By Rebecca Wheatley at
It’s February – a perfect month to embrace our SUPER POWERS …!
Physical fitness affects the whole body, including the heart and blood vessels, the immune system, muscles, bones and mental well-being. It’s not just about being physically active. Here’s eight ways to maximise your physical fitness, especially after the age of 40 with 8 super powers we all have…
THE POWER OF ‘8’
Keep moving. Our bodies are designed to move and recent evidence indicates that sitting down for extended periods of time is very bad for our health. So make sure that you’re not sedentary for long periods – stand, walk, move. We love Nordic walking in all weathers and if you are booked in to a walk, there’s no excuses…
Your core matters more in midlife. Nordic walking is a workout that focuses on your core muscles without you even realising it. Every time you push through your pole you are engaging and strengthening your deep abdominal muscles.
Ensure you clock at least 2.5 hours of physical activity a week. The government’s Chief Medical Officer (and indeed the World Health Organisation) recommends we do at least 150 minutes (2.5 hours) of moderate intensity exercise a week or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity.
You need to lift weights in middle age. Our bodies need extra work from the age of 40 to help replace the muscle mass which declines with age. Nordic walking is in itself a muscle strengthening, pushing correctly through the poles will help increase the intensity and load. Join one of our Zoom workouts for an extra boost.
Include lunges and squats in your workout. Lunges and squats work the larger muscle groups in the buttocks and thighs. Muscles themselves are calorie-burning machines, so strengthening the glutes and quads will help keep the fat off. The squats and lunges which we regularly include in our Nordic walking warm ups and Zoom workouts are an added bonus.
Flexibility is important. Flexibility naturally decreases with age but it also works on a ‘use it or lose it’ principle. Our warm ups and stretches at the start and end of our classes stretch the main muscle groups and also help with balance and coordination too.
Look after your feet. Our feet serve as the foundation to almost every day-to-day task we perform. Nordic walking encourages active feet, a fabulous heel/toe roll, and correct weight distribution.
You have to work on your balance and stability. Nordic walking greatly helps with balance because it strengthens your core stabilising muscles and your key lower body muscles. It also burns more calories than ordinary walking!