Wednesday, 25 July 2012

This post is for my mum (even though she's not that old or fat!)

Muscle takes more calories to maintain than fat. The better your muscle to fat ratio, the higher your metabolism will be. The more muscle you have, the greater your ability to store glycogen so it isn't turned to fat.

Unfortunately, if you just live your life and do no exercise, as you get older, your muscle mass naturally decreases.  This is why as we get older, we find it harder to shift fat and tend to put it on more easily than we did in our 20s and 30s.

Many older people try to maintain their weight with cardio, they swim, they walk, they might run or cycle.  The fact is that while these are great activities for cardiovascular health they are not going to build enough muscle mass to make a difference to their fat stores.

If you are getting older and wanting to shift a little body fat and finding your cardio just isn't doing it for you but you are afraid of lifting weights, you don't want to go to a gym and you don't have endless hours in the day, then this post is for you!

Try doing these exercises either first thing in the morning, when you get up for literally a couple of minutes or give yourself a target of a number to have achieved by the end of the day and every time you have a moment, get some in: while you are waiting for the kettle to boil, when you nip to the loo, while you are drying your hair or on the telephone.

Its very simple.


That's it.

'Oh, I can't do pressups,' I hear you say.  'Never been able to do them.'
Well, I don't mean straight away proper press ups.  Start with wall press ups.


Stand about a foot away from the wall.  Place your hands shoulder height, just over shoulder width apart on the wall in front of you.  Lean your whole body forward, not just your shoulders, make sure your hips go with you.  And then push away from the wall.  Do this as many times as you can, it may be that you can only do one the first time you attempt it.  (I'll let you into a secret, I couldn't do any a year or so ago.  Now I can do 60 military press ups in one go and 1000 in a day!)

Try to increase the number you do every couple of days.  Even if you only increase by one.  That's what I just did - one more press up every time I did them.

Once you can do wall press ups really, really well and easily, it's time to progress onto incline press ups.  Place your hands on the garden wall or the arm of your sofa and do the same thing.  Making sure your body stays rigid, and that your hips move forward with your shoulders.

Once you can do these really, really well and easily, move onto bent knee press ups.  On the floor, hands below your shoulders, knees far enough back so your body is in a diagonal line from your knees to your shoulders with no bend, so don't stick your bottom in the air or sag your tummy down.  Dead straight and rigid.  Then do the same thing again, move your shoulders towards the floor but make sure you take your hips with you so that your thighs touch the floor.

Once you can do these really, really well and easily, straighten your legs and do them on your toes!


A high proprtion of people over 60 cannot get out of a chair without using their hands to help them.  Squats are the single best exercise to make sure you are not one of these people.

It's really important with squats that you do them with good form, so there are a few things you need to make sure you get right.  Your heels must stay on the ground all the time.  You must be able to see your toes all the way through the move and you only squat as until your thighs are parallel to the floor to avoid putting excess pressure on your knees.  Try to keep as upright as you can but you will need to lean your upper body forward a little.

Try sitting on the very edge of a chair so that your legs are parallel to the floor and you can see your toes.  This is the perfect squat position, stand up and then squat down just until your bum touches the seat again, then stand up.  Use the chair to help you until you are sure your form is good.  Then do them without!

You can do these exercises wherever you are!  You don't need a gym or equipment, just your body!

I hate scales because muscle weighs 3 times as much as fat, so if you are increasing you muscle mass, you may be dropping fat but not losing weight.  Go on what you look like in the mirror, how you feel, how your clothes fit and your increased strength!

Good luck!

Krish x

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