Exercise regime for seniors over 60 does not have to be so different from the one for younger people. The main distinction is intensity, frequency and safety, which become more and more important as we age. Aging people do not recover as quickly as they did in their youth. Thus, they are more prone to injury.
Exercise is good for over 60 even. A recent research has shown that moderate exercise gives as much protection from disease as the extensive exercise routine provides to the younger ones.
Experts now tell us to use a two-part exercise program that includes:
(i) Cardiovascular / aerobic exercise like walking or bicycling to condition your heart; plus
(ii) Strength / resistance training exercises such as calisthenics and low-intensity weight lifting to build muscle and reduce fat.
Exercise For Over 60 Years Old – Women And Men
By applying the following simple principles to your routine, you can make out a great workout program to stay in shape and remain fit at any age, even over 60.
1.Exercise Frequency After 60: To start with you should exercise 2 or 3 times a week and aim for 5 to 6 times a week. Getting into a routine like this should be your first goal, but proceed gradually.
2. Resistance Training Over 60: Make sure your Exercise Routine includes resistance training because it’s an important element of an exercise regime for aging persons. It works to avert muscle loss and frailty, boost up metabolism rate, promote bone density and improve immune function.
(Read here how to build muscles in old age.)
You need not perform power lifting or use heavy weight to gain from resistance training. In fact, as you grow old, you should focus more on working of the muscles and endeavor to avoid injuries. According to some experts, at least three 30-minute full body workouts a week is good enough for men over 60 to get the beneficial results from doing resistance training.
3. Repetition Cadence: Don’t push your body to the limits as the young trainees do often. You may be tempted to copy them doing training to failure with heavy weights and even using forced repetitions. Senior gym-goers simply cannot overindulge in to such types of practices for safety reasons.
Experts recommend that very strict form on all exercises is of vital importance for the aging trainees. Follow this thumb rule: “If you cannot control it, do not lift it.”
An effective technique to ensure proper form is to keep it slow. Perform exercises slowly spending two seconds in the lifting phase of each exercise and four to six seconds in the lowering part. For instance, on the bench press, you would lift the weight in two seconds and take a full four to six seconds to lower it. This helps in not only averting joint injury, but also recruiting your muscles to do all the work and enabling for a better workout. Moving too fast reduces the benefits and you could actually hurt yourself.
(Read here how to get fit over 60)
4. Breathing: How you breath while exercising is very important. Remember to inhale before lifting, exhale while lifting and inhale as you lower the weight to get maximum benefit.
5. Slow Beginning: Choose just a few exercises to start with, a few for the upper body and a few for the lower body. Try to increase as your routine helps you to gain stamina. You can use music to help keep up your tempo.
6. Cardiovascular/Aerobics Exercise: As we age, the importance of cardiovascular exercise in our workout routine increases. For instance, you can use elliptical machine, treadmill or exercise bike at the gym. Another option is to practice more natural form of exercises such as brisk walking, swimming, biking. They are excellent choices for doing cardio workout in a recreational manner. Walking is a very versatile option because almost anyone can do it, and at any age.
Over 60 Workout Tip: About 1/3rd to 1/2 of your exercise routine should incorporate aerobics. The best aerobic exercise is walking, particularly if you are over 60. Begin with short distance that you are comfortable with and gradually increase the distance and speed over time. As you become more comfortable with your routine, try some variation such as jogging, trying weights or swing your arms as you walk.
7. Full Body Workouts: For men over 60, full-body workouts work better to boost testosterone and growth hormone production than split workouts, where you work out one muscle group one day and another the next day. Full-body workouts also fire up your metabolism more than split workouts do. You can select one exercise for each muscle group, for example, bench presses for the chest, upright rows for the shoulders, and triceps pushdowns and biceps curls for the arm muscles.
Do 6 exercises per session that work your full body, and do 3-4 sets of 12 to 15 reps for each with 60 seconds of rest between each. Use a weight that is challenging but let you do entire sets with proper form. Begin light, and slowly increase your weights and reps week after week.
Exercise Tips For Over Sixty:
If are suffering from some degree of osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, joint irritation or lack of flexibility. Follow these guidelines:
(i) Exercise lightly because this will not aggravate such conditions, but will actually help alleviate them. Exercise will also help keep your heart young, bring down high blood pressure, boost good cholesterol, improve balance, perk-up sex life, develop mental acuity, elevate mood, control diabetes, cut back cancer risk, fortify bones, ease joint pain and much, much more.
(ii) As you age, getting physical assumes more importance. This will ensure that your body’s systems can handle additional physical stress. Remember to warm up for at least 10 to 15 minutes using slow walking, stretches or light calisthenics. As you age your body needs to ease into exercise gradually as your system is no longer that efficient and so would take longer to warm up and cool down.
(iii) If your aim is to lose weight, exercising more than 45-60 minutes at a time will help you lose weight, if you do it 5 times a week and follow a proper diet.
But if you don’t need to lose weight, 30-45 minute session 5 to 6 times a week will be beneficial for protection against disease. If you like, you can breakup your routine in to 3 sessions of about 15 minutes each, every day.
(iv) Have plenty of water along so as not to dehydrate.
If you are over 60, please share with us what exercises you do under the comments below.