The three important parts of the body once you cross the age of 40 are the legs, back and the abdomen. These parts of the body remain idle during our work years and from 25 to 40 and beyond primarily due to sitting.With COVID around, our sitting time has extended much beyond our standard hours of sitting. There are two things which happen when we sit, the legs do not move, and the core rests for a prolonged period.
From a personal point, I feel that core ( abdomen muscles), back ( both and upper and lower back) and legs, should be in pristine working condition. If these parts of the body are active, then we can assume that we are in good shape. Do a simple exercise at home when you are free. Sit down on the floor, try to spread your legs as much as you can and try to move your body forward towards your legs. You can feel a good amount of stretch or tightness in the thighs and legs.
What I found after doing this exercise is that, how stiff my legs have become over the years. The way I found to increase flexibility and suppleness in the legs is through yoga. There are good back strengthening exercise and hip opening exercises that help you to increase flexibility irrespective of age, as long as these postures are done regularly. The other important thing I learnt about yoga during my stint at IIM,Bangalore was the need to inhale and exhale during the yoga pose. Earlier there was bad breathing or shallow breathing during these yoga poses. But, the effectiveness of these yoga poses get amplified with breathing. I shall make a detailed post on these yoga poses soon.
I would reiterate the importance of water and flexibility in the body. More than 70% of all body fluids has a water base. So, even for losing fat we need to drink water always, immaterial of whether you are indoors or outdoors. Do consume seasonal fruits for an entire meal, preferably lunch or dinner. We are what we eat. I have reduced my share of oily and fried foods this week to a bare minimum ( I snack on aloo bhujia – two tablespoons daily) as old habits die hard. Its like smoking, though I never smoked. Breaking free from an addictive habit is a tough call. But, we have only this body, so we have to take best care of it as long as we can live.
Once your core is strengthened over a period of time. The flabs on abdomen should reduce and you would feel lighter than before. I feel that fat loss and flexibility should go hand in hand. I cross train daily alternating with yoga and running in a fairly gradual manner so that there is no over exertion.