Older & Wiser: Keep in Shape with George Pitsialis

Keep Fit
Older & Wiser: Keep in Shape with George Pitsialis
George discusses how you can keep up your fitness levels this winter

During the winter months our levels of motivation and energy tend to decrease. We are all less motivated to exercise and would rather just curl up on the sofas with some snacks and watch a TV series. This is relevant to the general population, so for the elderly it can be even more difficult depending on mobility. I have compiled some ideas to help get the elderly more active, more fit, feel healthier, and develop their confidence inside and out.

Exercise 

Walking doesn’t cost anything. It’s a low impact activity which is great for getting some fresh air and burning some calories. 

Secondly, light jogging, even for just 10-15 minutes, is really good for getting the blood pumping and the heart rate up, and excellent for burning off calories and lowering blood pressure. I would only recommend running if you don’t experience any type of joint pain. 

Thirdly, bodyweight exercises such as push-ups and squats are brilliant for developing muscular endurance and firming up the squishy areas, whipping your body into great shape, having you looking great and feeling even better! 

Fourthly, go for a swim. Swimming is a full body cardiovascular exercise which helps to improve stamina, tone muscles, and it is great for those that struggle to exercise with impact or experience any pain surrounding joints. Stationary cycling also a great cardiovascular exercise, excellent for improving lower body muscular endurance, lowering blood pressure, toning the legs and bum, getting a nice sweat on and burning fat! 

Lastly, Yoga/Stretching is a brilliant communal activity where individuals can come together to participate, creating a welcoming environment, develop flexibility and elasticity in the muscles and joints allowing you to move with less physical restrictions.

Nutrition

During the winter it’s vital that we get a wide variety of nutrients in our diet to keep healthy and fight infection and illnesses. As we tend to indulge in unhealthy snacks our serotonin levels increase, making carb cravings stronger. So it’s important to indulge in protein packed breakfasts to keep energy levels high - for example, boiled and scrambled eggs, or Greek yogurt with granola.

As we age joint pain becomes more common so we have a range of omega 3 sources in our diet such as fish, plant seeds and nuts helping to reducing levels of joint pain and stiffness. Eating more fibre is also key for boosting immune system function aiding weight loss, improving energy levels, and fighting diabetes. Fibre can be found in apples, oats and nuts. Incorporating these nutritional tips with exercise will not only keep you fit and healthy during the winter but will help you get into your best shape of your life so what are you waiting for!