ways to stay strong in midlife

by take-a-break |
Published on

An occupational therapist shares tips for maintaining your muscles

Exercise in short bursts

Studies have shown that little and often takes the win. Doing smaller and more manageable sessions of physical activity is as good, if not better, than longer bouts of exercise. Including smaller bouts of activity is more realistic, achievable and enjoyable, especially for those of us who don’t typically enjoy exercise.

Focus on strengthening exercises

As we age, we experience a decrease in muscle mass, size, and strength. However, it’s never too late to build muscle mass and strength.

By doing twice-weekly muscle-strengthening exercises, we can continue to live independently as we get older, as well as sustain our blood glucose levels, improve balance, and maintain body weight. We can also improve our mental fitness and help to fight off cancer.

Try doing bicep curls using shopping bags or tinned foods, doing calf raises while waiting for the kettle to boil, or toe raises while talking on the phone.

Keep walking

Everyone seems to think that running is better than walking when it comes to exercise benefits, but new research shows that brisk walking can reach moderate to high-intensity exercise, which gets the heart rate up, encourages blood circulation and burns energy.

As running can be impactful on the joints, it’s not for everyone, especially as we get older.

Buddy-up with a friend to exercise

Finding someone we can exercise with will help to hold us to our well-made plans, as we’re less likely to make excuses with a friend or loved one than we are with ourselves. This will also help to improve your wellbeing through social connection.

• From stairlift and home-lift company, Stannah’s occupational therapist, Kate Sheehan

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