Exercise helps fight the physical effects of ageing; people who exercise tend to have better blood pressure and lower risk of diabetes, obesity, heart disease and osteoporosis. Weight-bearing exercise helps to keep bones healthy and strong whilst aerobic exercise is good for the cardiovascular system – and exercise certainly brings psychological benefits.
It is recommended that, as adults, we get at least 150 minutes of moderate cardio activity a week, which works out to 30 minutes of exercise, five days a week. The ideal blend of exercise is aerobic activity throughout the week combined with strength-building exercises twice a week.
With the current lockdown, so many of us are struggling to maintain the fitness levels we’ve worked so hard to achieve. The answer lies in fitness at home – as long as the exercise you choose is suitable for you and that you don’t have any health problems which prohibit exercise.
Whenever you exercise, remember that its essential to do a warm-up before and a cool down afterwards. The warm-up raises your pulse and prepares your body for exercise whilst the cool down stretches out the muscles you’ve been working, brings your heart rate back to normal and restores your body to its resting state. Always keep some water at hand to ensure that you don't get dehydrated.
Working out at home has never been easier. With so many gyms currently closed, more fitness instructors are running their own online classes. You will be asked to complete a health check form before beginning exercise at home – but you’ll be able to enjoy the classes you’re used to. Do ask your fitness instructor if they’re teaching online.
The NHS has 24 instructor-led, free exercise videos on www.nhs.uk – just find the website and look at Fitness Studio exercise videos. There’s a wake-up! workout and belly dancing for beginners as well as a range of workouts from 10 to 45 minutes in length with exercises to tone your abs, raise your heart rate and tone your upper arms. There’s even Pilates for back pain and Vinyasa Flow Yoga.
Joe Wicks, The Body Coach, hosts daily PE lessons on TV – aimed at children but many adults have been taking part. Joe also offers free home workouts to everyone, no matter what their fitness levels on YouTube.
There are many other online options through subscription paid websites. Two of our favourites are www.yogaanytime.com and www.yogainternational.com. These websites have over 2,000 yoga classes to suit all levels of fitness and experience. You’ll soon discover your favourite instructors and a type of yoga suited to your needs.
Davina McCall also does online classes with over 100 classes, recipes and a support group.
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