If you’re getting older and notice the number on the scale increasing BUT you haven’t actually changed anything in your lifestyle, then you’re not alone! Weight gain with age is actually more common than you realise. This can be due to hormonal changes such as menopause, muscle loss or a slower metabolism.
You may have heard the mantra, ‘move it or lose it!” As you can no longer depend on youth to keep you fit and flexible, you have to prioritise these elements with more planned activities. Cycling and swimming can be good, as well as pelvic floor and strength is also important as muscle mass continues to decrease unless adequately stimulated. Your main fitness goal? To make exercise fun and pleasurable. Here are some great exercises that can help you maintain your weight as you age!
Squats are a go to exercise that will keep you feeling young! They are the perfect exercise for not only your lower body, but also your core muscles! Take your feet shoulder width apart and go down as if you were about to sit on a chair. Make sure your chest stays lifted, your shoulders are down and your abdominal muscles are pulled in. There are so many different kinds of squats. You can try squat jumps, sumo squats, moving squats or pulse squats!
JOGGING/MARCHING ON THE SPOT
Jogging/marching is a great way to elevate your heart rate as you age, and can be modified to suit you! If you’re feeling confident try starting with marching then turn it into a jog! These short jogs/marches are a great way to increase your cardiovascular fitness and help minimise weight gain as you age.
Lunges are a great way to strengthen your lower body but also increase your core stability as you get older. They are such an incredible exercise as they target so many muscle groups, such as your abs, quads, glutes and back. Begin your basic lunge with your feet together before taking a big step forward. Once you step forward, bend both knees so that your back knee almost touches the floor. Stay in that position for a few seconds, then step your front leg back and repeat the other side.
WALL PUSH UPS
When we say push ups, people automatically go to the military style, but this isn’t the case! Push ups are a great way to build upper body strength. You can start by doing a wall push up where you face the wall, place your hands on the wall and bend your elbows as you lean towards it. Hold and then push back until your arms are straight.
Chair dips are a great one for building strength and stability as you age. They can be customisable, help allow flexibility and decrease risk of injuries. Start by standing in front of a chair, facing away from it. Sit on the edge of the seat with your hands behind your hips as your hands hold on to the seat. Lift yourself off the chair, and bring yourself downward then upward!
Although weight gain can be normal with ageing, there are things you can do to prevent it. Start by adding a couple of workouts with the above exercises into your weekly routine. If you’re feeling strong enough, try doing them with some weights – nothing heavy, just whatever you can hold comfortably in your hands.
A balanced diet is also a huge key to maintaining your weight. I’m talking about fibre, protein, carbs, vitamins and minerals! Keep your belly food of the good stuff like fruits, veg and plenty of water! Stretching is another great tool, not only for before and after workouts, but anywhere you can throughout the day! All these steps can help you manage any weight gain, and help you feel fantastic as you age!
Don’t forget, ageing shouldn’t be scary – by following a few steps to help with your health and fitness, you can enjoy the ride!