5 Surprising Anti-ageing Fitness Moves

With an abundance of lotions, potions and scarier forms of cosmetic procedures at our disposal to banish the signs of our (real) age, it’s fair to say that we can now fake it until we make it. But did you know that the sought-after secret to turning back the hands of time may lie in your gym bag? New research carried out at McMaster University in Ontario found that those who started working out later in life had smoother skin and better health. The study began when scientists took away the exercise wheels from mice, which quickly led to them becoming weak, bald and sick. However the furry critters that were allowed their wheels were healthier, had thicker coats and didn’t go grey. Encouraged by their results, the team went on to study a group of 29 male and female volunteers between the ages of 20 and 84. The participants embarking on three hours of exercise every week had improved cardiovascular health, sharper attention spans and inner skin layers that resembled 20-40 year olds.

Rodents aside, there are other benefits to staying active, no matter your age. “Exercise also plays an important role in managing stress – a crucially negative factor proven to age the skin and body,” says Bodyism director of operations, Nathalie Schyllert. The right type of exercise can go a long way in calming down the effects of stress. It also strengthens your heart, reduces inflammation, decreases the risk of depression and increases bone and muscle strength – helping your body to stay fighting fit.” But before you reach for the heavier weights at the gym, opt for gentler activities such as walking, jogging, cycling or yoga which will keep joints supple without causing injury. As you strengthen your body, what felt difficult last month will be a walk in the park.

    • Disco lunges

      This works out your body and maintains fitness levels to keep you feeling in shape.
      1. Step into a lunge and stay there. Bring your arms into a ‘Y’ shape.
      2. Push up with your front leg and return to the start position. Repeat 10 times, changing legs. Keep breathing.

    • Standing Y + T

      This exercise is great for developing coordination, burning fat as well as working your legs and core.
      1. Bend your legs and stick your bottom out.
      2. Keep your back and head all in a straight line, shoulders down and back and keep the tummy tight.
      3. Bring both arms alongside your ears in a straight line 15 times making a Y.
      4. Everything is the same with the T but bend down a little further and bring your arms to the side making a T.

    • Side plank

      The side plank is the perfect exercise for nipping your waist, toning your tummy and targeting love handles.
      1. Lie on your left side with your left forearm on the ground and right arm in front of you.
      2. Lift yourself up on your forearm to form a plank with your left arm bent at the elbow and your right arm on your side.
      3. Repeat three times, doing 30 seconds on each side.

    • Tube walking

      This lifts the bottom and helps to stabilise the knee, hip and ankle joints. If you don’t have a tube, do 20 squats instead.
      1. Put the band around your ankles and walk slowly for 20 steps, keeping tension in the band. At all times keep your upper body as still as possible.
      2. Now place the band above your knees, get into a squat position and walk again for 20 steps.

    • Burpees

      This exercise is great for developing coordination, burning fat as well as working your legs and core.
      1. Start in a push up position with weight equally distributed between your hands and feet.
      2. Jump your feet towards hands, stand straight up with your hands in the air and then jump – as you land, ensuring that the weight is equally distributed on each foot and that your landing is soft.
      3. Once you have finished the jump place your hands on the floor beside your feet and jump your feet back into the original start position, keeping your back straight and abs tight. Repeat 20 times.

    After completing all of the exercises have a 1 minute rest. Then repeat three times.

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