Maintaining Functional Fitness In Later Life
Whether you are in your 50s, 60s, 70s, or even beyond that, age is no bar to keep fit. Learn here how to stay healthy and fit during old age.
What Is Meant Of Functional Fitness?
“Functional Fitness” means the ability to carry on daily routine tasks such as sitting and getting off a chair or getting into or out of a car without support, picking up a kid, opening a bottle of jam, or simply picking a jar from the overhead kitchen shelf. These simple, innocuous tasks can be challenging for some people, particularly the elderly.
According to Fitness Experts, exercise is the best way to live an independent pain-free life and improve your quality of life because exercise is an excellent preventive medicine.
Tips For Functional Fitness For Seniors
Most Seniors Are Indifferent, Scared, & Reluctant To Exercise
If you ask seniors about what exercises they do, most likely, you will get the answer walking or yoga – which, to my mind, is not enough. I highly recommend adding resistance training to their exercise routine for all people, including senior citizens. Resistance can be in the form of exercise bands, weights, or water.
For senior citizens, low-impact weight training is an effective form of exercise that offers multiple benefits, including, but not limited to, retaining and maintaining lean muscle mass, boosting fat loss, improving bone and joint health, and strengthening the nervous system.
Age No Bar: Finding Fitness In Old Age
Most seniors don’t appreciate that there is no age limit about when one can begin weight training. One of the most effective ways to work out for seniors is to use resistance bands. They are highly mobile and versatile and come with different levels of resistance. You can use them at home, the park, or the office. To get additional benefits, you can use resistance bands in conjunction with other forms of weight training, such as dumbbells, kettlebells, and plates. Water workouts are fun and highly effective for seniors, especially in the summer. In addition, water workouts with added resistance can significantly improve seniors’ fitness levels.
For seniors, the first and most crucial step in gaining the next fitness level is to get out of the mindset of “I can’t.” Because there is no reason for – “you cannot.”
The second important step is eliminating the idea that “walking is enough” and/or “weight training is not for me.” Modern exercise and fitness sciences have sufficient documentary evidence to endorse/substantiate the use of resistance and weight training for seniors. Weight training, 2 to 3 days per week, can prevent and manage the onset of various diseases, including coronary heart disease, type II diabetes, and arthritis, along with increasing muscle mass and improving bone density, gait, and vitality.
Another great workout for seniors can be using functional equipment like dumbbells or kettlebells. They require less space, and working out with them will significantly improve core strength and neuromuscular coordination and help strengthen bones, tendons, and ligaments – the ideal combination to live a fully functional, healthy life.
Positive Aging: Change Your Mind Set About Growing Older
If you are not convinced yet, think of the ability to walk up the 2-3 flights of stairs without any need to rest and hold the side railings, picking up your grandkids and running around with them in the park. Let your age not be a deterrent to fulfilling the dreams you have longed for all your life.
I have seen 70, even 80-year-old folks exercising with kettlebells and lifting weights with the vigor and zest of a 20-year-old. I have witnessed septuagenarians matching steps with the young ones and trekking high-altitude mountains. And they are not professionals or “athletes” but normal people – because they take time regularly / daily for themselves and use it properly to condition and strengthen their bodies. Resistance training and functional training, done appropriately, can do wonders for seniors. All that is required is a shift in their mindset and perception.
About Author: Renu Bakshi, AKA Fitness Buffhq, is ISSA Certified Elite Trainer. He passed Personal Fitness Trainer Course, Nutrition Health Coach course & Specialist Exercise Therapy course from ISSA, USA obtaining + 97% marks. He shares his experience and knowledge about nutrition and effective workouts to get you in the best shape of your life, no matter how old you may be. The author says: “For me, age is just a number!”