My mother is in her early 70s and she goes to the gym three mornings a week. Her gym is well aware that older people need to remain active, and they have figured out a way to make exercise appealing enough to draw my mother, who was never attracted to exercise, into their studio every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning at 10 AM.
If you’re 60 or above and you want to start adding more activity into your life, here are some tips for getting started. Many of these ideas also apply if you haven’t exercised in a long time and want to do it as safely as possible.
See your doctor before starting any exercise routine, especially if you have osteoporosis or arthritis. You want to make sure that nothing you are planning will make these conditions worse. As we age, some kinds of movement should be avoided, and we should also avoid stressing certain joints.
If you already have past injuries or joints that cause pain, it’s a good idea to find a trainer who can teach you how to exercise while avoiding stress being put on those joints.
Aim for no more than 30 minutes of “moderate physical activity” at a time. It’s important not to work out seven days a week. Older bodies need more time to recover.
Focus on strength training, because that helps prevent bone and muscle loss.
It’s especially important to be sensitive to any pain or discomfort you feel. Younger people might be inclined to try to push through it, but this can be dangerous for older adults.
Have access to water and take frequent breaks to drink some.
Warm up with stretches, but don’t bounce or strain to stretch. Learning how to stretch properly will improve overall flexibility, which is especially important as we age.
Cardio activities that are generally considered safe include aerobics, swimming, walking (with or without Nordic poles), jogging, biking and water aerobics.
When strength training, focus on exercises that strength the legs, back, shoulders and arms. For older adults, weight-training machines are considered a better choice than using free weights.
Whenever you’re inspired to take control of your health, take a look at the Spatz3 adjustable gastric balloon to see how it can help you meet your personal wellness goals.
Author: Rebeca Espinoza
Rebeca Espinoza writes about health, fitness and weight loss for Spatz Medical, makers of the Spatz3 Adjustable Gastric Balloon. You can find her on Google+ or at firstname.lastname@example.org.