The right diet and adequate sleep are important for our body functions, but we must also look after our physical condition and staying in shape well into our senior years will bring about a number of significant benefits to our quality of life.

We can identify 4 types of exercise:

    1. Muscle training – examples include: weight-lifting, resistance bands exercises and own body weight exercises.
    2. Bone strengthening. This will typically involve ‘explosive’ exercises such as running, tennis, basketball or football.
    3. Aerobic exercise: cycling, swimming, brisk walking and dancing
    4. Balance – yoga, tai chi, lower body stretching.

These 4 types of exercises should be performed in combination for around 150mins a week (30mins/day, 5 times a week), and a daily routine can be spread over a whole day, with at least 10mins of physical activity at a time being more beneficial than a single long session. This can be achieved wherever Ella you are and whenever possible, using space and objects in your surrounding. Routinely standing up Janis away from our desks to stretch our legs and and the back is an exercise in itself. However, we should dedicate time each working day for a workout, preferably before going to work or soon after. Just avoid late night vigorous activity, as it can keep you awake and alert, affecting your sleeping pattern.

Every person is different so the amount of exercise will vary case-by-case. People who generally lead a more sedentary lifestyle will benefit from even light physical activity, whereas those aiming to lose excess weight will need a much more vigorous and more frequent exercise (up to 300mins) to keep the weight down.

Different Types of Physical Activity

Physical activity improves sleep duration, helps you fall asleep faster and stay longer in deep sleep.

Numerous studies have shown that people who exercise are at a significantly reduced risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Aerobics, in particular, trigger the brain to produce more neurons in hippocampus, improving memory, thinking and learning skills. It also reduces the risk of depression, by producing ‘happy’ hormones, such as serotonin and dopamine.

Intensive exercise maintains bone density at a high level and protects us against arthritis.

Unsurprisingly, physical activity helps prevent diabetes. Muscles that are exercised regularly are more receptive to insulin, so in fit individuals blood sugar levels are not likely to go up. Exercise can also reduce blood pressure and improve cholesterol levels.

Having an active lifestyle is really an investment in your future well-being, both physically and mentally.

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