For an elderly person, conserving healthy bone mass and averting age-related muscle loss are the key factors to maintain physical fitness and overall health. And one of the best ways to attain that is by doing strength exercises. Read on here to find best tips for elderly to do strength exercises safely and effectively.
Strength or resistance exercises involve challenging your muscles applying a stronger-than-normal counterforce, like pushing against a wall or lifting a dumbbell or pulling on a resistance band.
Strength exercises help you maintain the range of motion and strength you need for everyday activities such as carrying groceries, climbing stairs, rising from a chair, rushing for the bus or lifting your grand child.
By using light hand weights or resistance bands, you can perform a variety of strength exercises. You can even perform these exercises just using your own body weight like brisk walking or pushing against a stationary object like a wall.
Ten Tips For Strength Training Exercises For Seniors
Here are top 10 tips for seniors to perform strength exercises safely and effectively:
(i) Always warm up for 5-10 minutes before exercise and cool down for 5-10 minutes after exercise. Walking is a fine way to warm up; stretching is a great way to cool down.
(ii) A little bit of soreness in the muscle is normal after exercise, but halt the exercise if you feel pain in your joints.
(iii) Maintaining correct form is crucial, weight is not that important! Keep posture right and movements smooth throughout each exercise. Poor form on one hand provides less gain and on the other hand can cause injuries.
(iv) Begin with no weight or resistance, or very light weight or resistance. Increase weight (resistance) gradually so as to save you from injury and minimize soreness.
(v) If you can’t lift or push a weight eight times in a row, it’s too heavy for you and you should reduce the amount of weight.
(vi) Work at the right tempo and stay in control. Using momentum will not fetch you much gains. Rather focus on slow, smooth lifts and equally controlled descents.
Additional Tip: Best method is count to three while lowering a weight, hold, and then count to three again while raising the weight.
(vii) Avoid locking the joints of your arms and legs into a constrained position. To straighten your knee, try to tighten your thigh muscles. This will reduce strain on your kneecaps and keep them guarded.
(viii) Don’t hold your breath during exercising. Exhale as you work against resistance by lifting, pushing, or pulling (that is on the exertion part of the exercise); inhale as you release.
(ix) As you age, you heal and recover slower than decades ago. So remember to give yourself extra rest in general and more breaks in between strength training sets.
(x) The main difference between exercising in your twenties versus your sixties is recovery and flexibility. If you have never exercised before, give your body time to adapt to your exercise routine.
If you have not exercised before or have a medical condition, talk to your doctor before you start strength training.
If you are an older adult follow the above strength training tips to achieve fast and better results.
Please share your views and experience for the benefit of our readers under the comments section below.