Best exercises to do for health and longevity

STARS physio Cheryl Costello

STARS physio Cheryl shares tips for exercising for health and longevity

It sounds like a difficult question, but the answer is so simple: the best exercise is the exercise you will actually do and keep doing according to Cheryl Costello, a Senior Physiotherapist at the Surgical, Treatment and Rehabilitation Service (STARS).

“Exercise needs to be sustainable for you,” Cheryl said.

“If we are talking health and longevity, then it needs to be lifelong. If you love dancing, Pilates or hiking, then I love these for you.

“There is no point putting pressure on yourself to follow the latest fitness recommendation if you hate it and it doesn’t fit into your life. This can lead a negative relationship with exercise.”

Too much too fast and hard exercise can lead to injury and fatigue, so it’s important to maintain a balanced fitness regime.

Cheryl has shared some fitness guidelines, for those who want to learn more about how you can optimise your fitness regime for your health and ageing:

  • Aim for 4-5 days per week of a variety of exercise if possible. Variety is important for training the different aspects of fitness and health.
  • Aim for 1 of these sessions to be a 60-minute cardio workout. This is where your heart rate is up, and you are breathing hard enough that you can’t sing but you can talk.
  • Complete 2 or more 30-minute cardio sessions like this in the week.
  • Add 2 x 30-minute resistance training sessions i.e. lifting weights, push ups etc. You can combine these with your cardio sessions to make a 1-hour session if you like.
  • Finally complete at least 1 high intensity interval training session (HIIT). HIIT is when you exercise very hard for a short period such as sprinting, your heart rate is high, and you are breathing hard enough that you can’t talk. This is followed by a short rest then repeat. A good protocol is the Norwegian 4×4 protocol, exercise hard for 4 minutes, rest for 3 minutes and repeat 4 times.

“The above is the ideal approach but again, do what works best for you,” she said.

Don’t underestimate the importance of incidental exercise. This is the exercise we get when we climb the stairs instead of taking the lift or when we walk to work instead of driving. The science demonstrates that this all adds up and gives good benefits.

Every goal requires a different approach so consider this when starting a fitness regime.

2024-06-14T09:45:22+10:0014 June 2024|
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