With age, the need for additional physical activity only increases. The person must remain
active to maintain the muscle corset, movable joints and elastic ligaments.
You should not give up training at a senior age, and for those who have not started yet, now it’s a great time to do it. Grab your sneakers and let’s go!
Senior age is not necessarily a period of weakness and fragility.
For some reason, most people perceive mature and senior age as weakness, soreness and
dementia. And therefore, a lot of people don't want to prolong their life and take care of their health, believing that they are prolonging precisely this helpless state. But who said that senior age is necessarily helpless? If you are in the mood for health and activity, then your mature age can be a very rewarding part of life. After all, you have accumulated a huge life experience, you have the knowledge, you understand people. You are most likely a top-class professional in your field. And this is invaluable baggage that can and should be used to help yourself and others. And it is absolutely certain that your age can be turned into almost the most fruitful and happy period of life.
5 things that will motivate you to exercise:
Sport extend your life. It has been proven that people who exercise in moderation without
overloading the body live longer. Sports activities should not exceed 60 minutes, in the
presence of fatigue or other complaints, the exercise can be reduced to half an hour.
A breath of cheerfulness. People who go to the gym feel much more energised than their
peers. The less a person moves, the more health problems they have. According to statistics, older people who play sports are more independent in serving themselves than passive people.
Sport helps to strengthen muscles, maintain coordination and agility.
Get rid of loneliness. Sometimes senior people feel lonely because the children have
become adults and have left their home. Go to the gym to socialise. Even while training in
the park, you can always meet new people. Finding like-minded people is an additional
motivation for regular workouts.
Great mood. Movement is life but also, it is a high spirit all the time. When exercising, the
hormone endorphin is released, which is responsible for a good mood. And no matter how
old a person is — 20, 40, 60 or 80, a good mood is guaranteed.
The benefits of working out in senior age:
With age, a person inevitably gains weight due to a slowdown in metabolic processes and a decrease in the percentage of muscles. Excess weight puts additional stress on the joints. If we add to the situation the age-related limitation of joint vigour, we get a very depressing picture — problems with mobility. Losing weight will make it easier for you to move and increase mobility.
It is known that sport is the prevention of heart and vascular disease. It is better to start training with the confidence that you do not have serious cardiovascular pathologies. If everything is in order, then you can train your heart. During the workout, the heart rate increases, more blood is pumped. Accordingly, organs, including the brain, receive additional nutrition.
Physical activity can help keep your mind clear and avoid serious illnesses such as Alzheimer’s.
Regular exercise and sports will improve your sleep. With age, people tend to have insomnia. To make it easier for yourself to fall asleep, reschedule your workout for the evening.
Training should include several areas: strength exercises, cardio exercises, and stretching
Strength exercises can be performed with your own body weight. If you feel that you are strong enough and you have no contraindications, you can pick up dumbbells. For home workouts, instead of dumbbells, use water bottles or cans. Strength training will strengthen muscles, increase movement coordination and body functionality.
Cardio training — walking, jogging, Nordic walking, stair walking, swimming, cycling, tennis, dancing, are suitable for strengthening the heart and blood vessels, increasing endurance. Swimming is the perfect workout with even load for the whole body. This is both cardio and strength training.
Don’t neglect stretching, especially after strength training. Stretching will help relieve tension in muscles and joints and reduce the likelihood of injury. Stretching can be done with Pilates or yoga.
How to start and which sport to choose?
Before you start training, it is extremely important to choose the appropriate activities according to your physical health, especially if you have not led an active life for a long time.
Women usually choose gymnastics or those sports that help to lose weight. Men pay more attention to maintaining their natural strength and restoring endurance, which means that they often choose strength training and workouts at the gym. You should not blindly follow your desires and start abruptly doing serious CrossFit. First, you need to consult a doctor who will tell you about the correct distribution of loads, possible risks and concerns, and explain why restrictions are needed. With the right approach, even in senior age, you can achieve good physical shape and exercise on an equal basis with young people.
Walking and running
Running is useful at any age, but it is a big load on the body, so you should start your training by choosing the load for your fitness level and gradually increasing it. Not everyone, after being examined by a specialist, can fully engage in jogging training, for someone, it is preferable to choose sports walking, which also has a positive effect on the body.
Running workouts help you lose weight. While running, a lot of energy and calories are spent. Constant movement strengthens the muscles and joints of the legs, trains endurance and has a positive effect on lung function. Runners are not afraid of heart attacks, strokes, they may not worry about their blood vessels. During training, the hormone of happiness — endorphin is also produced, and this is a guarantee of good mood and positive emotions. An evening run will help improve sleep, filling you with pleasant fatigue. Jogging can be done wherever a person is, in urban settings or when going on vacation.
