Happy International Women’s Day!
We are lucky to have some wonderful women on our team and participating in our exercise classes. Regular exercise is an important way to keep healthy, regardless of age or gender. However, for older women it offers particular benefits:
Reduced rate of osteopenia
As we age, we lose bone density. This weakens our bone strength and increases the severity of trips and falls. Regular exercise (particularly weight bearing exercise and resistance training) helps slow down the rate of bone loss. This can help reduce our risk of severe injury in the event of a fall.
Better balance and coordination
Improving and maintaining coordination and and balance are essential to reducing our risk of falls and injuries. Balance exercises or those which have us use opposite sides of the body also give our brain a workout!
Maintenance of a healthy body weight
As we get older, our metabolism (the rate at which we use energy) slows down. This can often lead to an increase in body weight, which can put pressure on our joints and make our daily activities more difficult. Exercising regularly elevates our metabolism and helps to prevent excessive weight gain.
Improved mood and social connection
With age often comes retirement, changes in family structure and an overall shift in routine. Exercise can provide an anchor point in the day, a mood-boost (due to endorphin production) and a way to meet new people. If you don’t fancy in-person classes just yet, our Siel Bleu at Home sessions are a great alternative!
Where should I start?
According to the current Irish guidelines, adults aged 65 and older should aim for 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity per week. Moderate intensity equates to being slightly out of breath (but still able to speak), sweating and warmer than at rest. Physical activity should include aerobic, strength and balance exercises to maintain good heart health and reduce falls risk.
If you’re not already physically active, start slowly and build up your level of fitness to where you can complete 30 minutes of continuous exercise. Your starting point could be as simple as walking for 10 minutes a day. Try out a range of activities and see what best suits you. Some people prefer to train individually at home or in a gym, others need the accountability of a trainer, while others still enjoy the social element of a group. If you fall into the last category, our Siel Bleu at Home timetable has options for all fitness levels!