TV Host Vera Cordes Column: How Fit Are You Really? Find out with these four exercises
When asked about their physical condition, most people would say that they are in good shape. But how fit are they really? Four short exercises determine your status and show whether you have problems with strength, mobility, endurance and coordination even in old age.
It’s amazing how easy it is to misjudge your own abilities. You may also meet people who consider themselves to be above average drivers, but are just average at best. Others played competitive sports in their youth and thus still feel like supermen even in their 50s or older, but in reality they are already at their limit when they have to carry two cases of mineral water to the first floor. If they wobble or even fall on uneven ground, it’s definitely someone else’s fault.
Particularly embarrassing: You only notice your own inadequacy when everyone else takes the subway while you yourself are still panting and stumbling down the steps to the platform.
about the expert
Vera Cordes has been the face of “Visite” health magazine on NDR television for over 20 years. She studied German, education and sports sciences. She later graduated from the Axel Springer School of Journalism and worked as a news editor and presenter for radio stations in Berlin and Hannover.
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“I have something for you” by Vera Cordes
Four exercises from fitness experts
So how is your physical condition really? Test yourself and practice at the same time! Because with the following four simple basics, testing and training are the same thing. Hamburg fitness educator Maria Jäger and sports doctor Helge Riepenhof have put together these exercises, which I also practice regularly and am happy to recommend.
The specialist for sports orthopedics, prevention and rehabilitation at the Hamburg trade association clinic treats people who have often been seriously injured due to their lack of fitness on a daily basis. For many years he has also been advising top international athletes in a wide variety of disciplines and he knows what is important for you to be able to move safely and trust your body at any age and in any situation.
Honestly, if we do nothing, little by little we loosen up. Where should speed, endurance, mobility and coordination come from if we only take a few hundred steps a day on average between home, car, work and vice versa? Not to mention the general immobility in the home office.
Over time, we increasingly underestimate the force needed to stop a fall in a fraction of a second. Denial that coordination is also fleeting if not practiced. In an emergency, strength and mobility are only useful if the two are optimally coordinated.
Be honest with yourself and get started, preferably today! Then you’ll be one step further tomorrow.
1. Strength test and train with plank or push-ups
Start in the prone position and push yourself into plank position. Toes and elbows not too far apart. Then lift your body up, contract your stomach, tighten your lower body, and maintain your body tension. However, he looks relaxed towards the ground. Hips and back at one level.
Hold this exercise for 30 seconds. Even when your arms and legs start to shake. This is extremely exhausting, but also extremely effective. Indispensable for the prevention of falls and for a well-trained core.
If it’s easy for you, repeat the exercise, lengthening it or standing on one leg as you do it. Push-ups are also an increase.
You should be able to do at least one pass. Older people, in particular, should exercise as much as possible every day into old age. After all, if you’re lying on the ground after a fall, you need to be able to support yourself with your arms in order to get up again.
2. Test your endurance and train with the knee lifter
To do this, walk briskly in place and alternately raise your knees with each step, if possible to hip height. Flex your toes and pull them towards your body. Arms swing easily.
You should be able to do 100 knee raises in two minutes. This perfectly challenges the thigh, calf, buttocks, and abdominal muscles. But the test also shows whether the heart and lungs are in order. Anyone who can easily hold on for two minutes demonstrates good stamina, will probably have no trouble climbing stairs, and will be able to tackle longer distances in everyday life without many breaks.
3. Test and train coordination with leg circles.
To do this, place an object on the floor in front of you, raise one leg and circle your foot in the air around this object for 30 seconds. Then switch legs and circle the other leg for 30 seconds. Then repeat everything with circles in the other direction.. This balance and coordination exercise looks easier than it is. Accompany him well, level up and try to complete the exercise on tiptoe.
These leg circles can be a real challenge, especially for older people, because the ability to maintain balance decreases with age. This is one of the main reasons why older people fall more often and seriously injure themselves. If you feel unsure, be sure to hold onto the back of a chair or a wall for a secure grip at first.
4. Test mobility and train with stretches
You should do this exercise last because you need to warm up for it. To do the exercise standing up, bend your torso forward and try to touch your toes with your fingertips. Feet are hip-width apart, heels are on the floor, and legs are straight.
Do the exercise slowly five times in a row. If you don’t have immediate success, keep practicing carefully every day. Over time, you will become more flexible and gradually move closer to your feet as your hips, Achilles tendon, and spine become more flexible. In principle, everyone should be able to reach their feet with their hands so that they can tie their shoes alone, wash their feet and, especially if they are diabetic, check their feet for injuries themselves.
Stay tuned! Because then you will be successful and your strength, endurance, coordination and mobility will improve. Have fun!
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