Think of your brain, balance and longevity
Around my local suburbs, I have never seen so many people regularly walking for their health. There were always the genteel walkers. But now, with the pandemic and gyms closed, there is a new breed on the paths and tracks.
I'm pleased to observe that they mostly are not "serious" walkers, those with intent looks and machine-driven arms. Although the majority are not so intense, they are satisfyingly consistent and purposeful. I'm one of those - I walk 5km at least once every day, and I've added in walking backwards.
With a single tweak, these regular-walking folk can significantly improve the health and longevity benefits from their activity.
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.
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.
Especially if you are over 55
The state of our teeth has consequences for our overall health. This is especially important now.
If our dental hygiene is poor, then our immune system will waste resources fighting this threat, and have less resilience to withstand the coronavirus.
Don't stress your body by making it fight what's going on in your mouth when it could be doing better things for you. This is especially important as we get older and our immune response weakens.
20 minutes can serve for anti-Inflammatory
Viruses cause inflammation.
An over-exuberant inflammatory response characterises both coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).
Moderate exercise helps fight the inflammation.
In particular, exercise fights age-related inflammation. Cardiovascular disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, and several other chronic diseases - are now known to be strongly linked to inflammatory processes.
Exercising has been found to reduce chronic low-level inflammation i.e. exercise keeps us healthy and helps minimise the negative effects of age-related inflammation.
How we can be more abundant in supporting our immune system
I am a big fan of the Harvard Health blog. I enjoy reading it - it's science-based and trustworthy.
That's why I was disappointed with the article "Six ways you can help your immune system".
Of the "six ways" five were rather trite. I immediately thought of four better ways than the article suggested, especially in these days of Covid-19.
No, they don’t help you lose weight, but they do build bone and muscle strength
People always seem puzzled by vibration machines, at least that's what I've noticed at my local gym. They fiddle with the settings -- looking a little perplexed -- and then push the Start and either leap off with fright or stand and enjoy the experience.
But they rarely come back and even more rarely use the machines systematically.
The problem is that they don't know how, when and why to use them. Luckily for me, the gym keeps buying new machines to replace the old, and I keep using them.
Last night was an unusual one for me. My usually painful right knee wasn't painful.
I've been scratching my head all day as to what I had changed, and I've only come up with one thing.
The results seem too immediate. Could this simple change be associated with my pain relief?
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