What’s the point of exercising at my age?

Healthy Ageing with Jo

Following my last column, debunking the myth that ‘skinny is healthy’, in this month’s column I want to explore the myth that you don’t need as much physical activity as you age.

Many people assume they are too old to exercise or it’s not as important in later years. But many studies have shown that exercising prevents disease, can reduce the chances of a fall, and boosts your mood.

Being active as you age will improve your bone density, heart health, hormonal and metabolic balance to name just a few physiological benefits.

Exercise also improves more than just your physical health. As the world deals with a pandemic and the uncertainty that this creates, being physically active bolsters your mental wellbeing too, it’s known to improve cognitive function and help prevents dementia.

So, each week, here’s what I challenge you to try…

  • 150 minutes a week of aerobic activity; get out and walk the beach, or hills, or amongst the trees. Suck in the oxygen and let go of all the unnecessary worries.
  • 2x full body resistance workouts using your body weight, bands, or weights at a 6 out of 10 intensity level.
  • Stretch, meditate, and breathe.

You can either find a gym with a great senior’s rate and friendly atmosphere that will assist with these goals, or DIY at home with some online assistance from a reputable source.

And if you’re getting back into exercise after a period of inactivity, don’t worry! There’s plenty of low impact options out there to ease you back in. Try tai chi, aqua aerobics or a specifically designed fitness class.

At any age, if you’re interested in living healthier, being happier and preventing injuries then regular exercise (alongside good nutrition, hydration & sleep) will help you ‘win’ at this thing called life!

Joanna Melbourne

As published in the Weekend Sun, October 15, 2021