Six Simple Workouts for Seniors
As we age, exercise becomes more important to stave off weakness and mobility issues.
While many studies focus on keeping our minds sharp, we also need to continue to strengthen our bodies. Cardio works one of the most important muscles in our bodies: our heart. Strength training is not only helpful to keep our other muscles from getting smaller and weaker; it also helps to regulate glucose metabolism – which is great to try to counteract diabetes.
Balance issues can be improved with regular stretching, even as little as five to 10 minutes a day. A loss of balance can lead to more falls. And if you haven’t heard this before, falls are the number one cause of injury among seniors, causing everything from cuts and bruises to hip fractures and head trauma.
Don’t forget about the abs, which is also referred to as your core. You don’t need to have a six-pack. Weak abs can lead to back issues.
Here's a list of recommended workouts for the senior set:
At least 30 minutes of moderate cardio exercise a day
This includes brisk walking, running, swimming, biking, or exercise videos
If you don't have time in your day for the full 30 minutes, try three 10 minute bouts of exercise throughout the day
2. Strength training
Work those muscles twice a week for 30 to 45 minutes.
Pushups (if you're a beginner, do them against a wall to start)
Using a resistance band that is light weight and inexpensive
Bicep curls and tricep extensions
Modified squats and lunges that work many muscles at once
3. Flexibility training
To start the day, try some head circles and stretching in the shower
At the end of day, stretch calf muscles and hamstrings
4. Balance training
You can do this standing in line at the grocery store
Stand on one leg and see if you can let go of the shopping cart
Hold for about 10 seconds
Try standing on your tippy-toes and holding for a few seconds
Balance should be done everyday — all you need is two to three minutes
5. Core training
Try a few minutes of abdominal exercises
Reverse curl while you're lying in back and pull your knees into you
Hold for five seconds and release
Start with ten reps a day and work your way higher
Crunches are key — not full sit-ups — because some people can do more damage than good
Keep back on the floor and don't go all the way up
Concentrate so you can feel your abdominal wall contracting
Before starting any new workout program, check with your doctor.
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