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Here why lifting weights can be beneficial for healthy ageing

You don’t get what you wish for; you get for what you work! So, if you want to be healthy, then you have to work for it. Surprisingly what most people think is that doing daily household ‘chores’ are good enough exercises for their body and brain too. However, as you age, you begin to lose muscle mass and gain more fat.

The biggest myth is that walking is a good exercise for knees and spine, well then why would so many patients need joint replacements and spine surgeries?

Any exercise or activity in which you are standing, is going to wear off your knees and spine. Also, walking burns very few calories; an hour-long walk will burn only about 300 calories; while doing more compound exercises, you can burn twice as many calories in half the time.

These exercises must only be done under the supervision of a certified trainer, and after consulting your doctor, who will explain the dos and don’ts.

Often, people get into a sudden vigorous activity like Zumba, dancing, or cross-fit, and end up injuring their knees in the process. One has to start slow, build the foundation, make sure to avoid injury, and then go ahead.

Regular exercise not only changes the body, but also changes mind, attitude, and mood. In today’s hectic lifestyle, time is the biggest hurdle to overcome, and it is necessary to utilise the time one gets.

The aim is to exercise as many muscles as possible at one time, to stimulate them, which, in turn, increases your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) that helps you to burn more calories.

Compound Exercises work on multiple muscle groups at the same time. Commonest examples are half squats, shoulder press, or deadlifts. A set of dumbbells or kettlebells would be helpful. Compound exercises help in:

  • Efficient use of your time
  • Burning more calories
  • Elevating heart rate
  • Improving strength and gain muscle mass

You can perform the compound exercise at homes such as half squads, Suryanamskar, rotations of legs/ hands, and shoulder press, to name a few. People from any age group can perform these exercises.

As many as 90% of the patients in our OPD come for low backache, and knee pain. To take care of the knees and spine, one can do the following under the guidance of a certified trainer;

Leg extensions with weights – it is the best exercise to build your knee muscles

Back extension exercises, like the Superman pose, Bhujangasan, Naukasan, should be done daily; this, especially since all the work we do, is while bending forward, never backward!

Another note of caution is that when you get up from squatting position, the pressure on your joints (knee and spine) is almost twice your body weight, so we must avoid sitting on the ground, squatting or sitting cross-legged, especially, if you haven’t done it for a long time.

Physical exercise and mental wellbeing are equally important. Regular exercise will, to some extent, help maintain mental health. Meditation, breathing exercises, pursuing music, or dancing – pretty much anything that makes you happy will help build mental strength.

Will it be easy – No! Will it worth it? Absolutely, Yes!

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