Nothing can turn back time, but there are some exercises that can help keep your body young as you age. First of all, these include those exercises that actively combat the effects of prolonged sitting.
Why is it harmful to sit for long periods of time?
Many studies have been written about the benefits of a sedentary lifestyle. One recent one, involving about 8,000 adults aged 45 and older (2017), found a direct link between time spent sedentary and an increased risk of early death.
A sedentary lifestyle slows down overall blood flow and impairs circulation in the lower extremities and pelvic organs. This increases the risk of thrombosis. This leads to the development of strokes and heart attacks.
Squats are the king of exercises
Yes, that is what it is often called. Not only is it one of the best exercises for dealing with the effects of sitting, but it is also a prevention of many other problems:
- Squats activate very many muscles at the same time, and doing this exercise every day greatly improves heart function;
- Squats are excellent for increasing bone density, which is why this exercise is often included in a wellness program for osteoporosis. It is also considered a “metabolic booster”;
- Squats also help develop an important psychophysical skill – a sense of balance. The degree of development of this skill also has a significant impact on health and life expectancy, as proven by scientific studies.
How many times should I squat after 50?
There are no unified standards in this regard. Although, in Academician Amosov’s book “1000 movements”, which includes squats, there is a specific number as recommendation – 100.
Thus, we recommend doing 100 squats at a time.
It is clear that you probably will not be able to do so many squats at once and it may take a long time to reach this number, but it is necessary to aim for this figure as a goal.
Of course, there are contraindications. These are injuries, fractures, musculoskeletal disorders, post-operative periods, and pregnancy. Also, if you have problems with your legs, knees, calves or joints, it is better not to do a deep squat (to the floor), but only to an angle of 90 degrees.
But for most people 100 squats a day is an achievable goal and a great way to improve own health. Especially if we’re talking about those over the age of 50.
After all, this exercise helps to cope with many diseases accumulated by these years. Performing squats you can strengthen the heart and blood vessels, the respiratory system, normalize blood pressure, develop the joints – not to mention the benefits to the muscles.
So squat 100 times and be healthy. If you can’t do that many, then train. Start with ten, five, or one. If you practice regularly, your results are sure to grow.
How to do squats properly after 50 years?
To get the best results, it is important to follow proper squatting technique:
- Stand up straight, feet shoulder width apart. Your shoulders are down. Knees slightly bent. The toes may be turned slightly outward. The feet should be close to the floor during the squatting (the heels do not come off during the whole exercise). Pull your abdomen in slightly;
- Keeping your back straight, pulling your buttocks back and extending your arms in front of you (for balance), slowly lower your torso as far as is comfortable (or until your thighs are parallel to the floor). Do this as if you were sitting on a low stool;
- Hold this position for a second or two, and then, pushing off the floor with your heels, slowly return to a standing position;
- Do several repetitions. For example, 25-30 times. If you exercise regularly, feel free to double those numbers. If on the contrary it is difficult for you, hold on to the back of the chair and start with the minimum number of reps. You may also work in front of the mirror in order to watch your movements. Avoid overloading.
Separate advice for women
First of all, you need to understand that women’s knees will move inward toward each other, much more so than men’s knees. Therefore, when squatting, it is very important to make sure that your knees do not shift inward as you go up and down. The easiest way to solve this problem is to keep your knees in line with your big toes and make sure they don’t move inward beyond that point.