The inevitability of getting older does not have to be an acceptance of negative effects of ageing. Following a healthy eating pattern is an obvious first step in looking after your health, but it’s not uncommon to hear people say things like “I hate exercise”. What they mean is that their past experiences of exercise have not been positive. Exercise can take all manner of form, so the key is to start gradually and find the type of exercise that works best for you.
Why is it so important? This study into telomeres and ageing showed that low physical activity seemed to account for an 8-year biological age gap between those who exercised and those who did not.
A sedentary lifestyle accelerates ageing, reduces the body’s ability to manage daily activities, and can increase the risk of cancer, heart disease and diabetes. We’re all getting older, but let’s not make it happen more quickly, and let’s not think “It’s too late, I’m too old.”
The great thing about exercise is that it’s not an all-or-nothing proposition. If the only exercise you currently get is walking from room to room in your house, you can start with a walk to the letterbox. Gradually increase that to a walk to the corner of your street and back. Then around the block. See how easy that can be?
You might want to improve your strength and balance. The gym is perfect as a trainer can help show you how to use the equipment and how to adjust it to the needs of your body. Start with very low resistance and as your ability and strength improve, you can then increase the resistance.
We’ve all seen inspiring stories of older people who are fit and active, and leading fulfilling lives. If you’re younger, start exercising now. If you’re older, start exercising now. There’s no pressure to perform to a particular standard – just get moving and find the type of movement that you enjoy.