Cardio Smart Watch

While focusing on muscle growth may seem like the norm for strength training, focusing on mobility, stability and variety, which differs from "regular" exercises, can help men stay healthy as they age.

Ready to learn some secrets to a long life? Let's start with exercise.

Exercise more and sit less. Your optimal health depends on how often you exercise, not how hard you exercise. A study of participants with an average age of 53.4 found that adding at least one minute of rest to their sedentary time was beneficial to their overall health.

Take the stairs whenever possible. As a weight-bearing exercise, stair climbing increases muscle strength, bone density and joint flexibility. This exercise also improves balance and has less impact than running. Take the stairs where you work and wherever you can, gradually increasing the number of flights you take.

Watch your movements. Do you use perfect technique when you do squats or deadlifts at the gym, but use your back for other things at home? In daily life, pay attention to how to lift things off the floor to keep your spine safe.

Manage your mindset. Whether you're starting out for the first time, an average athlete, or a former All-American, the first step is to understand that your body changes with age. Be careful not to get caught up in what you think you "should" be able to do. Use where you are today as your number one benchmark for improving your exercise habits.

Be willing to try new things. Some people stick to old habits or think they are too old to try new activities. This may prevent you from discovering something you like -- and then your body won't benefit from trying new moves! For a change, try boot camp or Pilates.

Make it social. Active exercise isn't just about lifting weights and going to the gym alone. Find other ways to be active and social! Martial arts such as salsa class, Zumba, jiu-jitsu or tai chi, local bike clubs, and peak ball are all fun, low-impact social activities.

There are many benefits to joining a fitness group. A 25-year study in the Mayo Clinic Journal found that social activity was associated with lower all-cause mortality compared with a sedentary lifestyle. Playing tennis extended life expectancy by 9.7 years, badminton by 6.2 years and football by 4.7 years. In addition, the more people engaged in social activities, the lower the risk of cognitive decline.

Monitor your movements. It's easy to assume there's a connection between age, use, previous injuries and knee or back pain. However, it is best to check whether reduced mobility can cause this, especially in the hips.

Try to do this two to six times a day (or more!). Open your hips, stretch them, and keep them relaxed. Be kind to yourself and your body while doing these actions:

  • Get on your knees, bend your hips, stretch. Place your right knee on the floor with your left foot flat in front of you in a lunge kneeling position. Keep your upper body upright and your lower back in a straight line while gently pushing your hips forward a few inches to contract your right gluteus maximus. You should feel the strongest stretch on the inside and front of your kneeling leg.
  • The posture of the pigeon. Starting with your hands and knees, extend your left leg behind you while your right knee remains on the ground. Turn your right foot forward to the left and rotate your leg so that your right hip is lower, close to the ground, with the sole of your right foot facing to the left. This position might be easier for you. Start with a deep lunge and turn your knees towards the ground.
  • Butterfly stretch: Sit on the floor with the balls of your feet touching in front of you. Keep your knees low to the floor. (After a few weeks or months, you might even start to feel comfortable in this position!)
  • Frog/Horizontal squat stretch: Starting with your hands and knees, lift your knees so that they are separated laterally until you feel a slight stretch (imagine bending your legs and opening them sideways). Lower yourself to the floor with your elbows on the floor, then move your hips back to strengthen the stretch. Squat for more than 30 seconds.

Protect your mobility. One way to protect your flexibility is to use more flooring. It's easy to sit on chairs, seats, sofas, and beds all the time, but sitting on the floor helps keep you mobile. Try to sit on the floor while watching TV, or be more intimate when playing with pets or children. When you get up and down from the floor, you use and strengthen your core strength.

Check your posture. "Posture based training is lacking in almost everyone's workout," says Danny Choi, an online personal trainer focused on longevity. "Think about the axles of a car - if they are misaligned and one side is higher than the other, the wheels will wear out very quickly."

What is Danny's most important posture technique? Note the protruding ribs. These are the continuous bony protrusions in the lower ribs when you exhale or when you raise your arms above your head. You only have to look in the mirror to find them. These protruding bones may appear on the left, right, or sides of the rib. The anterior rib process is associated with poor rib position, abdominal muscle weakness, oblique muscle inactivity, and lumbar hyperextension.

One exercise he uses to check and correct his clients' posture: crossing a bridge overhead. Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Don't bend your arms over your head at a 45 degree Angle, that's the effective range. At the same time, keep your chest out and your belly button close to your spine. Take 4-6 deep breaths, 2-3 sets of 1-2 a day, and hold posture.

Consider training with a coach. A coach can give you valuable guidance and responsibility to keep you moving in the right direction toward your health. A qualified instructor can tailor your exercise program to your skill level to keep you safe while helping to monitor and improve your range of motion.

Your longevity and health depend on each other, so make sure you take care of both. By following these simple tips, you can improve your flexibility and longevity, and keep an eye on your physical condition.

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