Swimming is also beneficial at any age. Swimming equals the strengthening of the spine and joints, correction of posture disorders, strengthening of bone tissue. During swimming, all muscle groups are involved, but the load on them is not felt so much due to the decrease in weight in the water. Therefore, even people with diseases of the joints and legs can enjoy such activity, taking precautions and consulting a doctor. Exercise in water is of great benefit to the heart. With age, the problem of high blood pressure often begins to worry us — the heart muscle is forced to contract more often to maintain the body, this accelerates the heart rate. When swimming, the rhythm is normalised and the pressure returns to normal. Therefore, water is the best friend in the fight against diseases of the cardiovascular system. Optimal water training at any age lasts at least 30-40 minutes. This time is enough to swim 500 meters and perform several water aerobics exercises.
Yoga is a spiritual sport and a powerful way of overcoming many psychological problems. In addition, it helps restore body flexibility and strengthen bones. In senior age, it is very important to slow down the process of tissue destruction, to activate the regeneration processes, and this is what is the basis of soft movements and exercises in yoga. Not all yoga exercises are suitable for everyone, the basic exercises are best performed while standing, since strengthening the legs is one of the main tasks in senior years. Simple bends and turns, as well as leisurely back bends, will strengthen the spine and help maintain balance. There are also numerous exercises for strengthening the arms, hips, back, and abdominal muscles. All of them in combination will help to maintain good spirits and restore peace of mind. Regular yoga practise normalises sleep and brings back the joy of life. The main advantages of yoga over other types of sports activities are regularity and efficiency. There is no need to stand on your head if your body doesn’t allow it, but even a person of considerable age can take a comfortable posture, calm breathing and feel every muscle.
Workouts at the gym
Strength training at the gym, especially with the use of simulators, for older bodybuilders is associated, first of all, with the desire to tone the muscles and improve health. To work safely and effectively in the gym, you first need to undergo a medical examination, which will help identify health problems and draw up an individual exercise plan. Each workout should begin with a full warm-up. You should never neglect warming up the muscles. It is better to avoid weights, choose safe exercise equipment, it is advisable to work under the supervision of a qualified trainer. In addition to a training program in the gym, which should include exercises for each muscle group, you need to maintain activity in everyday life, using side loads — walking more, climbing stairs. Strength training for seniors has practical benefits — it improves endurance, the ability to walk longer, and lift heavy things without difficulty. When planning how many times to train in the gym to get results, know that the minimum number of workouts per week for a beginner is 2. Subsequently, it can be increased up to 4 days. Each exercise should be repeated 6-8 times and be sure to rest between sets. Throughout the workout, you need to closely monitor the pulse, for its changes. If during the exercise you experience discomfort, even the mild one, you need to stop the exercise and contact the staff for help.
If you are over 50 and have never exercised before, consult your doctor before embarking on an exercise program. Other possible reasons for seeking medical attention before starting sports include:
- dizziness or shortness of breath
- chest pain or tightness
- formation of blood clots
- non-healing ulcer
- any joint swelling
- recent surgery
Wear loose, comfortable clothing and sturdy, well-fitting shoes. The shoe (ideally a running shoe) must have proper instep support and a cushioning heel to reduce shock. Make sure the shoes are made for the type of activity you will be using them for. For example, there are special shoes for walking, running, tennis or dancing.
If you’ve been inactive before, start small. Start with exercises that you feel comfortable doing. Start gradually. This reduces the risk of injury and also prevents the development of inflammation.
Remember that any physical activity is useful only if you feel good while doing it. If you have the flu, cold, or another infectious disease, wait until you feel better. After skipping more than 2 weeks of training, resume gradually.
Recovery and nutrition
Remember, just exercising and eating poorly is a bad option for any person and especially for seniors. Food is the basis of the body’s vital functions, which with age requires more and more proteins, vitamins and trace elements. Rest and healthy food is a big part of exercising. After every training, your body needs to recover and prepare for the next one. Taking good quality post workout blends will help you with that. It is important to take into account the fact that metabolism slows down with age. After 60 years, it is necessary to eat at certain hours so that the food is better absorbed. It is better to eat a little, but often. Lack of appetite is normal. In this case, it is better to prepare a tasty and light meal and organise joint meals.
Any activity has a positive effect on health, even the most insignificant, but it is better to pay attention to the disadvantages in addition to the advantages. Not everyone can run a marathon, someone prefers moderate walking or aqua aerobics. After studying the doctor’s testimony, choosing a comfortable training regime, you can live a full life, play sports and create positive energy around you, remaining a young soul.