This is a guest post by Bonnie Black.
Before you start any new exercise regime it is important to consult your doctor, to make sure that you are not suffering from a medical condition that could make such an endeavour dangerous. However, once your GP has given you the all clear, there is no need to limit yourself to the easiest routines that you come across. Whilst it may be necessary to take things a little more slowly than you might have done when working out in your youth, there is no reason why senior citizens cannot enjoy vigorous exercise and all the benefits that it brings.
To get you started on the path to a more active lifestyle and one that will hopefully ensure your continued independence, I have put together a short list of example exercises that are suitable for older men and women and that are easy to adapt for people with a more limited range of motion or who have been warned not to overexert themselves.
In order to maintain bone density and avoid the debilitating effects of muscle atrophy, it is important to include resistance training in your routine.
- Abdominal crunches – these might sound like a recipe for disaster for older people but if you perform them properly, they are a great way of increasing core strength without injuring yourself. All you need to do is to lie on the floor with your knees bent and your arms crossed in front of your chest and then lift your shoulders off the floor while the rest of your body remains stationary. Repeat ten times or as many as you can easily complete and gradually increase the number of repetitions as the exercise becomes easier. Strong stomach muscles can alleviate or help to avoid back problems.
- Bicep curls – start with light weights to avoid injury and as many repetitions as you can safely perform without feeling that you are losing control of the dumbbells or whatever you are using for the exercise. Bicep curls can be performed sitting in a chair, so even if you are no longer able to walk, this is something that you will be able to do to help maintain strength.
- Overhead press – this exercise can be performed either sitting or standing and will work out your shoulder, upper chest and back muscles, as well as your triceps. Combination exercises such as this one, i.e. those that work more than one muscle group at a time, are a good choice for people who do not have much free time in which to work out.
In addition to maintaining bone density and muscle mass, it is very important to pay attention to your aerobic fitness levels as you grow older. Routines that increase your heart rate can help to ensure healthy circulation and burn off any excess calories that you may have consumed during the day. If you need to lose quite a few pounds, it is worth checking out the various weight loss supplements that can be found for sale online although, as when embarking on a new exercise routine, you should consult a medical professional before you start to take anything that is designed to help you fight the flab.
Some aerobic exercises that are suitable for seniors include:
- Walking – whether performed at home using a treadmill or in a local park, walking is a great activity as the level of intensity can easily be altered to match the individual who is exercising.
- Cycling – if you are still able to cycle, this is another good exercise and one that, in common with walking, can be performed both inside and out and adjusted in intensity to suit your current fitness levels.
Author Bio: Bonnie Black is a representative of Fitness Market, a private company based in Queensland offering a range of weight loss supplements and gym equipment across Australia. Bonnie aims to provide readers with helpful information on health and wellness.
- senior with weights image courtesy of Neighborhood Centers via photopin cc
- senior riding a bicycle image courtesy of John Spooner via photopin cc