Whether you are in your 50s, 60s, 70s, or even beyond that, age is no bar to keep fit. Learn here how to keep fit during your later years?
“Functional Fitness” means the ability to carry on day-to-day routine tasks such as sitting and getting off a chair or getting into or out of a car without any support, picking up a kid, opening a bottle of jam, or simply getting hold of a jar from the overhead kitchen shelf. These simple innocuous tasks can be extremely difficult for some people, particularly for the elderly.
According to the Fitness Experts, exercise is the best way to live an independent pain-free life and improve quality of life because exercises work as an excellent preventive medicine.
Most Seniors Indifferent, Scared, & Reluctant To Exercise
If you ask seniors about what exercises they do, most likely, you will get answers such as walking or yoga – which to my mind are not enough. For all people, including senior citizens, I highly recommend adding resistance training to their exercise routine. 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, fat loss, bones and joints health, and improved nervous system functioning.
Age no bar: Finding fitness later in life
Most seniors don’t appreciate that there is no age limit when one can begin weight training. One of the most effective ways to work out for the seniors is to use resistance bands. They are highly mobile as well as versatile and come with different levels of resistance. You can use them in your home, at the park, or even in 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. For seniors, aqua workouts are fun and highly effective, especially when we head into summers. 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 jettison the mindset of “I can’t.” Because there is no reason for – “you cannot.”
The second important step is to get rid of 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, improving bone density, gait and vitality.
Another great workout for seniors can be the use of functional equipment like dumbbells or kettlebells. They require less space, and, working out with them will not only significantly improve core strength and neuromuscular coordination but also help strengthen bones, tendons, and ligaments – the ideal combination to live a fully functional, healthy life.
Positive Aging: Change Your Mindset About Growing Older
If you are not convinced yet, think of walking up the 2-3 flights of stairs without any need to rest and hold the side railings, being able to pick up your grandkids and run around with them in the park. Let age not be a deterrent to fulfill the dreams you had been longing 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 like a 20-year-old. I have seen septuagenarians matching steps with the young ones and trekking high altitude mountains. And, they are not professionals or “athletes,” but are normal people – because they take out some time regularly / every day for themselves and use it properly to condition and strengthen their bodies. Resistance training and functional training, done appropriately, can be the magic potion for seniors. All that is required is a shift in 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!”