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The surprising exercise every over 50 should do to improve strength (and brain power)

NHS figures show that around one in three adults over the age of 65 will have at least one fall a year, says physiotherapist Katie Knapton, while half of people over the age of 80 will have at least one fall a year. In 2013, figures from the National Institute for Excellence in Health and Care estimated that they cost the NHS more than £2.3 billion each year.

“Not all falls result in serious injury, but it is a concern that is best addressed in our 40s and 50s, a time when we also lose muscle strength,” emphasizes Knapton, who has more than 30 years’ experience at King’s College. Hospital and Guy’s Hospital and as founder of the private online physical therapy service PhysioFast Online.

Balance and strength are interrelated. “We use our ability to maintain balance all the time without even realizing it, to stay upright,” he explains. But we neglect it at our peril. “If you fall and fracture your hip later in life, for example, your mobility can drop dramatically.

“It is particularly important for perimenopausal and menopausal women to work on balance control and strength training to avoid the possibility of falling later on, because at that time in life, women lose bone density, muscle mass and strength. due to a natural decrease in estrogen. .”

The good news, Knapton says, is that our brains and bodies are remarkably adaptable, so we can all work on our balance at any age, delaying and reducing the risk of a fall. “Whether we’re nine years old or 100 years old, we just have to stick with it and keep working at it,” he urges. It is for this reason that in 2019, a report from the Center for Aging Better called for accessible strength and balance programs for older adults to be introduced in local communities.

  ब्लड शुगर करना है कंट्रोल तो सिर्फ यह एक लड्डू रोजाना खाएं, जानें बनाने की रेसिपी

“People get weak and think it’s inevitable, and it really isn’t. If you can clean your teeth every day, you can work on your balance every day.”

Three ways to build your strength at age 50

nordic walking

Public Health England specifically recommends Nordic walking as an activity to improve balance. It also strengthens muscles and bones, thanks to the added resistance provided by the poles.

The UK Medical Directors’ Guidelines for Good Health cover four areas: cardiovascular activity, strengthening activities, reducing prolonged sedentary (sitting) time, and activities to improve balance and coordination. Nordic walking meets all these requirements.

Balance exercises without equipment


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