For a lot of people, retiring can mean a time of new beginnings – spending more time with the family, looking for new hobbies, more opportunities to travel. But it can also be a time for looking for new ways to maintain or build your current strength while discovering some talents you never knew you had. No matter what age we are we can all keep or at least increase our strength within certain limits of course.
Whether your muscle–building routine involves strength training or relies more on resistance training, the fact is, it’s definitely possible for seniors to build muscle mass when they take their nutrition and exercise seriously.
Though it’s difficult to imagine ourselves in old age, the attention we devote to building and maintaining four crucial muscle areas today will make a significant difference 20, 30 or 40 years down the road when it comes to carrying out even basic actions such as walking and bending.
In fact, our skeletal muscles, the fibres anchored to our bones and tendons that enable both motion and force, are integral to how we function. If we don’t take care of these muscles, which start to deteriorate as young as age 25, we’re at risk of injury, as well as a range of problems from incontinence to weak bones to increased risk for falls, which often reduces lifespan in those over age 65.
How much exercise should I be doing?
Studies have shown we lose on average 3-5 per cent of muscle every year starting from the age of 30, if we don’t take measures to maintain it. Losing that strength gradually puts us at greater risk of falls and other ill-health so it’s very important to make maintaining our strength a priority in life.
The Official guidelines call for everyone to do activities that will strengthen your muscles and yoir bones at least twice a week. Plus, meeting that target will help you not only prevent falls, but also improve your mood, help your sleeping patterns and bring benefits for your overall health and wellbeing aswell.
Tips for starting a new activity
- Find something you enjoy so that you’ll probably keep going at it
- Set some goals for yourself – big or small – to keep you motivated.
- Pace yourself – just start slowly and gradually build up the pace
- It’s ok to ache but if the pain persists, ease back a bit and go slower. (read your body)
- Need more motivation and support? Find an exercise partner!
You don’t always need to lift huge heavy weights to strengthen your muscles. It can be done through many everyday activities like:
- Carrying shopping
- Washing your car
- Digging in the garden
- Regular walking etc;
If you incorporate those activities into your daily routine, it won’t be long before you start feeling the benefits.
But of course, as with any activity, our bodies can adapt quickly. So always make sure you’re challenging yourself – like carrying the shopping a little further, for example.
Small amounts can add up to a big difference over a period of time and keep you stronger for longer.
There are so many different activities out there that you may have wanted to do in the past but never really got around to, and retirement time is a great opportunity to put that to the test.
The activities that have the most benefit for muscle and bone strengthening include:
- Ball games
- Racket sports
- Nordic walking
- Resistance training
But if none of those appeal to you then there’s plenty more to choose from – why not try the Bullworker Pro? Its proven to work for young and old, male or female and has done so since the early 60’s.
Whatever you do, just make sure it has a strength component.