If you are over 60, don’t confine yourself to a favourite pastime – rocking yourself in a rocking chair. Get out of that mindset and tell yourself that mobility is the key to being mobile as you advance in age.
Experts recommend a two-part exercise programme involving aerobic exercises like walking or bicycling plus strength training exercises such as calisthenics and low-intensity weight lifting to build muscle and reduce fat. You don’t have to overdo it, make sure to bite only as much as you can chew.
Establish a routine
One can begin by taking up exercise twice or thrice a week and slowly increase it to at least five times a week. It is well known that by age 60, most elders have some degree of osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, joint irritation or lack of flexibility. Exercising lightly will not aggravate these conditions, but will actually help them.
Exercise also keeps your heart young, drives down high blood pressure, builds up good cholesterol, improves balance, enhance mental acuity and elevates mood, besides controlling diabetes, decreasing risk for heart disease, cancer, arthritis, etc.
One should form an exercise routine that includes aerobics – walking is the best option, especially if you are over 60. Start out by timing yourself and gradually increasing the distance over time. Keep your pace constant, slow down on inclined tracks as well as in harsh temperature. As you become more comfortable with your routine, try some variation like shortening steps, trying weights or swinging your arms as you walk.
Keep it slow
Perform exercises slowly, spending two seconds in the lifting phase of each exercise and four to six seconds in the lowering part. Moving too fast reduces the benefits and you could actually hurt yourself. Always inhale before lifting, exhale while lifting and inhale as you lower the weight to get the best benefit.
Select just a few exercises to begin with, a few for the upper body and a few for the lower body. You can always increase as your routine helps you to gain stamina. Music is beneficial to establish a rhythm and keep you engaged.
Select the right kind of shoes – walking or running shoes absorb the shock of your stride because of a slightly elevated heel that also helps prevent injuries to leg muscles and tendons. You might have to buy new shoes often, though they might seem in good condition, as the shock absorption factor lasts only for a few months.
Wear loose fitting clothes for comfort and don’t drink coffee or any diuretics before or while exercising. Avoid talking while walking when you have a partner or friend by your side.
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