New Year Fitness
With the Australian Open in full swing (and a few upsets already), and our lovely outdoorsy Summer weather, you may be drawing some inspiration, and your thoughts turning to sport and exercise, and how you can improve your fitness. We thought it would be timely to look at how you can start a fitness program, or extend one you already have. Being Australian Open time, we took advantage of the opportunity to do a Q&A with Award winning Tennis Coach (and Blackmores partner) Marc Sophoulis, to find out why you should be keeping fit, and some exercises and sports especially geared to your age and level of fitness. The importance of exercising, playing sport and keeping fit for our physical and mental wellbeing cannot be underestimated as we get older. Read the Q&A below for some great advice from Marc.
Marc Sophoulis – Photo Credit – Coach Plus.
Q 1. Why is it important to exercise and play sport as we get older, especially women? What are the benefits of exercise/playing sport as we get older?
Exercise aids in strengthening your body’s muscles, joints, bones and cardiovascular system. It creates a healthy body and more importantly a healthy mind as exercise is also known to lower stress levels, increase energy throughout the day and release dopamine into the brain, which makes us feel happier.
Q 2. What are some gentle exercises women could try if they haven’t exercised or played sport for a while?
Remember to always start slow when reintroducing exercise into your lifestyle. I recommend to begin by taking regular brisk walk to raise the heart rate and increase to a slow jog after a few weeks.
Introduce some simple strengthening work into your routine using body weight exercises such as sit ups, push ups, squats, and simple core exercises.
Resistance training puts less strain on the body than weight training. If you are looking to add some resistance training to your regime, therabands are a great strengthening tool that add resistance to your work outs and avoid putting too much strain on your body, muscles and joints.
Q 3. What sports and exercises would you recommend for women in their 40’s-50s? Why would you recommend these sports/exercises?
Women who want to exercise at this age should look to do workouts and routines that involve the whole body, rather than overly specific, segmented exercises.
We recommend really focusing in on areas such as core strength and flexibility as well as consistent cardio training.
Physical activities that you may consider include yoga, pilates, walking/running and swimming. Remember to also mix up your work outs to keep them fresh and exciting. Try breaking up your week by being part of a social sporting club.
Being a little biased, I highly recommend tennis as it combines upper and lower body action, cardio activity and it’s fun to play with friends and family. Whether you’re playing in a competition, or meeting friends for a friendly hit over the net, tennis is a great way to help you burn calories (around 420cals per hour), increase your aerobic strength, reduce lower body fat, and improve muscle tone, strength and flexibility.[i]
Having said that, any sport you play is great for getting out, keeping fit and having fun.
Q 4. What sports and exercises would you recommend for women in their 60’s-70s? Why
would you recommend these sports/exercises?
During this time of your life it crucial to keep the body active in any way possible. It does not have to be anything over complicated or take too much of your time.
Aim to complete 30-40 minutes of moderate activity, five times a week with activities such as walking, swimming and theraband resistance work. If you’re breaking a sweat and getting the heart rate up you’re on the right track! Once again, social sport is a great way to add to your week so find what you enjoy doing and get involved.
During this time of your life water training is hugely beneficial. Water allows for a very different training experience than most are accustomed to as water can be up to 800 times more supportive than air, but up to 15 times more resistant to any movement. Therefore no matter what fitness level a client is at as long as they are working their hardest being in the water will give them a great workout.
Q 5. Should we see our doctor before starting any new exercise program? Why?
It is vital to see your doctor or professional before starting any new exercise program, especially if you have not exercised in a while. Get yourself checked to ensure that your exercise program won’t end up being detrimental to your health as it overstrains the body. Other than that, it is also great to know where you are starting from and track the improvement over time.
So there you have it – some simple exercises and sporting ideas to get you started, and well on your way to improved fitness in 2018. Let us know what you think, and how you are going with your exercise program in the comments section below. We’d love to hear from you, and who knows, your comments could well inspire someone else.
ABOUT MARC SOPHOULIS
Renowned Tennis coach, Marc Sophoulis – Marc has contributed to the careers of tennis players Anastasia and Arina Rodionova, Monique Adamczak, Romanian Victor Hanescu, Indian Davis Cup player Karan Rastogi and Chinese Davis Cup player Di Wu. His track record has seen him recognised as one of a handful of certified Talent Development Coaches by Tennis Australia as well as winning the “Under 30 Victorian Coach of the Year” in 2011. That makes him a first port of call for junior stars from Tennis Australia’s ranks, and our port of call to pull together exercise and fitness ideas for Beauty Over 40.
Marc has partnered with Blackmores, an official sponsor of the Australian Open.
Blackmores, as an official partner of the Australian Open, is empowering Australians to assess their personalised health and wellbeing with the Blackmores Wellbeing Check. To start your wellbeing journey today, and keep track of your wellbeing over time, visit www.wellbeingcheck.com.au.