There are many men and women over the age of 60 either trying to build up their physique or simply trying to be more active and healthy.
A number of studies have found that exercises help promote a healthier, long life. A study by the university of South Carolina has shown that individuals over age of 60 with improved cardio-respiratory fitness seem to live longer than unfit adults irrespective of their body fat levels.
All in all, longevity is closely related to fitness. Several studies have confirmed that exercises primarily will cut back your probability of dying prematurely from cancer, heart disease and various other health problems. If you are averse to doing workouts then I recommend at least a brisk-walk daily, as much as you can do comfortably. This is one of the activities, which is essential to keep you fit in old age.
However, the elderly workouts have lately gone way beyond basic aerobics and running on treadmill. Nowadays many older adults are lacing up their sneakers and heading to gym. But then elderly have to make sure that they don’t push themselves too far. I have seen an elderly trainer who pushed too hard and ruptured disc in his back. Back injuries are a common occurrence in the older adults.
Many people in their 50’s and 60’s go through arthritic changes in their back, neck and knees. It could be disc degeneration, spinal arthritis or disc herniations. So, you need to be careful doing exercises in their correct forms in order to not stress those parts beyond a point or else they would say ouch. Often, such injuries occur because someone is trying to do too much.
For example, some people have stressful jobs. So, they try to make up for a sedentary lifestyle whenever they get time. Often, they attempt to squeeze too much into one session, which can lead to injuries.
What Are The Best Exercises For People Over 50 Or Even 60?
Here is my list of top workouts for people over fifty or even sixty, men as well as women.
- Cardio: Essentially, it includes anything that uses your whole body to get your heart pumping.
(i) Do a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate cardio exercise per day.
(ii) You can do brisk walking, running, treadmill, swimming, cycling (stationery at home or cycling on road), etc. For those having knee pain cycling is a great option. I personally prefer cycling because of my knee pain.
(iii) For those who don’t have time because of their busy schedule, they can do 3 cardio exercise sessions of 10 minutes each through a day.
Read here for: Cardio Exercises For Seniors
2. Strength Training: As you age, your muscles are getting smaller. In the process you lose muscle mass and the muscle contracting ability as well. You can counteract it by strength training.
Secondly, as you get older you tend to have more fat content. Diabetes is one lifestyle disease that develops because of higher fat content and lower muscle mass. What you need is strength training to regulate glucose metabolism.
(i) Working out your muscles 2-3 times a week for 30 to 45 minutes by performing exercises like:
(a) Pushups. If you are new to them, first try doing them against a wall.
(b) Use a resistance band which is light weight and inexpensive.
(c) Bicep curls and tricep extensions.
(d) For lower body muscles, do squats and lunges. These are compound exercises and recruit many muscles at the same time.
Tip: Remember to have a gap of 24 to 48 hours between your strength training workout sessions. The reason is that your muscles need time to rest and recover. As in old age first principle is to avoid injuries due to overuse.
Read here for Strength training and arthritis
3. Flexibility Training: Another concern of old age is that as you get old your body flexibility starts declining. Reduced flexibility affects the connective tissues in your body, thereby your balancing ability too gets impaired. Regular stretching for even as little as about 10-15 minutes a day can help you maintain your body flexibility. If you are busy, try this strategy:
(a) At the start of the day, try some head circles and stretching when you are about to take bath.
(b) At end of the day, try stretching the hamstrings and calf muscles.
Read here for:
Flexibility and stretching guidelines
Stretches to make you more flexible
4. Balance Training: The elderly people tend to lose balance and fall. Because of losing their balancing abilities they even find it difficult to carry on their normal day-to-day activities.
To improve your balancing ability, try to stand on one leg for 10 seconds using alternate legs. Also try standing on your tippy-toes holding for few seconds.
Tip:You can do balancing exercises every day for as low as 5 minutes.
Read here for:
Balance exercises for seniors
Best balance exercises for older adults
5. Core Training: Belly fat can lead to bad back. It doesn’t help in supporting your upper torso. So, as you grow old you should work on your abs also to reduce or avoid belly fat.
(i) Try a few minutes working out abdominal exercises.
(ii) One such exercise is reverse curls. Simply lie back and try to pull your knees into you. Hold for about 5 seconds and then release. If you are new to them, begin with 5-10 reps a day and work your way higher.
(iii) Another key core exercise is crunches. Just lie back on the floor and try to go up, but not all the way up. Because if you are trying for first time you may hurt your back, and do more damage than good. This is a good core exercise for your back and abdomen.
(i) Make sure to warm up before you start exercise to get the blood flowing.
(ii) Do the exercise in its correct form.
(iii) Try to do swimming or other water exercises, as they are low-impact and get the blood flowing to the back and muscles.
(iv) Always keep in mind that pain is a warning sign. Consult your doctor in such a case and do exercises with in your comfortable range.
Caution: If you are prone to back and neck problems and suffer reoccurring neck or back pain, consult with a spine doctor before starting any new workout program.
Please share with us what exercises you do under the section comments below.