How to stay fit and active when you’re over 70

No matter how old you are, you should aim to do some kind of physical activity every day. It doesn’t really matter what kind of activity it is. But as a simple rule, the more you do the better, especially if weight loss is your goal. If you’re a bit out of practice don’t worry. In this article, we’ll tell you about 3 excellent pieces of home workout equipment designed to help you keep fit safely, in the comfort of your own home. If you’ve ever had a fall, or you’re worried about the risk, rest assured the exercises shown here are designed to help improve your balance and flexibility.

Set a home workout time you can stick to

Half the battle when it comes to exercising is finding the time to do it. A good starting point is to create a sensible schedule for yourself. It doesn’t have to be complicated, just enough to get you into the habit. For example, aim to do activities that help you become stronger and more flexible on a couple of days of the week, say Monday and Friday. Then on Wednesday, try an activity that gets your blood pumping – a brisk walk will do. Then you’ve got the weekend to rest and recover, ready to start over on the following Monday.

Find an exercise that you enjoy

It stands to reason that you’ll only keep exercising if you enjoy doing it. So, perhaps the most important first step is to find an activity that you enjoy. Maybe you could decide that for the first month, you’ll give a few different activities a try. If you don’t feel ready for a home workout, start with activities you can do with other people. Most leisure centres offer classes aimed at older people, where the pace is less intense but still gives you a good workout. Why not ask a friend to accompany you? Or, if you prefer to exercise by yourself, why not start by doing a bit of exploring. Go for a walk round your local neighbourhood and take a path you’ve never taken before. Or, if you’ve got errands to run, try choosing a different route to the one you’d normally take. You’d be surprised how varying your activities can help you stay motivated.

Slow and steady wins the race

The worst thing you can do when you start exercising is to go at it too fast. The best advice is to ease yourself in gently. Take walking, for example. Why not try going for a brisk walk each day with a friend. Try and get to the point where you feel a bit out of breath but could still chat to your walking buddy. You’ll find after a week or two that you get your breath back a bit quicker, which is a sign that you’re getting fitter. If you can’t schedule a walk with someone else, then just try your own home workout, or make healthy swaps. If you’d normally drive to the library, try to walk there instead. Or, if you need to drive, then try parking further away so you still get a bit of a walk in. Anything to push yourself just a little bit more than what you’re doing currently.

How to keep your strength up

Once you turn 55, you start to lose some of your muscle mass each year – roughly around 1%. So, by the time you’re in your 70s it’s really important that you work to protect your strength. Strength training not only helps to slow the ageing process down, but it also helps with weight loss. Plus, the stronger you are, the less likely you are to have a fall, so it’s a really good idea to focus on this area.

Lifting weights may seem like the kind of thing only heavy-set men enjoy, but actually it can be a really fun activity for women too. It’s worth popping down to your local gym and have one of the personal trainers give you some pointers on resistance-training. Once you find your level, it’s a really beneficial exercise for you to try. If strength training or resistance training seem like a bridge too far, have a go at yoga. This gentle form of stretching and breathing is both relaxing and strengthening, so it’s a great choice for people over 70.

A word on staying injury-free

If you live with a bad back or hip pain, don’t let it stop you getting active. All exercises can be tweaked to suit your situation. Plus, it’s worth remembering that lying down or sitting down and resting your joints is actually bad for you in the long run. You might imagine that you’re giving your joints time to heal, but actually the lack of movement causes them to stiffen up, making the problem worse. Instead, have a chat with your GP, or your local fitness instructor and have them recommend a safe, gentle home workout. That way you can build your fitness up while taking care of your body.

3 home workout machines that help you exercise gently

Introducing the Thane Total Flex

Whatever your level of fitness is now, the Thane Total Flex helps you stay fit and mobile, all while you’re sat in a safe seated position. As well as keeping your muscles feeling strong and toned, the Thane Total Flex is great for weight loss, too. In fact, as well as toning up, it gives you a great cardio workout in as little as 18 minutes a day. You simply pull on the smooth resistance bands to perform steady controlled, arm and leg raises, as well as curls and crunches too.

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Work your core the easy way with the AbDoer 360

The Thane ABDoer 360, as its name suggests, gives you a complete 360 workout. The secret is in the dynamic fluidity seat. If you’ve ever sat on an inflatable gym ball, you’ll know that the challenge is in keeping yourself steady and central. The Thane AbDoer 360 works much the same way. It works your inner abs, which are the muscles responsible for helping you maintain a healthy posture. But not only that, the foam roller back supports actually rub away the tension in your back as you’re exercising. So not only do you get a great home workout, but you also get a massage too.

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Get fit while you sit with the Orbitrek MX

The Thane Orbitrek MX is a mini elliptical trainer that lets you exercise while sitting down. It works a bit like bicycle pedals, allowing you to keep your legs working, even while you’re sat watching the TV. It has 3 programmes and 5 speeds, meaning you can adjust the intensity of your home workout to suit you. And because it sits neatly on the floor, it means you can work on keeping your muscles healthy and your circulation strong, all while sat in the comfort of your living room.

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