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Monthly Archives: March 2017

Strength Training Over 50

Exercise helps older adults maintain or lose weight. As metabolism naturally slows with age, maintaining a healthy weight is a challenge. Exercise helps increase metabolism and builds muscle mass, helping to burn more calories. When your body reaches a healthy weight, your overall wellness will improve.

Exercise reduces the impact of illness and chronic disease. Among the many benefits of exercise for adults over 50 include improved immune function, better heart health and blood pressure, better bone density, and better digestive functioning. People who exercise also have a lowered risk of several chronic conditions including Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, osteoporosis, and certain cancers.

Exercise enhances mobility, flexibility, and balance in older adults. Exercise improves your strength, flexibility and posture, which in turn will help with balance, coordination, and reducing the risk of falls. Strength training also helps alleviate the symptoms of chronic conditions such as arthritis.

Exercise improves your sleep. Poor sleep is not an inevitable consequence of aging and quality sleep is important for your overall health. Exercise often improves sleep, helping you fall asleep more quickly and sleep more deeply.

Exercise boosts mood and self-confidence. Exercise is a huge stress reliever and the endorphins produced can actually help reduce feelings of sadness, depression, or anxiety. Being active and feeling strong naturally helps you feel more self-confident and sure of yourself.

Exercise is amazingly good for the brain. Activities like Sudoku or crossword puzzles can help keep your brain active, but little comes close to the beneficial effects of exercise on the brain. Exercise benefits brain functions as diverse as multitasking and creativity and can help prevent memory loss, cognitive decline, and dementia. Exercise may even help slow the progression of brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Improve Bench Press

The Set-up

If the primary goals of the workouts are shape and hypertrophy, it will be necessary to set up the bench in a different manner. You should start by setting the feet first. However, you place them below the hips or they can flat in front of you. In case you are finding it difficult to maintain the hip on a bench when pressing, you can try keeping the feet under the hip to enable you have a great leg drive degree. After this you can lie back before dipping your traps for stability. Body builders usually need their muscles to be taken through a wide range of motion. Therefore, you do not any big arch. Ensure that your torso remains on the bench.

Leg drive

Many lifters don’t understand leg drive and the best way of using it. The good news is that it is not difficult at all. No matter the reason for lifting weight, you will need to ensure that your feet are firmly on the ground. You should also maintain a certain amount of tension as you raise the bar to the chest. As the bar gets into contact with your chest, use your legs to punch hard and raise the bar upwards. The role of the legs is to pop the bar from the chest. The increased momentum will help to move the bar though the sticking points.

Form & technique

The lifts will actually start on the set-up. The right set-up depends on the primary goal. If you would like to lift a lot of weight, it is important to choose a power lifting set-up. This requires you to lie on a bench while grabbing the bar using an underhand grip. Ensure that your feet remains under the bench while below the hips. The feet balls should touch the floor and the heels should also be raised.

Fit With Ballet

Lately I’ve been doing a lot of high intensity interval training which is a lot of fun but hard work! So I went scrolling through my fitness instructor app looking for an alternative and I came across a series of classes called ‘Ballet Tec’. As the name suggests, they are workouts inspired by ballet movements. I’ve tried dance based fitness classes in the past but I’ve struggled with some of them (I always end up getting completely out of time!) But ballet workouts are slower paced and consist of wonderfully named moves such as adages, beats, degages, grand battements, plies, port de bras, retires and barre work (at home you can use a dining chair). You also learn the basic positions which some of you may already be familiar with. I’ve also been practising conditioning exercises used by ballerinas.

As someone who has been practising more intense fitness recently, ballet has been a nice change. It is far slower paced than what I’m used to but still offers challenges. I have a fairly good level of general fitness but even I found some of the elements tricky, particularly the ones which require balance. Regular ballet would certainly improve this. A beautifully graceful form of exercise, as well as improving your balance, ballet can also help to develop your flexibility, posture, agility and coordination. Ballerinas are known for their long, lean muscles – a physique which many aspire to have so I can certainly see the appeal. It can also help to improve the strength of your core.

Exercises such as ballet, yoga and pilates are also great at improving the connection between your mind and body. I find that when performing slower, more deliberate exercise, I tend to think a bit more about what I’m actually doing with my body than I do with more explosive exercise. The other good thing about ballet is that is doesn’t leave you looking like a sweaty racehorse at the end which is usually what my fitness regimen does to me! It’s suitable for young and old and you don’t need special clothing either, socks or bare feet are fine for a ballet workout.

I think for me personally, ballet on it’s own isn’t enough to push me physically and to achieve results quickly. But I think combined with other exercise, it’s a nice addition to any fitness programme. I think of exercise like food. To get the maximum benefits, it’s good to enjoy a variety. Any way of getting people up and moving though is good so if you’re new to fitness and would like to start off with something a little slower paced that will still work your muscles, then an adult beginner’s ballet class I think is definitely something worth looking in to.

Some Components of Fitness

Muscular endurance

Muscular endurance is the ability to perform repeated muscular effort over a period of time without fatigue. A good muscular endurance can perform more number of repetitions of a particular strength training exercise such as running, jogging, cross-training on an elliptical machine, etc.

Muscular strength

Muscular strength is defined as the maximum amount of force produced by a muscle in a single effort. It is the ability of the muscle to exert strength during a workout or an activity. To increase your muscular strength, exercise using heavy weight for 3-6 times. It is measured by maximum amount of strength a muscle has while lifting or during an exertion. The best ways to improve the muscular strength is by performing anaerobic weightlifting exercises like the bench press, leg press, shoulder press, or bicep curls etc.

Flexibility

Flexibility is defined as the ability to bend and move the joints through full range of motion. It depends upon many variables like gender, age, body composition, behavioral activity etc. By the flexibility of your joints the fitness level is measured. If you have good flexibility, injuries related to joints could be prevented but poor flexibility increases your risk of injury. It helps in improving lower back health, reducing the appearance and effects of arthritis, and reducing muscle-tendon injuries. Exercises such as stretching, yoga, Pilates, swimming etc. are the way to improve the physical flexibility.

Body composition

Body composition is the percent of body fat compared to your lean body mass (muscles, bones, tendons, ligament, organs etc.). High percentages of body fat can lead to coronary disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, metabolic disease, low energy and many more. It is directly relates to the overall fitness level. It consider the individual body type according to the height, frame size, weight and the ratio of the fat mass to lean muscle mass.