Why future proof your body?
It’s sometimes quite daunting to look into the future. Whatever age you are, glimpsing what life could look like in 10, 20 or 30 years’ time can throw up all sorts of horror shows, but there are steps you can take to future proof your body. You can ensure that whatever you are doing in a few years’ time, your body is as healthy as it can be.
Exercise is a great way to future proof your body. By looking after your muscles, your joints, your lungs and your heart, not to mention waistline and brain, you can make sure you are as ready for the future as possible.
Fighting the bad guys
So let’s identify some of the bad guys you are taking out an insurance policy against. Obesity, heart problems, diabetes, respiratory issues, cancers, osteoporosis, postural problems, joint issues and mental health. These are just a few of the many horrors that we face as we get older, but the good news about exercise is that it is a leader in the fight against ill-health.
By doing just 30 minutes of exercise a day, you can off-set so many issues. And the best way to future proof your body is to mix those 30 minutes up into a range of different exercises, all doing different things.
Weight training doesn’t have to consist of huge, heavy weights and sinew-popping exertion. By lifting manageable weights for a number of repetitions, your body will recognise that it needs some muscle to cope. By encouraging your body to either increase its muscle mass or hold onto the muscle you have, you can slow down the rate of muscle mass loss that happens as we get older.
Unless you are looking to bodybuild, then a weights routine should involve low intensity training. Use weights that work your muscles but are not pushing you to maximal effort. Try to do compound exercises that use several parts of your body, rather than isolating one muscle group. Ask one of our gym instructors for advice and guidance.
Which is best? I think the choice is a completely personal one. What is important, is that you are getting a great stretch and maintaining or increasing your mobility. Both yoga and Pilates protects your muscles and spine, it makes you more resilient to injury and it helps you to de-stress.
Along the same lines as the yoga/Pilates session is regular mobility work. A short mobility session can be done besides your desk or in a quiet space during your lunch break. If you sit at a desk for long periods of time, or are in a car for hours, then you really should incorporate some mobility work to keep everything moving smoothly. Aim to rotate hips, knees, ankles and shoulders. Stretch so the spine is mobilised and add some active stretching, such as lunges and squats.
Low intensity aerobic work
This is one of the best future proof sessions you will do. This is not the lung-busting, heart-rate raising workout that involves sprint sessions or hardcore cycling. This is all about a stress-reducing, low intensity work out. A brisk stroll, a gentle bike ride, a long hike, a dancing class. The aim is to exercise at around 105-120 heat-rate beats per minute for a sustained length of time. Not only is it a great way to get lean but it is also a fab way to lower cortisol (stress hormone) levels.
Putting in the right fuel
It is also important to pay some attention to what you eat and drink. This is a complex area that would fill far more space than this blog post, but the best advice we can offer is: stay hydrated, eat a balanced diet and keep your caffeine and alcohol levels under control.
For advice on any of the above exercise session, feel free to chat to the staff in the Outlooks Gym.