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Strong for life

Updated: Feb 21, 2019

Strong for life

According to a recent report from Public Health England (PHE), too many adults in the UK are failing to exercise enough to maintain strong muscles and bones.

I must admit that this is a major concern of mine, as I fall very much into the "use it, or lose it" school of thought where exercise and a healthy, long life are concerned.

Of course it is easy to draw a (slightly cliched) analogy between the human body and mechanical devices - the body is like a machine and needs regular maintenance, etc. However, as with all cliches, there is a degree of truth in this, though to my mind the analogy is more to do with human muscles, vital organs and bones needing regular stress testing to ensure the body can function at an optimum level and deal with the demands of life in a robust fashion.

In a similar vein, PHE launched a report earlier this year giving advice on how people can have a strong and healthy life by doing the right workouts that so benefit the whole of the body.

According to the PHE report, adults should be undertaking strengthening exercises at least twice a week, with the lifting of weights being one exercise option, whilst playing tennis or dancing also has clear benefits (a recommendation also endorsed by the Centre for Ageing Better).

For myself, I play tennis regularly and love doing so and I am aware that dancing has built a reputation due to its ability to combine cognitive function with physical exertion (you have to think as you sweat).

But lifting weights and engaging in resistance training is, I think, vital in maintaining a strong skeleton and healthy muscle tone, as it requires the person exercising to be strong in the face of physical challenge.

According to the PHE report, recommended activities that offer the most strength-building benefits include:

1) Ball games (such as rugby!).

2) Racket sports (tennis and squash).