It’s Never Too Late to Get in Shape: Exercises for Over 60
No matter your age, a regular exercise routine can make a huge difference in your quality of life. From an emotional and physical standpoint, the rewards are tremendous. But deciding where to start can be tough, especially if you’ve been sedentary for decades. If you’re living out your golden years right now and want to get started – or continue – with a suitable exercise program, you may be surprised to learn it’s easier than you think.
But before you begin, talk to your doctor first. That advice holds true for anyone starting a new exercise routine. But if you regularly experience shortness of breath, have a heart condition, joint problems, take blood pressure medication, or feel dizzy, you need to get the green light from you physician before you take on new physical challenges.
Here are recommended exercises for individuals age 60 and over.
Balance is among the things that begin to fail as we age. How to prevent nasty falls should be one of your goals since a tumble can result in serious injury and even death. In order to be most effective, exercises aimed at increasing your balance should closely mimic your everyday activities, especially those that put you in danger of falling. Toe-touch drills improve your gait, bench squats strengthen your base of support, and ball rolls improve stability and balance.
If functioning independently at home is one of your goals, strength training will help you reach it. Start with your arms using 3 to 5 pound weights. Keeping your arms close to your side, bend your elbows to raise your forearms. Do this 8 to 12 times in the beginning and work up to 15 to 20 repetitions. Eventually, you can increase the weight by a few pounds.
Endurance exercises are great for your heart. You’ll want to stay away from jogging or anything that puts too much strain on your joints and muscles. But swimming, dancing, and walking are perfect for strengthening your endurance.
Just make sure you monitor your heart rate. You can find your maximum heart rate by subtracting your age from the number 220. Your target heart rate should lie between 60% and 80% of that number.
Stretching improves your flexibility and increases range of motion, which makes it much easier to go about your tasks at home. There are numerous stretching exercises for both your lower and upper body. Choose those that feel good to you and hold each stretch for about thirty seconds. Then repeat 3 more times.
It’s amazing how powerful these simple exercises really are. Imagine how much more enjoyable your days will be when you have the endurance to keep up with your grandchildren, the strength to climb stairs, and control of your balance so you don’t have to worry about what will happen if you’ve “fallen and can’t get up.” Go ahead and talk to your doctor, and then take the first steps toward the best years of your life.