Fitness trainer Nithanth shares his tips for those keen on maintaining their fitness levels in middle age with writer Anita Anand. 

What, you may wonder, are the secrets of fitness for the middle-aged? According to fitness trainer Nithanth, ageing results in body changes, which must be addressed with specific exercise plans.  “The focus must be on strength, flexibility, and balance,” he says.

Nithanth’s tips

#1 Move those muscles

After the age of 35, you lose your muscular strength. There are about 600 muscles in our bodies, that fall into 6 major groups. In particular, these are shoulders, chest, back, biceps, triceps and legs. To strengthen these muscles, you can do some simple activities such as pulling, pushing, lifting and balance training.

#2 Keep your spirits up

Ageing changes your life, in many ways. For instance, you may retire from work, your children may leave home, and your energy levels may drop. In addition, you may lose flexibility and strength. Health problems in near and dear ones, may also weigh you down. It’s easy to sink into a depression.

But, daily exercise and social activities can help you overcome these feelings, and raise your spirits. Since your brain cells are also diminishing, you must take action to maintain your mental health. MRIs show that adults who exercise regularly have a bigger hippocampus (the brain region responsible for memory and learning), which helps keep the mind sharp.

Also, go for meditation and yoga. In addition, indulge in hobbies and activities that give you pleasure, such as listening to music, meeting friends, gardening, and so on.

#3 Soak up the sun

There’s plenty to be said about the benefits of sunshine, especially as we age. Indian men and women are both prone to Vitamin D deficiency, which affects their calcium absorption adversely. Make sure this doesn’t happen to you, by spending time outdoors, preferably early in the morning and at sunset. For the best benefit, go for a short walk at these times.

Foreverfit- fitness trainer stretching

His fitness action plan

#1 Walk every day in the sun, morning or evening for about 20-30 minutes. Avoid jogging or running, unless you are in super-fit shape.

#2 Go for a swim if you have access to a pool, since this is a great exercise for the joints.

#3 Do some basic yoga postures, such as shavasana, cobra posture and stretching. Don’t risk injuries by attempting difficult postures. Also, do four easy exercises: Knee extension (see Nithanth below); wall push-ups; floor stretch and cobra posture.

Foreverfit- personal trainer displayng yoga posture

Thirty-year-old Nithanth is a fitness trainer at the Delhi-based Rejuvenation Fitness Group here.  He is passionate about staying fit, and helping others do the same. Nithanth trains men and women between the ages of 20-75.