If you are over 50 years old, then you should know that moderate physical exercise, at least 30 minutes a day, is going to be your savior. And by the way, you don’t have to be over fifty to heed this bit of advice. In fact, the earlier you start exercising on a regular basis the better life you will have when it comes to retirement age.
Exercises for baby boomers
Age has no boundaries as to what you can do. But yet, the number of people I hear say they are too old to exercise (or too sore or some other lame excuse) are totally missing the point when it comes to having a better lifestyle in their later years.
A combination of aerobic and resistance (weight bearing) workouts not only improve the way you look and feel but this type of regular exercise program also helps to slow down the ageing process.
There is plenty of scientific research around showing that regular physical exercise can decrease your risk of getting diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, depression or anxiety plus you will be much healthier all-round.
Exercise is also beneficial for the management of chronic medical conditions that affect mostly older people such as heart disease or pain caused by arthritis. If you follow my advice and stick to a regular professionally designed training program, you’ll be able to improve your digestive and immune system too. All this means being able to enjoy more of the good things life has to offer.
Exercise also contributes to increasing bone mass and helping prevent older women from getting osteoporosis. Besides, regardless of your gender, exercise contributes to releasing endorphins into your body helping to enhance your mood and to feel happier and more optimistic about life in general.
That in itself should be enough motivation to get you up out of your chair.
You can see how a simple daily exercise routine can bring you so many improvements in more than just one chapter of your life.
You don’t have to be afraid that embarking on an exercise program will be too difficult for you or that it may cause you injuries or aggravate existing conditions you may be suffering from. It is more likely to help relieve them.
All the more reason “Why Fitness Actually Matters in 2016 and Beyond” – (58 to 97 year olds). Discover in this video why no one is paying attention to what really matters.
This video carries such a powerful and important message – everyone should watch it. Fitness is marketed towards young people and no one is paying attention to what really matters. What happens as we age (which we all do). But this young gent, online fitness coach Mike Vacanti, has shown maturity and understanding beyond his years and really nailed the age old problem.
Watch it and tell me what you think. This will shake you.
For those of you who are at a low level of fitness, my advice is to start off nice and slow, then gradually add more work, until you reach the maximum level of effectiveness. It can take some time but you will find it is well worth the effort.
Here are a few types of exercise programs worth considering that will help add life to your years and years to your life
1. Strength exercises
Strength training becomes critical as we get older. The main advantage of building up strength is you gain more power to overcome daily challenges such as playing with the grand kids, climbing stairs, gardening, carrying grocery bags or doing all the various household chores that never seems to end.
Weight training is also very important for both ladies and men over sixty because of the increasing risk of developing osteoporosis. Training with weights and/or resistance bands will help strengthen your bones and negate the onset of this disease.
Now don’t let the use of weights concern you at all……we are not talking lifting Olympic size weights here but just enough to offer you some moderate resistance to make your muscles work a little harder when exercising.
You may not be aware but this bone disease we mentioned causes more disability than that caused by many cancers and chronic diseases so you can see why I continually encourage everyone out there to engage in some form of ongoing exercise program no matter what your age may be.
As time goes by your body will thank you for all your good efforts and you will be able to lead a longer, fuller and more rewarding life.
Building strength doesn’t necessarily have to be done only by lifting weights. I can show you many other ways of building up strength such as a range of bodyweight exercises. They can be easily done anywhere at any time, at any age and even if you aren’t in your best ever physical shape.
2. Balance exercises
You are probably aware that most accidents we seniors suffer from happen in the home.
Slipping and falling are among the first main causes of injuries. This is why it’s a great idea to consider improving your balance through a special range of exercises such as standing on one foot for as long as you can.
3. Endurance exercises
Although they may seem a bit harsh, endurance exercises are very good for improving your heart rate, your lung capacity and your blood flow. This is why such exercises are also called cardiovascular. This group of routines includes jogging, cycling, swimming, running or walking at a fast pace.
The duration of such workouts should be carefully chosen, in accordance with your health condition and only after a discussion with your doctor. After you get medical permission, then have your personal trainer design a program and instruct you on how to safely do cardiovascular (aerobic) training exercises.
One thing you must not do, unless you have been training for three or more months and have a doctors clearance, is go straight into either Boot Camp, Tabata, HIIT (high intensity interval training) or Cross Fit training. These forms of exercise are very high intensity and unless your body is well prepared you will be prone to injury.
4. Flexibility exercises
These exercises will prove extremely helpful in your daily life. Here’s just one example from your everyday life – after a month of doing flexibility exercises you’ll discover how much easier it is to bend down and pick up something from the floor (great for when you are on babysitting duty).
All types of exercise talked about above can be done at home. But on the other hand, if you feel like getting a bit more social, you can join a gym or one of the many fitness groups in your area for any of the following activities:
Yoga will help you become aware of muscles in your body you never knew existed.
It is not only a complete workout, but also a very good stress reliever. The best thing about yoga is that you don’t have to force yourself into any posture. You only stretch or bend for as much as your body permits without the feeling of pain.
6. Tai Chi
This ancient Chinese form of exercise is slow and meditative and is a great method for relieving stress and joint stiffness. It is easier on the body therefore it’s best for those of you who have physical issues that restrict your ability to do more robust forms of exercise.
To swim regularly is one of the best activities for people in the over 50 to 60 age groups because it is truly a complete low impact workout. It activates and trains all your muscles and is low impact putting less pressure on your joints, because gravity is lesser under water.
8. Water aerobics
This form of swimming pool exercise is also something you might be interested in looking at during the warmer months or in winter, in your local heated pool – it is a low impact and high resistance way to fitness so is great for those rusty, worn and aching joints.
Other worthwhile activities you might like to consider are Pilates, dancing or maybe even get your friends together and start your own morning walking group (with coffee and a chat at your local café when you’re finished).
Besides the physical condition improvement from these activities, you’ll also have the chance to socialize more by meeting some new people and make some new friends.
So now is a good time to bear in mind what Edward Stanley said: “Those who think they have not time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness.”
I will be covering EACH of these types of exercise in moe depth in the coming weeks blog posts.