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Don’t retire from exercise and stay stronger longer


Don’t retire from exercise and stay stronger longer

You’ve retired. Why bother with fitness? TRISTAN HALL gives some excellent reasons for keeping up an exercise routine.

For starters, if you do nothing your body will lose muscle mass, your joints will start to ache, and your bone density will drop.

Women after menopause lose 2 per cent of bone density a year.

Strength exercises will rebuild muscle and improve bone density.

This means you can lift the grandkids, pull the dog away from that monster in the park and tackle the other challenges of retirement.

In strength training, you move your muscles against a resistance. Some examples are doing leg lifts in a pool where the water provides the resistance or using a stretch band to build up your torso and arm muscles.

Other options are pushing and holding up your own body weight and, of course, lifting weights.

Every day 133 older Queenslanders have a fall that requires medical attention.

And about 30 per cent of falls result in broken bones, including hip fractures, head injuries or forearm fractures.

If you have strong muscles you can rebalance yourself more easily and reduce falls and if you do fall, higher bone density can protect you from broken bones, hospitalisation and incapacity.

Here’s a few ways you can start at home:

The Kitchen Bench Press– Simply use your kitchen bench to do 10 push ups. Place your hands firmly on the bench top at your body width, your legs away from the bench and tighten your abdominal and bottom muscles.

Then do 10 push ups, keeping your head up. If you are struggling by the last few, this is the right level of effort for you. Take a short break and do two more sets.

The Chair Squat – place a standard dining chair behind you, place your feel a bit wider than your shoulders and bend your knees until you are just touching the chair with your bottom. Rise up to a standing position and repeat. Do 10 of these.

If you can’t get down to the chair, that’s no problem. Hold your arms out in front for balance. This exercise uses your leg and abdominal muscles and challenges your balance.

You could always put a chair in the TV room and do three sets during ad breaks.


When your body is working better, you’ll feel more confident and all daily activities will be a little easier. Start getting stronger today. It’s worth it!

Tristan Hall is an exercise physiologist. Visit

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