As our hair starts to grey and the wrinkles begin appearing, many of us start following expensive skincare regimes in order to slow the process down, however, it could be that a much cheaper way of doing it has been hiding in plain sight all this time!
A study presented at the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine’s annual meeting showed that high activity levels can prevent premature aging and that exercise can even reverse some of the effects of ageing on your skin. By asking sedentary adults over the age of 65 to begin working out twice a week for 30mins and then examining their buttocks after 3 months (yes, their buttocks), they discovered that the outer and inner layers of their skin then resembled those of 20-40 year olds. Can’t argue with that!
We may know the benefits of exercise in theory, but that doesn’t stop many of us neglecting it. Over 78% of men and women over 40 don’t exercise enough, and ‘I’m too old for this’ is not an excuse! Studies show that no matter what age you are, you have exactly the same ability to build muscle and lose fat as someone much younger than you.
‘So this is all very well’ I hear you say, ‘but how do I actually get going? What exercise should I be doing and how often?’. It’s easier than you think – here are some suggestions on how to get started.
- Aerobic activity such as brisk walking, running, swimming or cycling. Start with 10mins a day and gradually increase it
- Strength training such as weight machines or hand-held weights
- Stretching is of utmost importance and can help improve flexibility
- Balance exercises such as standing on one leg while brushing your teeth or even yoga or Pilates
Remember to set yourself achievable goals. If you don’t currently go for a 20min run every day, don’t plan to start running every day! If your goal is too daunting, you’re unlikely to even attempt it. Why not get yourself a partner in crime and make a pact with a friend to get moving? Teaming up with someone can make all the difference.
Menogo Mini Workout
2 to 3 sets of each of the below with 30 ‘high knees’ in between (run on the spot but bring your knees up high):
- Squat – Super effective for strengthening your knees!
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and angle your feet so your toes point out slightly. Lower into a squat, making sure you squat low enough so your knees are above your hip crease. Return to standing.
- Lunge – Will help improve your balance
- Take a big step back with your left foot and bend your knees until the back knee gently touches the ground
- Bridge – Strengthens your legs and abs – these muscles surround your back and hips and will protect them from injury
- Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet hip-width apart. Squeeze your bum and push your lower back into the floor while raising your hips towards the ceiling (essentially, thrust slowly towards the sky!)
- Kettlebell swing (skip this if you don’t have a kettlebell at home) – Strengthens your back and core! Will help avoid bad posture
- Stand with your feet apart and your back strong. Hold a kettlebell in front of you. Bend your knees just a touch and lean forwards while keeping your back straight (hinge at the hip). Swing the weight back through your legs then as high as you can, squeezing your bum as the weight reaches the top.
- Plank risers – Blitz those abs and strengthen your core!
- Get into a plank, making sure your elbows are aligned with your shoulders. Lift your right arm and place your palm flat on the floor, then do the same with your left so you are in a press-up position. Then lower your right arm back down, then the left.