Exercise For 60 Year Old Men And Women

exercises for seniors over 60
Regular exercise after sixty reduces the risk of major illnesses, such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer and lowers risk of early death. Physical workout also boost self-esteem, mood, sleep quality and energy, as well as reducing stress levels, depression, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

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.

29 COMMENTS

    • It’s never too late to start exercising. The older people need as much to work out as the younger ones. Never get into a mindset that you can not workout as you are old now…

  1. I try to swim and ride exercise bikes in the Y a couple times per week going to get on the weights as I get back in better shape battling stenosis of my spine getting pain blocks but really want to get activity level back up to where it was when I was working

  2. I’m 64. I go to the gym 4-6 times a week. I’m training for The Tough Mudder X 2 and a Tough Viking next year. Did The Nut’s Challenge this year. Approximately 8 kms and 100 obstacles. Did the best time in my age class and finished under 2 hours.

  3. I am 65 years old and have recommenced distance exercise after a 20 yr break due to injury. In any event walking/jogging is the best I can do after 6 months and go for a distance of 10-12 kilometers over about 1-1/2 hours. Doing this has resulted in a great amount of weight loss but not a great increase in endurance……not sure why.
    I lift weights 3 times a week as I have throughout my life however I find it difficult if not impossible to build muscle mass and would like to know why! As when I was young it was very easy to bulk up which was the case right up to age 60!
    Any suggestions would be appreciated.
    Thank you,
    Spencer

  4. Combine walking at least 3 miles with 10 minutes of rowing. And on alternate days, add 20 minutes biking to the routine.

    Warm up 10 minutes with calisthenics. Cool down 15 minutes with any dumbbell reps.

    And watch yourself feeling super within 3 weeks.

  5. I find a the XBX system superb as it builds in (i) a warm-up, (ii) strength training and finishes with (iii) a cardio workout. It’s actually designed as an exercise system for women, but works just great for this 66-year-old man. You can do it at a light intensity to start with and build up the intensity as you perfect your form and build capacity.

  6. I am 60 and was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, which got me into a regular exercise program. It has been 5 years now and I am addicted. I normally do cardio intervals for 30 minutes, 4 days per week and strength training for 25 minutes 2 days. I hope to increase that in the future, once I retire It is now a part of my life and I love it 🙂

  7. age 65, “retired” professional alpinist. suffered injury 8 years ago that left me with traumatic brain injury, vastly reduced strength, compromised balance and flexibility. patience is key. I was on my back for three months. it was 6 years of physical therapy before I could do an air-squat. I squat with barbell now. I can do 4 pullups, compared to the 20 I could do before the injury
    strength, balance, and flexibility all decrease with age, so I focus on big compound moves that address all of those issues. Two core moves comprise the core of my workout: barbell squat, and muscleup. since the injury, I have not recovered the ability to perform a free muscleup, so I perform the move counterbalanced. these are not the only moves I use, but I consider them the most important.
    cautions: start VERY slowly. flexibility and balance are at least as critical as strength. I did not attempt a barbell squat until I could comfortably perform an air-squat century. even squatting as lightly as I now do, I NEVER squat outside of a properly configured power rack.
    for aerobics, although I prefer rowing, I currently focus on jumping rope to address issues with flexibility and resilience in my ankles and feet. I occasionally run trails, though I never run on paved surfaces.
    -Haireball

  8. Age 60, I started exercising back in January of 2018. I am 6’5″, and I weighed at that time 266. I started walking everyday till I got a routine of walking for 1 hour everyday. I also started working out ( lifting weights). I have bad shoulders, so a little limited on how much I can lift. But I do the bench press, curls, work out my triceps, And work on my abs, among a couple exercises with dumbbells. I try to lift every other day with a day or two of rest in between work outs. I have lost 36 pounds to date September 2018. I am very pleased with my results.

