The older we get, the harder it becomes to lose those annoying pockets of subcutaneous fat. So we leave it there, get used to it, start to say ‘och, I’m no bad for my age – this is what happens to people as they approach old age’. If you can walk up a stairs, fit into your car seat without too much hassle (though the belt is fairly tight but what do you expect of a person your age), your jeans still fit (just about). You’re not obese, you’ve just lived a good life.
Well, sorry: but apparently, you’re not fine – you should be a tad worried, especially if you want to live into your seventies, eighties or even nineties without health problems – and according to the Office of National Statistics, the average age of a man is 79. Those extra layers of fat mean extra pressure on your body and also mean you haven’t been as active as you should have been. What state are your lungs in? Your cardiovascular system? Those layers of fat can show the truth of your health and are a predictor of what you can expect in old age. According to the researchers in a recent edition of online medical health journal the Lancet, “The increase in healthy life expectancy has not been as dramatic as the growth of life expectancy, and as a result, people are living more years with illness and disability.”
So, while you don’t feel you’re obese, you still must realise that your waist circumference should be less than half your height, then you really are in the clear. However, if that’s because you have good genes, there’s a whole lot more you can do if you don’t want to become a burden to the NHS and also to your family…
Walk, walk, walk!
Walking is much better for your body than running as it puts less stress on your bones, muscles and system. It’s also easy to do, requires no gym membership and is free! Studies have shown that walking can improve heart health. decrease the risk of stroke, help with respiratory diseases and is generally one of the best forms of exercise we can do. The experts advice trying to walk at least 10,000 steps a day – which sounds a lot but is actually only around 2 miles. Get off the tube one stop earlier, walk to the next bus stop, walk the dog or walk into town instead of driving. There’s no excuse for not incorporating some walking into your daily life. Other than you’re lazy and don’t care if you die young.
Build some muscle strength
Strength-building is imperative for strengthening bones, reducing the risk of osteoporosis and lessening your chances of developing dementia. So what can you do at home to help? Press-ups and pull-ups (get a bar for your house) are a good start. Stick the kettle on and get down on the floor and do as many as you can until it boils!
Stand up four times an hour
Chairs constrict circulation, cause tightening of the muscles, and send your glutes to sleep. These are common problems for the typical office worker. So what can you do? Get up and walk around regularly – every fifteen minutes in fact.
story source: adapted from The Telegraph
photo credit: Getty Images