October 18, 2017 by
Aging involves adjusting to a great many changes, and how we take care of our bodies is among the most meaningful ones. We realize the necessity of staying physically active, but may not realize that the old tried-and-true exercise techniques we’ve long practiced must be changed after age fifty, because of a rise in injuries, pain in muscles and joints, and all-around fatigue. If you’re exercising after 50, and you should be, use these tips:
- Resistance over cardio exercise. Although cardio exercise is definitely still crucial for heart health, strength training is extremely important to combat the natural decline in bone density and muscle mass. A recent study also associated weight training with increased memory, even when performed just once weekly for as few as 20 minutes. The objective is to perform twelve repetitions of each set of resistance exercises several times each week, raising the resistance level when it gets easier to perform the exercises.
- Make sure you warm up. As a result of decreased elasticity in tendons that takes place later in life, warm-ups are very important. Stretching out the muscles you are preparing to exercise, as well as a full body warm-up with mild cardio exercise such as a walk on the treadmill, is recommended, at least 2 or 3 times each week. Benefits include improved flexibility, elevated heart rate and body temperature and better preparation for the muscles that are about to be exercised.
- Change over to interval training. It is recommended that interval training – high intensity exercise alternated with easier “rest” periods – produces a better benefit when compared with a steady exercise pace to burn more calories and to boost 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 might mean a couple of days in between workouts. Pay attention to any kind of aching experienced and the impact it’s having on your following workout to discover the right time period to rest in between.
Don’t forget to consult with your physician for personal recommendations on beneficial exercise regimens, and if you’ve a client or loved one who needs support in supplying the motivation, guidance, and transportation necessary to adhere to a workout program and boost health, contact At Home Independent Living of Syracuse, NY at 315-579-4663. Our professional caregivers are experienced in helping older persons improve health and overall wellbeing, and we help to make exercising, and any other activities, more fulfilling.