  9. I am a 69 year old woman. After decades of sedentary living, I started exercising at 64 with two goals in mind: keep up with grandchildren and do outdoor volunteer projects for my state’s Dept of Fish and Wildlife. First, I began taking 20-minute walks three times a week in my neighborhood. After a month of walking, I added in a DVD of workouts designed for seniors. Pretty soon I started using a couple of online resources for home workouts, FitnessBlender and Team Body Project, doing both cardio workouts and strength training with light dumbbells. I started with 2-lb dumbbells and have worked up. Depending on the muscle group worked, I use from 5 to 12 lb dumbbells now. Each week, I do two low-impact HIIT cardio workouts (reaching a target heart rate that is 90 percent of maximum heart rate) and two or three regular cardio workouts (target heart rate that’s 70-80 percent of maximum). In the summer, I enjoy water aerobics. In all I usually tally 180 to 240 minutes of exercise for the week. I have lost 20 lbs. But best of all, I feel wonderful and fully enjoy my grandkids.

  10. I am 69 years old, have a tear in shoulder rotator cuff. I do most of my weight training on machines. I follow a Chest/Shoulder/Tricep and a Legs/Back/Biceps routine 2x a week with 2days of cardio and abs. The most excercises I do is 6-7 per routine with 3-4 sets and 12-15 reps. So far so good. I’am limited with the shoulder , but I try not to let it stop me.

  11. I am 63 & in the past 10 yrs I have had shoulder,back & knee surgery.I just recently joined a gym & I have been feeling better lately.I usually do 20 min.on the bike,15 min.on the rowing machine & about 20-30 min.on weights 3 times a week.From what I’ve read here it looks like I am on the right track if I need to do something different please let me know.Thanks

  12. 61 yr old. I have been training for years. Weights on machines and free weights. I have been blessed having made this commitment. Only injuries are torn rotator cuffs I have rehabed via surrounding muscles and limiting motion. I vary workouts light and heavy and walk for cardio or swim. Having done this religiously since early 20s has so helped over the years, that most my age and younger cant keep up and have many health issues. Eat right, work out regularly and consistantly and stay with it. Life Longevity runs into the 90s in my family line so I kind of knew I better make myself be able to work long years. I am happy, healthy and God willing will be for years to come. Start anytime people, and stay with it, you can. Be consistent. Its the key to success

  13. I am 59 and average 25k steps a day. I was type II diabetic with high blood pressure, and almost 240. I had a motorcycle wreck 1 year ago beat me up pretty good. Now I am 203, have stopped taking medication. BP is 110/65. Resting pulse 55. I lift and jog 5 days a week on a split routine. I read this article and thought good god. How limiting. On Keto 5 weeks now. Able to work out just fine with almost no carbs in diet. People ask me how old I am I say guess they say 45. Push yourself but make sure you are getting top notch nutrition and REST. I did take off 2 days on the weekend, but about to head to the gym on Monday after working 8hrs.

  14. Female age 65. Starting in 1990, I have 3X during my life focused on severe weight lose (25-30 lbs.) and accomplished my goal. However, did not keep off the weight for more than 3-4 years each time because I fell back into old habits of not exercising and eating unhealthy foods. My husband died recently and I’ve decided that now is the time for me to get myself into the best physical shape by proper exercise and eating healthy food. I am 5’3″ and weighted 181 lbs. at the beginning of December 2019. I now eat lots of veggies, 2 servings of protein, and 2 servings of carbs daily. I walk on the treadmill at pace of 2.8 mi/hr and travel for 3 miles every day in Dec., 4 miles every day in Jan and am working my way up to 5 miles. I “exer-dance” to 3-4 fast songs every day. I don’t know actually how to dance but I try and I do a lot of butt shaking and keep my feet planted on the floor. I’m having fun and seeing results. End of Dec. I had lost 11 lbs. (170 lbs). Today 01/14/20, I have lost 2 more lbs. and will not let up on my regime until I am at 145-150 lbs. I am now looking at a bike to start riding, probably only locally but we’ll see. Proper eating, daily exercise, and determination are the keys to success when one is attempting to lose weight.

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