The Power of Healthy Ageing
The Power of Healthy Ageing
While ageing is an inevitable part of life, just a few key healthy changes will make a massive difference to how you enjoy your golden years. By practising healthy ageing, you won’t just live longer, you’ll also be healthier, happier and have a more lively social life.
How do you age healthily?
Healthy ageing encompasses everything from eating the right foods to getting enough sleep, but the quickest way to start enjoying the benefits is to be physically active.
Physical activity keeps your body strong, prevents falls and reduces the risk of chronic illness, while also boosting your mind, too. Science has shown that people who are active are less likely to suffer from depression.
Being active can mean everything from walking and gardening to working out at the gym, although to make sure you’re doing it right, you can take part in programs specifically designed to support healthy ageing.
Healthy ageing programs
Some of the most comprehensive healthy ageing programs are available in Centre, however given the current COVID-19 situation we have been able to bring you online programs via the Home Fitness Network to keep you moving and active in the home. Have a look at our Ageless Actives program or try an online group fitness class to keep you fit until our doors reopen.
Group exercise classes are ideal for healthy ageing because you have someone showing you what to do and you get to work out with like-minded people in a similar age group, which can be really motivating. The classes can be divided into two main groups: strength and cardio.
Strength training group classes
You might think strength is for young adults wanting to build muscle, but nothing could be further from the truth. Strength training – or any exercise that involves pushing against an external force, by lifting weights or your own body – is critical for maintaining muscle tissue.
Your body starts to lose muscle when you’re in your thirties and this accelerates in your fifties and beyond. Muscle loss brings with it a litany of physical problems, which happen to be the very conditions that have come to define old age, including fatigue, falls, insulin resistance and chronic diseases.
Strength training helps prevent muscle loss and also strengthens your bones by putting a load on them, slowing the bone density loss that comes with ageing. And when you’re stronger as a result of having more muscle and strong bones, you can keep doing the things you need to do regularly in your life – from carrying groceries and hanging out the washing to spending time in the garden – without being forced to slow down.
Try a class that focuses on a circuit and body weight – such as Strength & Tone Beginner or Ageless Actives from our online portal!
Cardio group classes
Cardio is exercise that strengthens your heart and lungs by making you breathe harder and your heart beat faster. It covers a wide range of activities, from walking and hiking to swimming and even dancing. Not only does cardio make you fitter and less likely to run out of puff, it reduces the risk of dying from coronary heart disease and of developing high blood pressure, cancer, and diabetes.
Cardio also improves your memory. If you’re prepared to work up a sweat with cardio, you’ll grow the size of your hippocampus, the part of the brain involved in verbal memory and learning, according to a University of British Columbia study. Research published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism found that those who did regular intense workouts improved their memory performance by 30%.
One of the best parts of group fitness classes is that it exercises your memory as much as your body! The memory work might be remembering the exercise routine. As we age we have to continually build new pathways in our brains and that means not doing the same thing over and over and over and over again.
Aqua classes are for recovery and rehabilitation
It’s a cliché that older adults’ idea of training is doing aqua classes, but that’s a myth. Older adults overwhelmingly prefer land-based exercise such as strength or cardio group classes, while aqua classes make up just a quarter of the classes that older members do.
Aqua is exceptionally good for people who have joint issues in their knees, hips, and back. But if you’re wanting to prevent issues with bone density, which again as you age becomes an issue, aquatic exercise is not what’s going to do it because you’re buoyant.
If you’re wanting to prevent issues with bone density, you’ve got to do strength training and you can do impact work on your feet basically, so that you are producing healthier, stronger bones.
What group class should I start with?
Start out with one of our Ageless Active classes online. These programs are offered in beginner and intermediate levels and progress each week. If you are just starting out, begin with week 1 Ageless Actives Beginner – move to intermediate as you progress.
Once our doors reopen you can join us back into Centre for your classes in person – chat to a team member to see what they might recommend for you!
You’re never too old
Nothing rankles us more than someone suggesting older people can’t handle the tough stuff. Give it a try, push yourself but remember your limits. Speak to our team if you have any questions.
How to find out about group classes?
Find all our online classes and programs in our Home Fitness Network portal, once our doors reopen, we look forward to seeing you in Centre!
Not a member of the Home Fitness Network? Join here – if you are a member of our Centre, check your emails for our exclusive offer!
Stay Healthy, Stay Safe!