If anyone needs living proof that regular exercise can help you stay healthy into your 60s and 70s, they need look no further than my weekly strength and conditioning class.
Age is no barrier
I’ve been training a group of five ladies, ranging in age from 62 to 78, every Tuesday face-to-face (and on Zoom during Covid) for just over two years. They are good friends and the exercise sessions also provide the opportunity for a social catch up (I try not to let this get out of hand!), which has been really important in the challenging times we’ve been through with Covid-19.
Get the exercise mix right
We focus on exercises that strengthen the core, the glutes and the hips as well as joint flexibility and range of movement, all of which are increasingly important as we get older in order to maintain good posture and reduce the risk of falling (and of injury if we do fall). The equipment used in classes typically includes: resistance bands, swiss balls, kettlebells and dumbbells, with the emphasis being on form, balance and control rather than the number of reps or the weight being lifted. We also mix this up with timed mini-circuits on a rebounder, BOSU, plyometrics box and TRX cables to ensure variety and keep an element of fun.
Keep it interesting
The group is always keen to try new exercises and harder versions of existing ones, partly so we can track progression, but also because they are quietly competitive, in a mutually supportive way!
As a result, all the members of my Tuesday group have maintained excellent levels of all-round fitness, belying their ages and rivalling many other (significantly younger) clients in other groups I train in terms of core strength and mobility.