4 Useful Exercise Tips for Seniors … and a bonus tip!
Seniors can gain many benefits from regular exercise. As we age, many of the things we took for granted begin to fail us. Balance, strength, and stamina seem to disappear with age, but a regular workout routine can help us overcome parts of the aging process.
Let’s take a look at some exercise tips for seniors that will put you on the right track for a long and healthy life. As always, check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program!
Don’t forget to check with your insurance provider to see if you have Silver Sneakers benefits! Advance Fitness is proud to partner with Silver Sneakers and we’d love to have you join us! You can check your eligibility by clicking here.
Walking is among the simplest things we can do to keep in shape. It helps increase muscle tone, is a great cardio exercise, and builds stamina. Walking can be done outdoors, giving us fresh air and some sunshine or can be done inside on a treadmill if the weather is bad. If you haven’t been walking much or are just getting started in an exercise routine, start slowly and take shorter walks in the beginning.
As you increase your ability to walk further and faster, you can ramp up your workouts. Make sure you get a good stretch before you begin your walk. Do a cool down lap at the end of your workout, and stretch again when you finish.
Stretching will help you avoid injury and increase your flexibility over time. Luckily, all Advance Fitness locations have state-of-the-art cardio machines for those days you feel more like an indoor workout!
Bodyweight and Resistance Band Workouts
Bodyweight exercises are perfect for seniors! Bodyweight exercises don’t require any additional equipment and can be modified for nearly any age or fitness level. Bodyweight exercises consist of things like pushups, squats, and tricep dips. You can build them into a regular workout routine or you can use them to develop your own High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) routine for a more intense workout.
Again, let your body be your guide as to which exercises to do and how intensely to do them. If you feel like you need to know more about modifying these exercises, consult with one of our friendly personal trainers.
Resistance bands are the next step up from bodyweight exercises. They provide additional resistance without moving all the way up to free weights or machines. Resistance bands are generally inexpensive and can be used at home as well as in the gym. You can order a set from Amazon or Wal Mart and have them delivered to your home.
However, you should have some experience with strength training before jumping into a resistance band workout with both feet. Make sure you’re not overdoing it!
Depending upon your age and fitness level, “functional exercises” might be the best route to take at first. Functional exercises consist of things like “sit-to-stand,” which is a modified version of a squat in which you sit in a chair and simply stand up. Try to perform this exercise without using your hands. If you can’t, use your hands to help you until you gain more strength.
If you’re strong enough, work on your balance by standing on one foot. Hold your position as long as you can, then rest. Switch legs and hold your position again. Try this for a few reps and keep working on it until your strength and balance improve.
Even just walking around the house while carrying small dumbbells can help improve your strength and balance!
Low Impact Exercises
As your fitness improves, you may want to try some low impact exercises. Low impact workouts are designed to be easier on your knees and ankles, so they’re a perfect choice for exercising seniors.
We’ve already discussed walking, but other great workouts include swimming, water aerobics, yoga, tai chi, and cycling. These exercises are usually a little more intense and challenging than some others, so use caution when taking up a new routine.
Bonus – Use a Personal Trainer
Using a personal trainer to help you reach your fitness goals is always a great choice. Advance Fitness features several excellent trainers who are ready to partner with you. They will work with you to develop an appropriate workout plan based on your fitness level and experience. They can work with you directly or simply develop a written plan for you to use on your own.
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