If you can do one, I'll show you to get to 15
Pull-ups are a fantastic pull exercise, and we don't do enough pull exercises. That's why we see so many rounded-hunched shoulders in the gym, and they look bad on men and even worse on women (because it makes them look so much older).
It's a shame to see people putting in all that work and building a poor posture instead of a stronger one. Pulls-ups develop a more robust and more attractive posture. If you can do one proper pull-up, I'll show you how to build that up to 15.
If you weigh the same and your muscles are shrinking, then you are adding fat
Since the lockdown began, I have had to stop doing my more intense strength exercises at the gym - I used to go three times weekly. Like you, I've read that our muscles "turn to fat" when we stop exercising.
That's a scary thought, especially after 20 years of progressively building my muscular strength and endurance.
There's good news and bad news. The good news is that our muscles don't turn to fat - that's not even remotely true. The bad news is that our bodies will accumulate more fat if we continue to eat the same amount as we did with more muscle.
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.
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 start with one round
If you had to choose just one at-home exercise - using no weights and no equipment - for both cardio and strength, which one would you choose?
I must admit, I took a while to agree with myself that it would be burpees. I was hesitant because most people hate burpees.
That's half-true at least. There's always the "I did 100 burpees a day" brigade, which makes it seem not so bad.
But there's a catch. It depends on your outlook. My outlook is always to get the best Return On Exercise.
Do these 9 exercises to stay strong and fit
With the restrictions on crowds, and in some places of the world on being within 1m of other people, it's likely you might not have access to your gym.
You can do these bodyweight exercises at home, and they will keep you fit.
You'll find them a good challenge, and at the same time feel good they work across your whole body.
No machines, no mirrors, no worries, not just running
I go to gym 3 times a week, but I also like training outdoors. Running 5km twice a week adds more than just fitness; it also gets me out into the weather and nature.
A little little bit of rain; a hot, sweaty day; wind pushing into your face; a new sandtrap on the trail; a family with a dog that you have to navigate safely past - all make you feel as if you are alive.
But it is not running that will give your fitness a big boost.
Most people outdoors are walking or jogging. There are a few runners, and also, rarely, someone adding in a bit extra - perhaps running up a ramp.
With a little bit of imagination, you can add in some training that will significantly boost your fitness.
It is free pure no-equipment exercise available to everyone.
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.
Newsletter: The best single exercise you can do for your brain, balance, muscles and joints - at home
Plus, how to not carry your Xmas weight gain forward
As we head towards Xmas, here are this week's 4 Most Valuable pieces of content that I found to help you live longer better. These four articles stood out to me this week are:
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