Congratulations, you're ready to take the plunge and focus on your health and wellness in your senior years. Or maybe you've always been healthy but are wondering what an exercise program for seniors is. What needs to be switched out, and what is the focus for easy fitness over 50?
There are many options you can do and even get yourself to a point where you are powerlifting or even running marathons! It's maybe best not to try that on day one but do know that if you put in the effort, you will get beneficial results.
What is Recommended Exercise for Seniors?
Get organized first. Don't do any workouts until your weekly plan is all set and ready. This helps to build motivation for you to keep working out consistently. Motivation is the key to workouts surviving.
You should have a table of your daily activities, and yes, for best results, you will want to work out a little bit every day. At least 30 minutes total, but that is broken down into three exercises that are best for seniors. A workout for seniors should include aerobics, strength training, and balance exercises daily. The activities should be broken up, meaning you shouldn't do the same thing every day for your workout.
Part of this schedule is for rest days. That means no working out! No matter how good you feel or how much you want to push yourself. Don't do it! Give your body time to rest, reduce inflammation, and grow those muscles.
Aerobics for seniors will be the most crucial aspect of the workout. It's recommended that you have two aerobic rest days out of a seven-day plan.
This is your primary workout that should be for around 30 minutes per day, at least five days a week. Make sure to:
1. Walk at a brisk pace. You should be able to talk, but it should raise the blood pressure
2. Keep your back straight as if you’re in the military. Also, have your arms swinging back and forth
3. Make sure to hydrate before and after.
Swimming is a super workout that helps work both major and minor muscles. If you have access to a place to swim, you should jump at the chance.
Make sure to:
1. Swim at a moderate pace. You want to feel the workout
2. Rotate out different strokes that will help maximize your total body workout
3. Break, when necessary, even mid-workout. Swimming can be tiring.
You should use one 30 minutes a day for 3 days a week and rotate this out with either swimming or rowing.
1. Adjust the bike and handlebars, so you're comfortably sitting on it.
2. Gradually increase your pace until you are at a moderate pace, and you feel as if you’re cruising.
3. Make sure to cool down after 30 minutes for about 5 minutes.
It should be done 3 times a week for 30 minutes. Rowing instructions:
1. Sit on the machine and make sure to latch your feet to the footrests and adjust the seat as needed
2. Pull the handles while pushing the legs back, and then return back to the starting position
3. Keep the pace low to moderate at first
4. Make sure to have a cool-down period.
Remember to not start out with heavy weights just yet. You can pump it up later on after a few weeks of body weight training.
1. Your knees should be shoulder-width apart
2. Slowly bend at the knees and lower your body to the point your thighs are parallel to the floor
3. Always keep your back straight
4. Push with the heels back up
1. Keep your hands shoulder-width apart and your body straight
2. Lower your body with your arms down and push back up to the starting position.
A great alternative as you're starting out and you cannot fully hold your body weight on your arms
1. Face the wall no more than two to three feet out and at an angle
2. Place your arms in a plank position. You should feel the core activated
3. Place your hands in the pushup position and lower your body to the wall. Once your chest slightly touches the wall, push back up.
1. Have your feet shoulder-width apart
2. Step forward with one leg while taking your body down. Your knees should be 3. at 90-degree angles
4. Always keep your back straight
5. Push with your heels to get back up
6. Do the same with the other leg.
Balance is key both mentally and physically. These you will do daily, and you will thank yourself for it.
Heel to Toe Walk
1. Start by walking forward in a straight line and placing one heel in front of the other toe
2. Always keep that back straight!
3. Hold out your arms to the sides to help with balance.
4. For advanced users, close your eyes, but make sure there are no objects you may hit your head on.
Single leg Stance
1. Start off by standing on one leg and lifting the other leg off the ground
2. Maintain the balance for at least 30 seconds up to 60 seconds and then switch legs
3. Too simple? Try an uneven surface, raise your leg, or keep the pose longer.
1. Stand with your feet apart at the width of your shoulders
2. Raise your heels off of the ground and hold it for 30 seconds
3. Slowly lower it back down and repeat
4. Getting a bit too easy? Raise one leg at a time, then.
1. Stand again on one leg and bend the other leg at the knee.
2. Then place the foot of the bent leg on the inner leg of the standing leg
3. Keep your back straight and maintain for 60 seconds per leg
4. If you want more of a challenge, close those eyes and raise those arms above your head
In the End
Always talk to a doctor first. They'll give you a heads-up about what exercises you should avoid based on your condition. Take it slowly, and you'll first notice a healthy energy spike to do more. Remember, try to enjoy it as well.