*This is a collaborative post
I am a big believer in the importance of strength training at any age, much of which has been fueled by seeing the decline in my own mum’s physical strength and ability over recent years.
Worryingly, at a time when our elders are fighting a seemingly losing battle against muscle loss, 40% of over 65s admit they do ZERO strength training, despite the NHS recommending at least two sessions a week. Strength training can prevent musculoskeletal conditions like osteoarthritis and back pain, something my own mum suffers with greatly.
According to the Department for Health musculoskeletal conditions are the second largest cost to the NHS however Public Health England advise that musculoskeletal conditions can be prevented through physical exercise.
The NHS recommends that in addition to 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week, over 65s should also do ‘strength training two or more days a week to work all the major muscles (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms).
In the busy lives we lead, it’s hard to make sure your elders are taking care of themselves in this way, and to be fair….it does take a fair bit of chipping away at them to get them to exercise in any way whatsoever. Unless we bribe or drag them to a gym. Which is basically what I did one day as part of a campaign being led by DW Sports to get our elders lifting weights (eek! yes really!) for a healthy retirement.
If you don’t believe me, proof of my mum and I at a DW Fitness Club at London’s Waldorf Hotel (ok, I did incentivise my mum to go with the lure of a cream tea there afterwards but hey, whatever works) to follow!
The key to getting elders to exercise is having realistic expectations so for my mum that was 10 minutes brisk walking on the treadmill….
Ending up with a final round of yoga….
My mum admitted to feeling a lot better after her session, but I think it does take a little help from us to make sure our parents stay fit and healthy in their old age. Time for older people to pump some iron? I say hell yes! Also time for a virtual first bump for my mama….
Do you try to help your elders to get active? Do share in a comment below.