If you're starting a new exercise regime you're always in good hands with a guide by your side. It will help give you direction if you're a beginner or just looking to switch it up. There will be less time spent on figuring how to work out and more on exercising and staying healthy.
What About A Workout Guide for the Elderly?
So, you're over 50 and want an easy fitness guide? Look no further. Whether we are ready to admit it or not, our bodies start to change as we age. That doesn't mean you can do nothing to reduce the decline. It just means having the best exercise program for seniors is key.
Our physical prowess tends to be replaced with more mental prowess and wisdom. But it's not one or the other; you can have both! Firstly, you need to understand that we suffer muscle loss and bone density reduction as we age. This means that staying active and keeping fit are crucial to reducing the effects of this.
We need to find the right exercise for seniors that will help improve muscle growth and bone density. This needs to be balanced with not pushing the body to the limits too much and causing damage that can be severe. Our bodies simply cannot handle all of those 'adventures of our youth.
In our senior years, we have plenty of time to be active and stay active, so why not ensure that everything is in working condition? There's no need for getting out of our chair or going for a daily walk to be an uphill struggle. It's all about keeping the body moving safely and securely.
So, What Types of Exercises Are Good for the Elderly?
The good news is that you can work back up to strenuous exercises after a while. It's first important to understand how each activity helps you with your ultimate goal. These are broken down into aerobic, strength, and balance training exercises.
The overall mix of these three types of training will ultimately depend on your body's current health, and you'll have to tailor it to your needs. Make sure warming up doesn't slip your mind, too! It will help to get the joints flexible, the muscles warmed up, and the heart prepared for the activity. You can try jumping into your activities without any pre-workout or warm-up, but you may find it's like doing them with a weight on your back!
● Aerobic Training for Seniors
This is all about getting the body moving and the blood pumping properly. It will help get multiple body parts moving and help your bones and joints move how they should. It will also help to keep your weight in control and develop the stamina needed for other types of working out.
You may have wondered how to mix up your exercise routine, and aerobics is just the ticket. There's plenty of equipment out there, so you don't have to just walk every day. The best options for seniors are a recumbent bike, a rowing machine, and the use of a Pilates machine. You can work out on these machines and go the distance while being in a safe position to not over-exert yourself. How perfect?
However, we should still consider walking in our aerobics routine as it is an excellent way to get out of the house, enjoy the fresh air, and get your cardio workout.
Aerobics will be your primary form of exercise, and if you feel that you're in better shape, you can expand upon workouts with light jogging as well.
● Strength Training for Seniors
It takes longer for seniors to grow muscles let alone retain the muscle mass that they have. This doesn't mean it's not worth it though and it just means that the exercises must be as efficient as possible to build and maintain core muscles. Arnold Schwarzenegger can do it and so can you!
But before you work on pumping iron, work on body weight exercises first. This includes pushups and planks that help with core and upper body muscles. If pull-ups are possible, consider having them in a workout regime.
Consider lunges or squats for the lower body; if the lower body is strong enough, you can do weighted workouts, but keep those weights light. The body weight should be more than enough to get you back into a better shape before lifting an additional weight. This will also help work out your glutes, and it can give you more stability as well as a preferred appearance. Only move to weights after the body weight routines seem too easy.
● Balance Training
An exercise program for seniors isn't complete without some balance work. It's also a perfect option for those who feel clumsy, whether they're young or old. It'll also enhance the rest of your workouts and get you on track for that senior six-pack you're working towards!
Here, you're looking at exercises that will test your existing balance levels and improve upon them. You can start out with a single-leg stance. This is where you stand on one leg for around a minute and then switch legs and repeat. Eventually, this will become too easy for you, and you can make it harder and do it as the masters do it, by closing your eyes and doing it on uneven surfaces.
You can do an advanced version known as a tree pose, where you stand on one leg with the other bent and the foot placed on the thigh. Raise your arms overhead and hold for a minute, then switch.
Another fun exercise for balance includes doing a heel-to-toe walk. Walk in one direction, placing your foot from heel to toe, and take about 20 steps, then turn around and repeat. Don't forget about the imaginary straight line you want to focus on walking on.
In the end
Speak with your doctor about what you can and cannot do. A healthy lifestyle is important but so is not causing injury.
Start small but consistent and build out a weekly training and fitness plan. Eventually, you want to refine and challenge it only when your body feels ready. Always make sure to loop in your doctors periodically to make sure you aren't causing harm to your body.