycling, swimming, gardening, mowing the lawns and strength exercises a couple of times per week, to exercise the major muscle groups; abdomen, chest, shoulders, arms, legs, thighs, hips and back.

Another option would be less of a time commitment if you’re up to it, aerobic activity that is a bit more vigorous such as, jogging, running or tennis and badminton. This would be a commitment of an hour or so 2 days a week.

The suggestions we offer are just that suggestions, you may tailor a personal programme to suit your own personal needs and circumstances. There are of course numerous other options through gym membership, dancing groups and clubs, walks with likeminded individuals or cycling in groups.

An observation made by a friend of many years when chatting with members of his seniors cycling group who meet most weekends for a ride; none of them had had knee or hip replacements, I found this to be an interesting observation and there may be a link between low impact regular exercise and joint health.

The takeaway from the discussion is regular exercise, healthy body mass coupled with a healthy diet may very well support comfortable healthy aging.

In summary a few thoughts, walking, swimming or aqua aerobics, dancing ballroom, line or rock and roll, cycling on level to rolling surfaces, the abundance of cycle trails makes this interesting, tennis, badminton, volley ball, table tennis, mowing the lawns or even canoeing.

Some more moderate exercises could be as simple as sitting and standing repeatedly, wall push offs, hands on the wall 1-2 vary the pressure by changing the body’s vertical angle to reduce or increase the pressure required, wall wing exercises stand at right angles to the wall apply pressure to wall with your elbow and pressure to the wall alternatively with the back of your hand, in both cases hold for 10 seconds.