ACTIVE AGEING: We can be active outside, in the gym or at home, as long as we don't miss out on vital simple resistance exercises.
ACTIVE AGEING: We can be active outside, in the gym or at home, as long as we don't miss out on vital simple resistance exercises.

Learn what you should be doing every day

WE NEED to flex our muscles at least twice a week if we want to help avoid chronic health conditions.

A survey by the CSIRO has found that we're not doing that. Instead, they found 65 per cent of people aged 51-70 years and 86 per cent of people over 71 didn't think resistance exercise was important for weight loss and overall health.

The survey also unearthed that only one in two adult respondents added resistance exercise to their weekly program where in fact we all should be active every day, not just some days of the week. We can do it outside, in the gym or at home, as long as we do it.

"While resistance exercise is beneficial at any age, it becomes even more important as we get older and experience muscle loss associated with ageing," CSIRO principal research scientist Professor Grant Brinkworth said.

"Resistance exercise can help prevent conditions such as osteoporosis, type II diabetes, and heart disease - and with millions of Australians living with two or more chronic diseases, it's critical that people exercise as they age to sustain their health and quality of life."

Resistance exercises include:

  • Lifting weights at a gym or at home.
  • Calisthenics or body weight exercises such as push-ups, squats, or lunges.
  • Gymnastics or plyometric exercises.
  • Some styles of Yoga / pilates.
  • Weight-bearing gym classes.
  • Household or gardening type chores that involve lifting, carrying or digging.

"Resistance training involves working your muscles against some form of weight or force, such as your own body weight," Professor Brinkworth said.

"It increases muscle strength and plays a key role in body composition changes important for weight management, particularly for women who lose proportionately more lean muscle tissue than men when losing weight. This can slow down the metabolism, which works against weight loss efforts.

"Regular resistance training, with a higher protein diet is a powerful combination and can result in greater weight loss, fat loss and reduction in waist circumference, compared to a higher carbohydrate diet with exercise, or just diet alone."

To find out more about what are resistance exercises and how to do them at home, the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet Online program has put a new exercise plan online at www.totalwellbeingdiet.com.


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