Have fun retraining your brain to fix your sore knees
Walking better will give you a better posture, a visceral pleasure in propelling your body forward and may help you live longer. And you won't even have to look like a serious walker.
Even better, it will rebalance your body and ease some of your pains, especially if you have been using treadmills too much.
Felt that slight drift when you walk? Don’t let it get worse
As we age there are two creeping disabilities that have catastrophic consequences, yet can often be dramatically slowed with a little effort. The first one is the loss of balance, and the second is loss of the strength to get up off the floor.
And, of course, the two are related. If you fall from poor balance and cannot get up off the floor, then you could be in dire trouble.
If you suffer from no complicating factors, then here are two simple at-home exercises you can do to improve your balance, and your skeletal muscle strength.
I Discovered Bulgarian Squats #AtHome For Balance And Strength
When you're over 50 you need to pay attention to exercises which improve your (deteriorating) balance. It's time to forget the split training days and to concentrate on the split squats - in particular the Bulgarian Split Squat.
Some say that the Bulgarian Split Squat (BSS) is the King of single-leg exercises. That's a beautiful thing. All the more so during these #StayAtHome times because it's an exercise that you can easily do at home.
Be kind to yourself
What we eat affects how we feel, but, unfortunately, how we feel affects what we eat! If we feel stressed, we make poorer food choices, which sets up a circle of feeling bad.
Right now, the number one rule is to be kind to yourself. If you're making poor food choices, then that's a natural outcome of the circumstances. It's not going to kill you. Rest assured you're not alone.
If you'd like to try to break the pattern, I have some suggestions for you.
Walking more? Healthy ankles take the stress off your knees
During the lockdown, we are allowed (in Australia) to leave our homes for exercise - alone or with one other person. There are many more people walking now than before the lockdown, which is good to see.
As we walk more often and become more ambitious to walk longer distances, it is sensible to pay attention to our foot health.
Conversely, imagine if you injured a foot while walking - you would be deprived of the pleasure and relief of being able to get out of the house each day for exercise.
Although we know that maintaining the flexibility of our feet reduces the chance of injury, we rarely attend to it.
It will only add 2 minutes
At-home workouts often lack a good pull exercise. People, in general, don't do enough pulling movements, even when the gym is open.
There are two I recommend. Add these to your routine as otherwise, you'll not be getting the total body benefits you need during #StayAtHome.
When the gym was open, I always rowed every session and did other pull exercises such as rope pulls and cable pulls. I don't have that access now.
You can beat fragility
I'm disappointed when I see someone prematurely fragile. Fragility is associated with a shorter lifespan, and with being put into care earlier - losing your independence.
It disappoints me because, with some simple additions to your lifestyle, you can significantly delay fragility caused by loss of bone and muscle mass.
I did a bone density scan last year, and it showed me having 25% better bone mass than males my age, and 5% better than the average 25-year-old male.
Gym machines were built for gym owners, not to help you balance
It seems that one of my quirks at the gym is that I do quite a few balance exercises. Not many others do. Like stretching, people seem to think that balance exercises are a waste of time.
This disappoints me, as those I see about me don't show signs of having good balance - I'm talking here about those over 50.
If they could put their socks on while standing, I'd be very surprised.
I'm disappointed because falls cut people's life short by 5 years on average.
You'll be doing 20 and feeling strong
We've all seen it. The instructor announces "20 push-ups everyone", and a groan rolls through the class.
"If you can't do 20 then start properly and then go to your knees!", she yells in vain—Eighty-percent of the class to straight to their knees.
Frustrated, the instructor yells "if you always start in the easiest position you'll never get to the hard position". Everyone pretends that they didn't hear.
That's the point. If you always start in the easiest position, you WILL never get to the hard position. And you'll never get the full benefits of the exercise.
I'll show you how to get from knees to full push-ups, and it will be worth your while.
Some find it relaxing as well
As you age, stretching becomes more important, even if you're less active. Unfortunately, I see fewer older people stretching - even those that go to the gym. This one exercise will help regain your flexibility and strength.
Flexibility declines as the years go by because our muscles get stiffer. And if you don't stretch them, the muscles will shorten.
Inflexibility puts a crimp in daily acts, making it harder to walk, raise your arms overhead, or turn your head while backing up the car. It undermines your balance, too, which can cause life-altering falls.
Since I was diagnosed at 50 with Type 2 diabetes I've been learning how to do bone-building fitness training which lowers my age. You can too. It's your choice. Walter