HOW TO SQUAT – Exercise For Women Over 50
Keeping fit and healthy is so important at all stages of life, we don’t realise how important our health is until we lose it. The old adage, “you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone” is especially true here as our health is too often taken for granted.
In our 20’s and 30’s it was much easier to bounce back from an illness or a stretch of bad eating habits, because our bodies were better equipped with faster metabolisms, higher collagen counts and less inflammation. I am speaking in very general terms here of course, but for the most part, they ways we used to do things I.e. the food we eat and the exercise we do, may no longer suit us and our lifestyles. So, we must adapt and try new things and new methods for ageing gracefully.
One very easy thing to implement into your lifestyle that doesn’t cost you anything is regular exercise. If you don’t exercise regularly or If you already exercise but are looking to shake things up, then this article is for you!
One of my absolute favourite exercises is the squat. As we move through life, our mobility can become impeded by natural wear and tear of the joints, especially if we are not doing anything to help strengthen them.
The squat is a favourite among health and fitness professionals for its myriad of benefits. A squat is a functional exercise, which means it will help your body perform real life activities, making day to day tasks like moving and lifting items to bending over and tying your shoelace much easier to do. You may associate a squat to bodybuilders in the gym, but in reality, they are for everyone!
Some of the top benefits of a squat are:
As we squat, we are putting our entire body in an anabolic state (muscle building) by activating our quads, hamstrings, thighs, core, lower back and butt. Not many exercises can activate your whole body in this way and develop strength and muscle building in all parts of the body.
As we squat, we are relying heavily on our legs and core to help keep us upright and stable. In developing our core through squatting, our mobility is improved, allowing us to become more balanced. Strong legs are pivotal to mobility as we age as well.
A lot of injuries sustained as we get older are due to weaker joints and muscles and the ligaments that hold it all together. If these are weaker, it’s much easier for us to hurt ourselves by doing the simplest of things. Squatting regularly will actually help to strengthen these body parts for less potential injury.
The technique of a squat is of paramount importance, as squatting wrong can lead to more injury.
To perform a squat, stand with both feet slightly wider than shoulder width, with feet parallel and slightly pointed out. Make sure your knees are not locked out.
Put your hands on your hips or outstretched at a 90-degree angle to your body, with your chest up.
Bend gently at the knee, shifting your weight to your heel.
Sit back slightly, making sure to not let your knees go over your toes. Hold this position for 3 seconds.
Return to starting position.
To get a full workout, repeat this movement 15-20 times.
If you are finding this too easy, squats can be performed with weights for extra intensity.
One variation to the standard squat that I can’t recommend more is the Asian squat (or frog squat). Not only does the Asian squat improve flexibility and muscle strength in your legs, but it also promotes a healthy digestive system and improves bowel function. And just like a regular squat, the Asian squat is also great for strengthening your core and can even assist in improving back problems.
To perform the Asian squat, stand with your feet at shoulder width and lower your butt to the floor, keeping your feet firmly planted on the ground. Your centre of gravity should be over your feet and belly button, focusing on keeping your core firm.
Squats have definitely helped me improve my mobility and strength in my 50’s. Adding squats into your workout routine will help improve your overall flexibility and strength and will.
I really hope you find this information helpful and I would love to hear how you go with these.
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