April 11, 2021

Too Old to Exercise?

You’re never to old to start exercising.

You’re never too old to keep exercising.

As we age, staying active remains important to enable us to stay healthy. The way we stay active may change, but the aim is still to be active and mobile throughout your life.

How do I start to exercise?

Set your self a goal like you would for any other aspect of your life. Is it to:

  • lose weight,
  • lose body fat,
  • increase strength or definition,
  • keep up with the kids,
  • achieve an ambition,
  • improving your health or managing a health condition,
  • preventing falls, reducing the impact of falls.

According to the Australia’s Exercise Guidelines, exercise should consist of at least 150 to 300 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week up to 64 years old. For over 65,  exercise should be 30 minutes per day and include strengthening, stretching and core stability and core strengthening programs. Older people who continue to enjoy a lifetime of vigorous physical activity should carry on doing so in a manner suited to their capability

  1. Cardio

Moderate intensity cardiovascular activities such as brisk walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, ball games or throwing a frisbee help to maintain and improve aerobic fitness, improve heart, lung, metabolic and mental health. Remember im to achieve at least 30 minutes per day. This can be in one block or in a number of short sessions.

  1. Strength

Our body benefits from strengthening exercises using weights, but can also benefit from bodyweight exercises like squats, push-ups, or step ups. These exercises help to increase muscle tone, maintain sound strength, build bone density, maintain a healthy weight, optimize metabolic function, and reduce the risk of injury, falls and fatigue. It is recommended a minimum of two sessions per week be conduct to achieve the benefits of this training.

  1. Core Stability and Core Strength

Core strength is more than just doing abdominal work. These muscles support the spine through flexion, extension and rotation, and incorporate the pelvic floor. Learning how to properly engage and activate these muscles daily will help to prevent falls and injury, and help reduce the impact of a fall during daily activity.

  1. Flexibility

Incorporating stretches and mobility based exercises daily, and the occasional yoga class will help to keep your body supple, mobile and assist in preventing injury as we age.

  1. Balance

Balance exercises, even during strengthening exercises are  important for older men over the age of 55 to help enhance pro-prioception awareness, coordination, maintain muscle activity and tone, and prevent against falls and the resulting injuries. 


How to start.

  • Before starting an exercise routine, talk to your doctor and discuss your exercise ambitions. This allows your doctor to manage any medical prescriptions and provide feedback to your strategy.
  • Reassess how you incorporate incidental exercise into your daily activities. Helping with domestic chores, standing up in between ad breaks on TV, walking to a shop instead of driving or having home delivery. Doing calf raises while you chat, short walks, sitting on a Fitball. Consider the timing of your incidental exercise. If you’ve just eaten, try a short walk.
  • Recovery is just as important as working out. Be sure to balance your more intensive exercise with low intensity exercise (eg. stretching next day or a walk the day after your leg strength training session), the placement of your training sessions, eating for your activity level and type of activity. Keep your hydration levels up (water and water based fruit and vegetables) and get plenty of sleep.