Aging requires adapting to a great many changes, and the way we look after our bodies is among the most meaningful ones. We realize the necessity of staying physically active, but might not know that the old tried-and-true exercising techniques we’ve long employed should be changed after age fifty, due to increasing injuries, pain in joints and muscles, and general fatigue. For example:
- Resistance more than cardio exercise. Even though cardiovascular exercise is definitely still important for heart health, resistance training is an essential part of senior fitness to counteract the normal decrease in bone density and muscle mass. A recent study also linked weight training with enhanced memory, even when performed just once weekly for as little as 20 minutes. The target is to accomplish 12 repetitions of each set of resistance exercises several times each week, increasing the resistance level when it gets easier to perform the exercises.
- Always warm up. As a result of decreased elasticity in tendons that takes place later in life, warm-ups are very important. Stretching the muscles you’re getting ready to exercise, plus a full body warm-up with light cardio like a walk on the treadmill, is strongly recommended, a minimum of 2 or 3 times a week. Health advantages consist of improved flexibility, increased heart rate and body temperature and better preparation for any muscles that are about to be exercised.
- Change over to interval training. It’s advised that interval training – intense exercise alternated with easier “rest” periods – offers a greater benefit when compared with a continuous exercise pace to burn more calories and to enhance oxygen consumption.
- Increase rest days. Per Dr. David W. Kruse of the Hoag Orthopedic Institute, “You need to focus more on recovery after 50. Tissue recovery takes more time and more effort to support that recovery.” This may mean several days in between exercise sessions. Pay attention to any kind of aching experienced and the impact it’s having on the next workout to discover the best time period to rest in between.
Don’t forget to consult your doctor for personal recommendations on effective senior fitness routines, and if you have a client or loved one who could use assistance in providing the motivation, guidance, and transportation needed to adhere to an exercise program and optimize wellness, contact the home care service experts at Atlanta Home Care Partners at (404) 228-0103. All of our professional Atlanta caregivers are experienced in helping older persons optimize health and overall wellbeing, and we help to make exercising, and any other activities, more enjoyable.