Fitness for Seniors
Swimming, dancing, jogging and yoga are some exercises that seniors can participate in to get maximum health benefits. Protecting bones from injuries is highly important, so, learning which exercises are best for your needs is essential. If new to fitness, check with your doctor first to see if you are ready to begin a new fitness routine.
1 AnswerNational Academy of Sports Medicine answeredMany people believe that older athletes automatically need more recovery time between hard workouts, but our observations don’t confirm that. For the vast majority of athletes over 40 we don’t need to schedule any more recovery time than we do for our athletes in their 20s. The biggest reasons for this seem to be the older athletes’ attentiveness to proper recovery habits, post-workout nutrition and sleep. By extension, if many younger athletes had more of their elder’s good habits, they’d need less recovery than we’re forced to schedule for them. Athletes who allow work to consume their lives struggle to maintain consistency in training, nutrition and recovery habits. Carve out time for yourself and you’ll see your performance improve. Tri athletes of any age who can increase their average nightly sleep to eight or nine hours (as opposed to six or fewer), experience significant improvements in workout quality and race-day performance.
9 AnswersDiscovery Health answered
If you are over the age of 50 and would like to start a fitness regimen, it's not all that different than coming up with an exercise program for anyone else. You don't need to take out a membership at a gym-there's an abundance of information to be found online, in books and through DVDs. A consultation with a doctor is the first step. Not only can the doctor assess that you are healthy enough to start a new program, but this will also alert you to any possible limitations or complications.
Cross-training uses a combination of exercises and is a terrific way to avoid boredom and maintain your interest in exercising. It also helps to keep the balance for energy levels that may go up and down from day to day. An additional benefit to cross-training is that it can help prevent injury by exercising different muscle groups. Some people find particular exercises that they enjoy and prefer to stay with them, but there are a few different kinds of exercise that most people should attempt on a routine basis.
Anytime you workout you should begin with a short warm-up. This just means that you're getting your muscles ready for work by warming them up. One easy way to do this is to begin walking at a leisurely pace. You can also stretch to warm up, but it's key that these stretches are dynamic rather than static-meaning, you should be active while stretching rather than just standing still, to avoid straining the muscle.
Aerobic, or cardiovascular, exercises enable you to burn fat and lose weight, in addition to improving your cardiovascular health. Aerobic exercise can include activities like walking, cycling and swimming. Most people should engage in some kind of aerobic exercise for a minimum of 30 minutes a day, most days of the week.
Strength training, also referred to as weight training, works to strengthen your muscles and bones. This should be a part of your fitness regimen at least two days a week. Just 2-pound hand weights or even filled bottles of water can supply ample resistance. There's also balance and flexibility training, which can aid in preventing common injuries such as falls. Pilates and yoga are included in this category of exercise.
All workouts should finish up with a cooldown, which stretches muscles and allows the heart rate to return to normal. This typically involves stretching for five or 10 minutes.
These fitness basics are for people without any restrictions.
3 AnswersDiscovery Health answered
Staying sedentary increases your risk of falling because it lowers your balance, stamina, coordination and flexibility. Low-impact cardio exercise like walking and swimming builds stamina. Exercises that require precision and concentration improve strength and balance. Many seniors enjoy yoga and especially tai chi, a martial art that uses graceful, slow movements.
2 AnswersAnn Prokenpek - NASM Fitness Expert, Fitness, answeredA well rounded workout routine should include some form of weight bearing cardio exercise such as walking as well as resistance training and flexibility training. Running is ok for some but is a high impact activity, which may be contraindicated for many seniors. Cycling and swimming are also good aerobic exercises; however, they do little for helping to sustain or improve bone density so you want to be sure to get in some walking time. Core exercises such as Pilates, Tai Chi and stability ball training are excellent for strengthing the stabilizer muscles and aiding in balance. Yoga is great for toning, stability and flexibility.
As we age, our muscles not only atrophe to some degree, but we actually lose some muscle fiber. Using even light weights during resistance training can help one maintain more muscle, which is very important in helping keep the metabolism fired up, as well as maintaining or even increasing strength endurance and balance.