Joseph Pilates the creator of Pilates and an incredible innovator physically and mentally said you are as young as your spine.
So the title the best exercises for ageing muscles made me laugh, as to me muscles don’t age they get conditioned or they get unconditioned very similar to a computer programme being written and updated effectively or not.
Our bodies and minds are very much like computer programmes with muscles the program they need is to be stretched and to contract and to activate. If you can contract, stretch and activate your body fully and as a whole, you will be healthy and appreciate longevity, dynamic movement, the lines and shape you want and the energy and dynamism that you want.
Here’s the key, everybody has a different body and a different signature so each one of us like our fingerprints will need tweaking to our programs and our structure of both exercise and nutrition and the contradiction here is, we all have human bodies and there is a certain code of energy systems that we have to keep us working at our most effective rate.
Heres a big one for me, cardiovascular conditioning. It’s so important and personally I believe it’s something we must do daily and if we are to go for the health guides do it a minimum of 3-5 times to feel good, to have great blood flow and oxygen and energy and positivity bursting through the body with the additional benefit of tuning into your body and progressing it with feeling and feel good factor as you go from cold, to warm to steaming hot from within the body and then sweating from the outside and detoxifying.
A lot of people do interval training instead and O disagree with this because real interval training is done in intensity with another partner whether its with your personal trainer challenging you or with a group doing sprint training or having a boxing partner moving you for 3 minute rounds, from what I have seen people doing interval training on their own is a less effective workout and not a great drill for women who want to be slim and strong or guys who want to raise the energy levels and drop body fat.
If you don’t, believe me, what speed will you run at when you’re playing a five a side football match against when you are on a treadmill, and how many more directions and variables and need for recovery and change of direction and instinct are needed.
Do me a favour, if you want to be fit do your cardio it’s important and it is a long-term necessity. I believe in cardio that is upright e.g. standing so whether it’s boxing, football or dance or skipping and running well that’s up to you and your trainer.
The cardio I do on my own is skipping as it moves the bowels and lymphatic system detoxifying the body, all the footwork gives you rhythm, coordination and explosive energy from the bouncing and at the same time, it helps your knees as it stops you from having flat feet that do not move around or mobilise.
After that, I would do a run when my knees are in good condition and I have extra energy as it feels great and I also enjoy shadow boxing and kickboxing with someone I like boxing and sparring, for you, it may be football, capoeira, ballet or boxing. This is about you and what works for you and I’m a guy that likes to help discover who you is and discover what works best for you.
The body needs strength and resistance training.
I think there are so many ways to keep the body strong, my preferences are using the hex bar to do deadlifts as they are safe on your back and great for stabilising and strengthening your back, handstands and bridges and push ups and pull ups and single leg squats as they challenge your body to push its own weight using different variables and these exercises give you solid joints, ligaments and bones and they also keep your muscles firm and tones them.
For abs you can always add sit-ups and hanging leg raises and for some men and women there may be weak body parts like the triceps and this is where weight training and bodybuilding concepts can help where you can look at a particular muscles group and create balance, firmness, shape and strength.
One of my favourites for triceps is the skull crusher and then there’s feeding the muscles correctly with proteins and water and greens without poisoning the body too much which is why I have gone down the route of being a flexitarian, it means I eat fish but I don’t eat fish every day, I eat meat but I don’t eat meat every day, it means eat fruit sometimes but I don’t rely on it, the only universal rules I have is I eat lettuce every day to alkalise the body and have wheatgrass shots as often as I can.
I have protein shakes usually a vegan source from my new supplement company Arbonne, they sell pea protein in a chocolate flavour and if you want you can get this from my Arbonne website. I like fats like coconut oils, almonds, avocados and olives. I go out of my way to have fats and greens every day as they cleanse and fuel the body and of course you need a lot more water than you think you need.
If you’re tired this is potentially because you have not drunk enough water. Ageing really comes from accumulating too many toxins and not moving the body enough. Another way to keep the body from building up too many toxins is regular massage, stretching for the appropriate muscles required to stretch and meditation to reduce cortisol levels and anxiety so you can have a more feel-good factor. Oh yes and do all you can to get your rest and sleep well! All the best and if you need help feel free to contact me and see me for a conversation and even a session.