Before you perticipate in any exercise please consult your physician.
Would you like to make your senior years more healthy and productive? If so you'll want to add a fitness plan to your daily schedule. Exercise has a multitude of benefits including:
A reduced risk of certain chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer.
Preservation of bone mass so you’re at less risk of developing osteoporosis.
Preservation of muscle mass. Loss of muscle occurs at an accelerated rate after the age of 70. Resistance exercise can help to delay this process by preserving muscle mass.
A greater sense of well being and self esteem. Exercise helps you to feel more energetic and optimistic about life in general.
Greater flexibility. Exercise can be particularly effective in those suffering from arthritis and other joint related diseases.
Greater endurance. Aerobic exercise helps your heart and lungs function more efficiently so you’ll have greater endurance for your routine activities.
Improved sleep patterns. Exercise has been shown to help reduce insomnia.
Better weight control. Obviously if you’re burning more calories through exercise, you’re going to lose weight if you maintain the same diet.
In general, you’ll want to incorporate two types of exercise into your senior fitness plan. These include endurance exercises and strength training exercises. Before starting any exercise or fitness program, it’s best to have a physical examination by your doctor to be sure you don’t have any health conditions that may require modification of your routine.
Endurance exercise is exercise that raises your heart rate and helps your heart and lungs to operate more efficiently. At the same time, it burns calories which helps you to lose excess fat. To make your exercise program successful, select one or several endurance exercises you really enjoy. Your choices could include any activity that causes your heart to pump faster. These include cycling, jogging, fast walking, dance, aerobics, swimming, as well as a variety of exercise machines. To reduce boredom, you may want to pick several activities you can alternate.
When you start your endurance exercise training, it’s important to start slowly. During your first session, you may want to exercise for only 5 minutes and gradually work up to a full 30 minute session, which may take several weeks if you’ve never exercises before. Aim for performing endurance exercise for at least 30 minutes 3-4 days per week. Need more motivation? Find another senior who shares your desire to get into shape and you can exercise together.
Now that you’ve mastered the art of endurance exercise, it’s time to add some strength training exercises. This is the type of exercise which will help you to maintain your muscle mass and prevent age related declines in strength.
The best way to start a strength training program is to use light dumbbells or hand weights initially. Start with a weight that’s fairly comfortable and do two sets of each exercise. Your first set will be a warm up using a lighter weight. On your second set, increase the weight slightly. Aim for 8-10 repetitions of each movement. You should feel fatigued at the end of the last set. If not, you’re not using a heavy enough weight. Gradually increase the weight used over several weeks as the exercise becomes easier. The object is to stress your muscles sufficiently so that you increase your strength over time. Your strength training workout should be performed at least 2-3 times per week. There are a variety of books that illustrate various resistance training exercises which will make it easier to plan your routine.
After a period of several weeks on this program, you should start to have more endurance and strength when you carry out your daily activities. Hang in there and keep making those gains. Imagine all of the wonderful positive benefits you’re getting from your new fitness program!