We all know exercise is good for us, even if we are over 60. Exercise maintains our heart young, bring down high blood pressure, increase good cholesterol, improve balance, boost sex life, enhance mental acuity, strengthen bones, relieve joint pain, boost mood, manage diabetes, reduce cancer risk, and much more.
But the problem is that many of us don’t know how to actually do it? If you are starting to exercise at or after 60 then you must read this post. You will find here what types of exercises are best for you if you over 60, how to begin exercising at or over 60 and how much you should exercise?
Read here a real story profiling Sandy Palais, 73 year old of Tempe, Arizon. She began lifting weights three days a week after being diagnosed with osteoporosis and soon was earning silver and gold medals as a weightlifter at the Senior Olympics.
What Types of Exercise Are Best Over 60?
Experts now recommend a two-part exercise program for seniors that incorporates aerobic workout such as walking, which is the best aerobic exercise especially if you are over 60 or bicycling to condition your heart plus strength training exercises such as low-intensity weight lifting and resistance training to gain muscle and reduce fat.
How Much You Should Workout At Age Over 60?
When you start exercising in your later years, you should exercise only 2-3 times a week in the beginning and gradually increase it to 4-5 times a week.
Most of us, when reach 60, suffer some degree of osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, joint irritation or lack of flexibility. Exercising lightly will not aggravate such conditions, but will rather help ease them.
According to the “Centers for Disease Control and Prevention”: If you are at age 65 or over 65, and if generally fit with no limiting health conditions then you should try to include 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week, while also incorporating weight training and muscle-strengthening activities in your routine on 2 or more days a week.
You Can Start Exercising After 60 – Learn Here How?
Some individuals manage to stay relatively fit by maintaining a busy lifestyle, until they get older. And others have just never bothered to exercise much, and it starts to show in their later years.
In either case, if you’re nearing 50 or if you have already crossed 50, it’s time to give a serious thought about incorporating exercise in your everyday routine.
Many people, including older men and women who have never exercised or have not exercised for some time, may be hesitant to begin for fear of not doing it properly or may be otherwise intimidated.
In such situations, the following tips can help seniors shed their fear and adapt.
Check With Your Doctor
If you haven’t seen a doctor lately, get a physical so as to know that your body’s systems can handle additional physical stress. Your doctor will examine and guide to get you on track and exercise safely.
Start the Process Slowly
Always begin your workouts with a warm-up and stretching for about 5-10 minutes using slow-walking, simple leg and arm swings or trunk rotations, which are great for getting your muscles firing and circulation going.
(i) As you get older your system slows down about one third and takes longer to warm up and cool down, so your body needs to ease into exercise slowly.
(ii) Working out more than 30 minutes at a stretch help you shed weight if you do it 4-5 times per week and take a proper diet. But in case you don’t want to reduce weight, 3 ten-minute sessions daily will be beneficial for protection against life-style disease.
Choose Best Exercises For You
If you are over sixty, make sure your exercise routine is balanced and incorporates:
(ii) Strength Exercise
(iii) Balance Exercise
Remember the following tips to create the right routine for you:
(i) Do a mix of aerobic and strength exercises, working up to at least 30 minutes of exercise, five days each week. Or if you like you may switch back and forth between aerobic and strength exercises on alternate days.
Note: I exercise for about 60-75 minutes in a day, 5-6 days a week.
(ii) Begin with exercises you feel comfortable performing and that you enjoy doing. For example your routine can be a mix of stretching, walking, jogging, bicycling, swimming, sports, dancing or weight lifting, etc.
(a) Swimming is a great cardio workout, especially helpful if you have joint pain.
(b) Walking briskly between certain landmarks in your neighborhood is another great cardio workout for seniors.
(c) If the weather is bad, a good option is to walk up and down stairs in your building or do chair sit-and-stands at home.
(d) For strength training you can use free weights or resistance bands. Work on the different muscle groups — back, arms, legs, stomach, and hips — with proper recovery time. Start with 5-pound dumbbells or kettlebells and gradually add weight, as you get accustomed to do more repetitions.
(e) A simple exercise to improve balance is just trying standing on one foot and then on the other.
I recommend that you monitor your progress from the start. Check and choose here the Best Fitness Tracking Device.
Anyone starting to exercise in later years will feel somewhat uncomfortable until exercise becomes part of the routine. Give it some time to get used to it and you may discover you enjoy exercising. Consider exercising with a buddy in your age group to keep you motivated.
How To Check If You Are Working Out Safely?
(i) The “talking test” is a great test to check if you are exercising safely. As your heart rate rises, but if you can have a conversation with a person next to you without gasping for air – you’re probably doing it right.
(ii) A little bit of soreness is normal in the first 24 hours after a weightlifting session, but if you continue feeling it after 36 to 48 hours – it’s likely you are doing too much.
Start exercising today and see how your life transforms. Don’t procrastinate!
Have we missed any tip? Please share your exercising tips for our senior citizen readers.