Usually when you think of a person working out or going to the gym, what is the first image that flashes in your mind?
Probably, of a muscled dude carrying his gym kit, entering the gym; or of a young, fit girl in her trainer shoes on a run, right? Ever wondered why our minds always associate fitness and workouts with young adults and not older ones? It is because it has adapted to the concept of young age correlating with fitness. This should not be the case, though. The older adults of the house need to keep their bodies fit and healthy as much as the younger ones do.
Numerous studies show that strength training and other exercises not only help to build muscle strength and flexibility but also counteract the weakness and frailty that usually comes with aging.
- Elderly strength training for seniors can help them with a lot of things. Let’s take a look at them:
- It can help them to keep arthritis at bay.
- It will help them with balance which declines with age often as a result of muscular tone.
- It will help them with pulmonary diseases such as COPD.
- Obesity and related health issues can be kept away.
- Type-2 diabetes can be controlled with its help.
- Back problems can be improved.
However, some general safety guidelines should be followed while training and exercising, for seniors.
- It is extremely important to warm up at least 10 minutes before starting with the exercises and cooling your body down for at least 10 minutes after the exercise.
- If you feel some kind of soreness in the muscle belly, that’s fine but if you feel any kind of pain in the joints, then you must immediately stop the exercise.
- Don’t forget to maintain the correct posture while doing the exercises.
- Don’t hold your breath during the exercises. Make sure you breathe properly.
- Don’t clutch your weights very tightly.
- Make sure you do all the movements required in a slow to moderate manner.
While exercising will provide you a plethora of benefits, you need to be sure of the precautions you need to take as well.
Let’s now take a look at some simple stretches, body weight, and light weight-based exercises that older people can do based on their comfort level.
- Aerobics: Aerobic exercises will help older adults to burn off calories, lower blood pressure, and bring down their cholesterol levels. It will also maintain its joint movement and increase their overall energy.
- Squats: Squats promote lower body strength. Keep your arms in front of you and be sure not to spread your knees past your toes as you bend to an almost-sitting position.
- Arm Raises: Raising your arms helps you in building your upper body strength. Adding resistance with light weights will develop muscle mass and upper body muscle.
- Curling biceps: Lifting everyday objects like a suitcase or a heavy flowerpot may become more difficult with age. Arm curls will strengthen your muscles that are involved in these movements.
- Practice Push-ups: Old school push-ups are a great way to work muscles in the arms, shoulders, and chest. However, it is very necessary to maintain the correct posture while doing push-ups to avoid unnecessary injuries.
- Leg Raise: These help in strengthening the thigh, hip, buttocks, and lower back muscles.
- Toe and chair stand: This helps in building muscles and at the same time helps you in focusing on better balance. It also helps in reducing the risk of falls and broken bones.
Good old stretches – Stretching your upper and lower body releases all the tension trapped in the muscles and allows your muscles and joints to become more flexible.
Exercising not only benefits your body but also your mind. It improves your mental and emotional health by preserving an active life. You can make this fun by inviting over your friends and doing a group workout so that you could socialize at the same time or you could simply put on your favorite music on those Bluetooth speakers lying in the corner and go for it!
Stay active, stay involved and I bet you’ll stay healthy and happy!