These days we are living longer, but what’s the secret? A better lifestyle, improved medical intervention or greater awareness of our alcohol and nutritional intake. Whatever the reason it is great to see those of the older generation exercising and becoming more health conscious in their twilight years. The grey nomads are being seen more and more in gym environments, which I personally think is fantastic and very inspiring, especially knowing that if you look after yourself you can expect to still be very active in retirement and enjoy the freedom which comes from feeling fit.
Living in retirement should be just that – living. So many retirees travel extensively these days and being fit and healthy only enables you to enjoy exploring our world more. One elderly lady told me on a recent overseas holiday (people seem to willingly share their exercise stories with me after they learn what I do for a living), that there is a common list of the benefits of exercise for those that are regularly active.
They include improved mobility and flexibility, improved strength, better stamina and endurance, greater bone density and a reduction in joint stiffness. I’ve even had some brag to me that they believe exercise is the key to an improved libido as you age, but I’ve never taken that part of the conversation any further...
So our body really is a temple and as we get older we don’t want it to become an ancient ruin.
We are truly limited by our imagination when it comes to our workouts and age is definitely no barrier. A health regime is not a quick fix, it has to become an habitual part of your whole life and it is very clear to me that the true key to longevity is to look after yourself, with a balanced healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise (comprising of resistance training and cardiovascular workouts) coupled with a sensible eating plan and not succumbing to too many over-indulgences.
Here's a basic routine which will assist in improving muscle strength, bone density and cardiovascular stamina.
Chest press/bench press 2 x 15 reps
Pec dec 2 x 15 reps
Lat pull downs 2 x 15 reps
Single arm dumbbell row 2 x 15 reps
Upright rows 2 x 15 reps
Shoulder press 2 x 15 reps
Step ups 2 x 25 each leg
Standing squats 3 x 15
Leg press 3 x 15
Leg curls 3 x 15
- Treadmill/warm up on an incline for 5 minutes
- Cross ski interval work 1 minute fast, 1 minute slow for 6 minutes
- Bike 12 minutes at a consistent pace
- Rower 1-2kms or interval work 4 x 500m with a 1:1 recovery
- 1 - 2 minute bridge
- Side planks 30 seconds - 1 minute
- Crunches 3 x 25 reps
- Warm down by stretching for 5 minutes
Depending on your level of fitness, make a 30 minute workout by mixing and matching the above routines to give you your desired workout. When doing resistance work the weight should be challenging but not too heavy that it compromises form and technique which could lead to injury.