It’s essential to make a conscious effort to stay fit and mobile once you’re 50 and over, this guide is full of advice about exercise, maintaining mobility, what to wear whilst you work out and healthy eating.
These simple and light exercises can be done on a daily basis to make sure you stretch and work your muscles. Do three sets of ten on each of the exercises below, except downward dog and wall sit, which you can just hold in position for ten seconds at a time.
What: The downward dog is a classic yoga movement which stretches out the whole body and in particular, strengthens the arms and legs.
How: Position yourself on all fours and push your bum into the air so your legs are straight and your arms are helping to hold your body up (directly beneath your shoulders for maximum support).
What: Leg raises are a simple exercise that will help you maintain mobility whilst working the lower ab muscles and hip flexors.
How: Lie down on a mat and place both hands beneath your bum for leverage and to support your back. Raise one leg at a time, making sure you keep it straight. To make it a little bit harder, raise both legs at the same time and slowly lower.
What: Bicep curls solely target the bicep muscles, but it’s a great weight training exercises to keep your arms mobile and retain/build strength in your arms. You can buy some light dumbbells and practice this in the comfort of your own home or at the gym.
How: Roll your shoulders back slightly, and stand up straight with a dumbbell in each hand (start small and light and build up the weight over a few weeks or months). Moving your lower arms only, curl the weights up towards your chest and slowly lower. Make sure it’s a controlled movement, and that your arms aren’t flopping down after a rep.
What: Squats are a fantastic all over body workout, and you don’t need any additional equipment to do them. Squats also provide a quick and easy way to build up strength and muscle.
How: To squat, place your feet shoulder-width apart and turn your feet out slightly (around 30 degrees). Bend your hips and knees (pointed outwards) and keep your lower back neutral. Squat down as far as you can go (the lower down, the better) and squat back up, making sure you lock your hips and knees.
What: The overhead press is another full body workout. Ideally, you can use some small dumbbells to make the exercise a little more challenging.
How: Holding a weight in each hand, press them over your head until you lock your elbows, and slowly control the weights back down so your arms are bent at 90 degrees.
What: Jumping jacks is an old-school exercise that works the body all over. It’s a much more exciting version of cardio and is a far cry from pounding the treadmill at the gym whilst staring into space.
How: Stand still with your arms at your side, and jump so your legs are split and pointing outwards, whilst raising your arms to the side of you as high as you can.
Plank or half plank
What: A half plank is an easier beginner’s version of the full plank and it’s a great way to engage your core muscles, which in turn help to support your back and wider body.
How: Make sure you use a mat so there’s no unnecessary pressure on your knees, and kneel on the mat, with your lower arms on the floor. You can clench both hands together for leverage too. Hold the half plank for 10 seconds or longer (depending on your strength and ability). If you feel strong enough try raising your knees but making sure to keep your back flat.
What: Wall sits are another all-muscle exercise, and you can really feel the burn with this one.
How: Choose an empty wall, and sit against it with your knees at 90 degrees. Hold for ten seconds and repeat.
Remember, you can always make any of the exercises above more difficult by using heavier weights, or increasing the amount of repetitions you do.
Guide provided by DamartLast modified: January 11, 2017