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What kind of exercise is appropriate for a man in his sixties?

Howard E. Lewine, MD
Hospitalist
Physical training should include three components:
  • Aerobic exercise
  • Resistance (weight) training
  • Stretching
I also recommend balance exercises for anyone in their 60's. Tai Chi is an excellent choice.

Aerobic exercise is what you will do most days of the week. So choose something that's appealing. No matter what you choose, start at a low pace.

Walking and jogging are easiest because you don't need to go to a gym or buy equipment. Riding a stationary bike is my favorite. I find it is easier on my joints than jogging.

Resistance training should be done two to three times per week and never two days in a row. Start with low resistance (light weights). Don't increase the weight until you can comfortably do three sets of 8 to 12 repetitions.

Always warm up before any exercise, even after you become more advanced. Take 5 to 10 minutes while you slowly bring your heart rate up.

I recommend stretching after exercise. This way your muscles are warm. Stretching should feel good. Be gentle and gradually increase how far you go with each stretch.

By starting slowly and working up to higher intensity gradually, you are less likely to injure your muscles, joints and tendons.

If you experience any of these symptoms, stop exercising immediately. Don't restart any exercise without first talking to your doctor.
Harvard Medical School Workout Workbook: 9 complete workouts to help you get fit and healthy

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Harvard Medical School Workout Workbook: 9 complete workouts to help you get fit and healthy

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Older adults experience physiological changes and degeneration with age. A well-designed resistance training program can slow the changes and improve muscle strength, fiber recruitment, muscle size, and overall functional capacity. When performing strength training you should follow some general guidelines: 
  • Wear appropriate attire when using selectorized equipment.
  • Do not start joint movement at angles that are beyond normal ROM when using selectorized equipment. 
  • Encourage deliberate breathing to avoid rapid increases in blood pressure.
  • Perform short, initial sets of exercise with little to no weight.
  • Perform exercises with proper technique and avoid compensation of other body parts.
  • Perform 1-3 sets of 8-20 repetitions, 3-5 days per week.
  • Begin strength training by performing exercises with lower weight and higher reps and slowly progressing to higher intensity exercise.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.