Exercises for older women


Monday, June 18, 2018

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LEAVING the spring chicken years behind doesn't mean that you have to look or feel your age; in fact, Gisel Harrow, personal trainer and fitness instructor at Hard End Fitness Factory on Ardenne Road, said that remaining physically active as you age is the perfect recipe to keep a number of illnesses associated with ageing at bay.

“Being physically active across all age groups is very important, but as you get older it is even more important if you want to remain fit and agile. The various body changes that your body goes through will make living quality lives more difficult if you do not prepare yourselves, and one way to do that is by exercising,” Harrow advised.

She said that apart from contributing to a much younger-looking body, exercise burns fat, which is important because we are more prone to obesity as we age. It also reduces coronary risk factors, which is also a major problem for many older people; increases stamina and flexibility; as well as contributes to maintaining bone and muscle strength.

Choosing the right exercises is also important. You want to make sure that you are not choosing exercises that have a great possibility of causing injuries.

Below, Harrow shares some exercises that will help to keep you in tip-top shape, while reducing the possibility of injuries:

Aerobic exercises

Exercises such as brisk walking, dancing and even biking never get old, and they are perhaps the easiest to achieve. They are also perfect when addressing issues such as cardiovascular health, a slowed metabolism which contributes to obesity, and they are easy on the joints.

Chair squats

Using a chair, sit with your feet shoulder-width apart. Then stand and sit repeatedly for 10-15 repetitions at a moderate pace.

Wall push-ups

Stand with your face to a wall, with your arms stretched out and body in a slanted position. Lean into the wall bending your arms so that your face is close to the wall and return to start. Do three sets of 10 repetitions.


Lie on your back with your knees bent. Now lift your hips up off the ground and squeeze your glutes and return to start. Do three sets of 12-15 repetitions.


Lie on your back with knees bent then reach towards the top of your knees and return to start position. Do three sets of 10 repetitions.


This type of exercise is safer especially as you get older. It cushions your body against injuries while still giving you a good workout.


Stretching your body parts promote flexibility. This will not only help to make movement easier, but it will also reduce the risk of muscle injury, which is quite common among the ageing population. Stretching also contributes to the building of bones and longevity during exercise sessions. Some stretches to try include:

1. Torso stretch — Sitting or standing, clasp your hands overhead, keeping them straight with your palms to the ceiling. Then gently lower them to your right side until you feel a stretch down your left side. After this, switch sides and repeat for three sets of 10 repetitions.

2. Calf stretch — Stand with your hands on the wall for support in split-stance. Keep one leg forward and one leg back, then press the back heel towards the floor and lean the body forward. When you feel a gentle stretch in your calf, stop and do the same to the other calf.

3. Chest stretch — Clasp your hands behind you. Now straighten the arms while lifting them slightly until you feel a stretch across the chest and shoulders.

Another important component to consider on the journey to physical fitness is the dietary needs of the body. One change that Harrow recommends is to lower your consumption of calories while increasing your protein and fibre intake daily.

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