There are many men and women over 60 who are trying to stay fit, active, and healthy or are attempting to build up their physique after retirement. This is often the age wherein many seniors find themselves with a lot of time on their hands, able to put more effort into getting themselves healthier and fighting against disease and sickness.
Exercise is very important at any age of a person’s life, and staying active as one gets older is a good way to promote longevity, and living a healthier and more fulfilling life, free from injury and sickness. As you get older though, the wear and tear which your body experienced could have taken a toll on your overall health, and one would need to be careful about the types of exercise one would do. To help you get started on this journey, here are recommended exercise routines for men and women over 60.
Stretching As Warm-Up
Before doing any running, heavy lifting or any strenuous exercises, the most important thing that one would need to do is to stretch as a warm-up. This reduces the risk of muscle strain and improves flexibility for the human body. Whenever doing stretching exercises, remember not to bounce or stretch too far in one direction. This would only aggravate the muscles instead of loosening them up. Some good stretches to do are the triceps stretch, the standing biceps stretch, the seated floor twist, toe touching, and finally the spinal stretch. Do this short routine for 1 minute for each arm or leg involved, making sure to take deep breaths during the stretch. Make sure not to hold your breath in, and instead keep a normal breathing rhythm going
Once your muscles are thoroughly stretched, it’s time to get to the meat of the program. To be honest, for most cardiovascular exercises, the type of exercise isn’t that important. Instead, it’s the intensity level in which these exercises are performed which may increase or decrease the exercise’s effectiveness. I recommend working at a level which is hard enough to raise your heart rate, making you break a sweat, but would still allow you to talk with someone else and carry a conversation. This simple test would ensure that your body is stimulated enough but the intensity isn’t too high in which you risk overexertion. The types of activities you could do are limitless. It is recommended to do whichever you enjoy doing the most. Some examples of great cardio exercises for seniors include aerobics, swimming, brisk walking or jogging, biking, or using a step machine or rowing machine. All of these activities would further be enjoyed if done with other family members or friends, and some could even be performed while reading a book, watching television, or using your smartphone. Once you get used to it, the 30 minutes time for these exercises would have already passed without you noticing.
In a week’s worth of exercise, try to devote at least two days to strength training with the help of weights. Always be sure that your muscles are stretched well prior to performing any of these types of exercises though. Strength training sessions should last between 20 to 40 minutes per day, with a moderate level of intensity. The goal for those 60 and up in terms of strength training would be to maintain and firm up their muscles. One or two exercises should be done for each of the following muscle groups: the legs, back, shoulders, arms, chest, and the abdominal section. For each exercise, two sets of 8 to 10 repetitions each should be followed, with 15 to 30 seconds of rest in between sets. Remember to focus on the functional movements involved, ensuring each repetition is performed correctly and completely.