Senior Fitness Exercises
Want to know more about senior fitness exercises and workouts?
Fitness is just as important for seniors as it is for the younger set.
It’s never too late to get back into the habit of regular exercise!
There’s a lot you can do now to maintain your current muscle tone and even get back some of the tone you’ve lost.
When you’re a little older, it’s harder to get motivated. But you cannot believe the old myth that exercise will not help beyond a certain age.
You are not too frail to begin a workouts for seniors exercise program. Take a minute to read this list of benefits, and see which ones you would love to enjoy:
Senior Fitness Exercises - Benefits for You
* Better cardiac health. If you’re totally sedentary right now, then even a slow walk to the mailbox will get the ticker pumping.
When you improve your heart health with some workouts for seniors, then your heart is better prepared to stand by you during times of illness or stress.
* Improved lung function. Have you seen those commercials where the grandparents romp with their grandchildren? Once you begin a daily fitness routine, you will be better able to inhale, hold in, and exhale a deep breath. Workouts for seniors directly benefits your lung capacity, and you’ll find yourself better able to participate in all kinds of activities.
* Stronger joints. By the time we reach our golden years, many of us have weakened hip, knee and shoulder joints. Strengthening the muscles and tendons that connect to these joints will help to keep them sound. Don’t wait to start with senior fitness exercises until after a total knee replacement to tighten those quadriceps!
* Greater flexibility. Once you get yourself moving, you’ll like the way you can more easily twist around in the driver’s seat when you’re maneuvering the car, or playing catch in the backyard at a family picnic.
* Improve your skin’s elasticity. Exercise will stimulate blood flow to the skin as well as oxygenation that will improve the elasticity of your skin and give it a more youthful appearance.
* Gain muscle strength. It is possible at any age to improve muscle strength. If you begin with curls holding weights as small as a pound or two, you will be surprised when you advance to heavier weights.
* Maintain bone density. As long as you know you’re free of osteoporosis, you can use weight-bearing or weight lifting exercises for this purpose. If you are power walking or jogging, your weight pulls on your tendons and ligaments, which in turn pulls on the bones, and bone cell production is stimulated. The same principal applies if you are using exercise equipment.
* Feel a sense of accomplishment. There’s nothing like realizing how much improved you are to put a spring in your step! You’ll exude a sense of self confidence and pride that you haven’t felt in years.
* Have a better sex life, or better yet have a sex life. Remember that spring in your step? Men who do workouts for seniors have higher levels of testosterone than those who don’t. Better hormones, along with all that self confidence and energy, will keep you active in the bedroom. Plus, sex is a form of exercise that releases endorphins, and we all know they relieve feelings of emotional stress as well as discomfort.
* Play with your grandchildren, or better yet live to see them grow. People who exercise regularly improve their chances to extend their longevity. You’ve raised your children; now it’s time to watch your grandchildren’s milestones.
* Improve your appearance. Seniors who were polled rated this low as a reason to exercise. Nevertheless, with better stamina, improved musculature and mobility, and better-looking skin, you are going to look a few years younger.
Now that you’ve reviewed the list of reasons to exercise, there’s one important point that we hope you’ve realized: Every one of those reasons applies to younger people, too! When you’re young, you need to maintain your heart, gain muscle strength, and improve your agility and looks.
So the first thing you need to do is stop categorizing yourself as a senior when it comes to fitness. The truth is that fitness takes a life-long dedication. Begin your program with these routines:
Senior Fitness Exercises - Basic Stretching
Even if you’re chair bound, you can do stretching exercises. Buy yourself a band —they look like huge rubber bands. The thicker they are, the more resistance they provide, so start with a slender one.
Run the band under the chair where you’re sitting, and hold the loops in each of your hands. Pull upward—and you’re doing curls.
Stretching will improve your balance and flexibility. Sign up for a yoga or Pilates class. Tai Chi and Yoga are other popular forms of controlled movement that develop you physically.
Senior Fitness Exercises - Cardio
Yes, you can develop a cardio routine. All that means is that you get your heart to beat a little faster.
If you’re walking, try interval training: You walk at a leisurely pace for five minutes. Then for thirty seconds, power walk twice as fast as you were going. Slow down again and feel your heart rate slowing down with you.
Inject these power walks into your daily stroll, and with time you will do them longer and faster.
There are many other kinds of cardio routines as well: If you like to swim, do a breast stroke for the length of the pool, or sign up for water aerobics. Ride a bike. Pretend you’re boxing.
When you are performing any type of cardio it is also important to know what your fat burning heart rate is. To determine this you will also need to know the normal adult heart rate.
Exercising within different heart rate zones will give you different benefits. If you want to burn fat you heart needs to beat at a different rate (BPM - beats per minute) compared to the rate that is needed of you want to build up your endurance. Thus, being aware of your heart rate is an important cardio factor.
Senior Fitness Exercises - Strength and Balance Training
You can use bands, balls, or weights in the home.
You can hold on to a piece of furniture while you flex your knees and strengthen your hamstrings.
There are many machines that develop your strength with specific routines.
If you join a gym, ask someone on the staff to show you how to use every piece of equipment.
Use your imagination and keep using what works for you. A selected workout routine should motivate you to repeat it often.
Senior Fitness Exercises - Moderate Weight Lifting
You can start with one- or two-pound weights. Actually, you can start with no weights while you get your arms accustomed to the movements you’ll be making.
As you gain skill, you’ll increase the weight you’re working with. Free weights like dumbbells are convenient and perfect for senior fitness exercises. Best of all, you can use them in your home. Start out with a range of three different weights so that you can build on your skill.
Senior Fitness Exercises - Final Tips
We have some final tips to help you ease into the right program for you:
- Always warm up first. Walk around and pump your arms. Stretch your legs.
- Start slow. Charles Atlas wasn’t built in a day.
- When you’re stretching, don’t stretch too far or hold it too long. If it hurts, stop it.
- Be certain to breathe in and out while you exercise. Holding your breath can raise your blood pressure.
- It’s normal to feel a pleasant soreness, but never let yourself become exhausted or overwhelmed.
- Don’t lock your joints into position when you’re straining with an exercise.
- Don’t exercise the same muscle groups on consecutive days.
- If you can’t balance without holding on, then hold on. Eventually you’ll get it!
- Choose something you like so that you’ll stay with it.
- Exercise with a partner, for safety as well as motivation and fun.
- Organize your routine: Look into classes, at your local gym, YMCA or senior center. See if the local hotel will sell you a pass to use their swimming pool. Call the local mall to see if they have a walker’s program. All in all, there are plenty of choices when it comes to senior fitness exercises.
- Above all, have fun!
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