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Army October 25, 2012
WHEN we are young,
keeping fit is easy and
enjoyable, but as we
get older it is harder
and definitely not as much fun.
Health benefits come from
many of the activities we enjoy in
our prime -- we can exercise every
day of the week and our speed,
endurance and recovery times are
at an optimum.
Anyone of any age can be con-
sidered fit, but in our 40s, 50s and
60s age matters as it affects our
strength, speed and endurance.
Physical declines associated
with aging are not inevitable but
are mainly due to a detraining or
deconditioning effect, which comes
from a decrease in exercise levels,
frequency or intensity.
WO2 Stuart Laughton, of
8CHC, has been a PTI for nearly
30 years and said older Defence
members needed to do regular
exercise to help maintain their
strength, flexibility and balance.
"It shouldn't be a case of having
to get back into it as you shouldn't
ever drop your standards or let
yourself go," he said.
"It only takes a couple of weeks
without exercise to start losing your
fitness levels as our muscles waste
and our joints lose their flexibility.
"Physical and mental wellbeing
and a healthy, balanced diet are all
central to maintaining overall fit-
Being overweight or under-
weight also reduces levels of fit-
When we are overweight our
bodies have to work harder to func-
Being underweight is not any
healthier as it means the body lacks
the capacity to perform efficiently.
Weight training can help main-
tain muscle tone and strength,
however, cardio work outs such
as hill running or interval training
can condition the aerobic and the
anaerobic systems, which can lead
to dramatic fitness improvements.
WO2 Laughton said focusing
on core strength and body weight
exercises such as chin-ups, dips and
sit-ups would also improve results.
"It's easy to set up a circuit for
yourself and it's also a benefit to be
able to lift your own body weight
out of trouble," he said.
"We don't want you to smash
yourself, cause yourself injury
by lifting heavy weights or try to
become a competitive athlete.
"Defence wants you to maintain
your fitness for all your years of
service, but we also want you to
think beyond that and live a long
and healthy life."
Age no barrier to fitness
There's no need to let age get in the way
of physical fitness and health, Cpl Mark
Sweat it out: Flt-Sgt John
Mace does cardio training
at the Russell Gymnasium
and knows the importance
of keeping fit.
Photo by LAC Bill Solomou
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