A Guide For Senior Fitness
Everyday Fitness For Senior Citizens
If you are 50 and above, you are right there with me among the BabyBoomer crowd. So, 50 is the new 40 and 60 is the new 50, well you get the picture.
I saw a Barbar Walters Special on living until you are 150. Does that mean that we will start our social security at 110? I don't know about you, but I want to live long enough to enjoy my social security. And I want to be in as good a physical shape that I can be. Hey, I am like most of you, I have that little paunch around my middle, but this is the year that I get fit. Why not join me in my quest?
The total number of hours that we as modern human beings is increasing and that is not good at all. Many of us don't get exercise at all. We spend time sitting in a car, sitting at a desk, sitting watching Tv or at the computer. It's time to get up, get out and get going!
How Does An Exercise Improve Your Life?
An exercise program really does extend and improves the quality of your life. You might wonder what those benefits might be:
- Improves your cognitive ability
- It improves your mood and reduces your stress level
- It improves your quality of sleep which improves your energy level and energy
- It improves your balance which prevents falls and injury
- It gives you a stronger immune system which gives you a decreased risk for conditions like heart disease, osteoporosis and diabitoes
Consult With Your Health Care Provider First
The first step towards getting fitter no matter what your age is having a discussion with your health care provider.
Never start any type of exercise program unless you check with your health care provider! This is especially true if you are under any type of treatment or medication. Your doctor or other health care provider will help you chose which type of exercise is best for you, as well as your goals.
There are some conditions and health issues that may not be the right fit for you. So, take the time to discuss your unique situation with your physician or health care provider before you start any exercise or fitness program.
Evaluating Your Fitness Level
- Evaluating Your Fitness Routine for a Post-Pandemic World
A year into the coronavirus pandemic, discover if you need to do more to improve your fitness routine and be healthy.
Senior Fitness Tips
Great Ideas for you on how to start your fitness program
- Get a physical Check Up Check with your health care provider to see if you need to make any modifications to your exercise program. Get a medical clearance if you need one-some programs may need one,
- Determine Your Exercise Style Do you like to participate in a class, or do you like to exercise by yourself? Are you a morning person or an evening person? Do you like indoor activity, or do you prefer to be outdoors?
- Focus On Short Term Goal. You will achieve more by taking it in small bites
- Start Slowly Many people are eager to get started and overdo it. You will only get frustrated because your efforts will make you sore and you will want to quit. Start slowly and build up your stamina.
- Keep A Log Of Your Activities. Writing it down holds you accountable and celebrates your success.
- Every Step Counts Buy yourself a pedometer. Start by aiming for 500 steps a day. Gradually add short walks until you reach 10,000 steps in a day. You will burn calories and increase your circulation.
- Wear The Right Shoes Foot comfort and support is important for all impact physical activities. If you have arthritis, diabetes or orthopedic problems, you can remain physically active with the help of appropriate shoe
Safe Exercise Ideas - Especially For Seniors
It's not that we can't exercise as much as we did when we were 20...well guess that is true to an extent. It's just there are a few more things to consider in our fitness program
- Obtain Medical Clearance Before You Start Any Exercise or Fitness Program Thís is true for everyone
- Stop exercising if you feel pain. Your body is giving you a message
- Don't exercise when you are injured, sick, or running a temperature.
- Don't overstrain during exercise
- Don't hold your breath during exercise.
- Always warm up.
- Always cool down
- Drink plenty of water before, during and after exercise.
- Avoid heavy meals for about 2 hours before energetic exercise
- Work at an effective, yet comfortable, intensity level. You should be able to carry on a normal conversation while working out.
- Use good posture during exercise
The National Body Challenge
Every Senior Should Join-It's Free
One of the things that I did for myself is to join the National Body Challenge. This is a comprehensive, free program that all seniors should join. I looked at other diet programs and found the same things at the challenge and best of all, it is free !
When you register, you receive FREE:
*customized meal plans with over 1,000 kitchen-tested, nutritionist-approved recipes
*progressive fitness plans, tailored for you by experts
*diverse community of support to help you achieve your personal lifestyle goals
*individualized weight and fitness trackers
*video and interactive tools from fitness and weight loss professionals
*Weekly information packed e-newsletter
and much more!
Remember to always show your doctor any diet or exercise plan that you are planning
Click here Join The National Body Challengeecipes, free tracking of your progress, free workouts, and a lot more.
About That Potbelly
Why It's Important To Trim Your Waist
For every inch that your waistline exceeds the measurement of your chest, you can deduct two inches from your life. A potbelly tells the world that you are eating too much or exercising too little, or both.
Because a weak abdomen can interfere with the proper functioning of the organs inside it. Apart from facilitating movements of the trunk and legs, the stomach muscles provide support and protection for the liver, kidneys, pancreas, and of course the stomach. Abdominal muscles that lose their ability to serve as a kind of natural girdle allow these organs--and the lower spine--more internal movement than they were designed to handle. Digestive disorders can result, as can back problems. An estimated 80% of all lower back pain can be traced to lack of abdominal strength.
Physical fitness is to the human body what fine-tuning is to an engine. It enables us to perform up to our potential. Fitness can be described as a condition that helps us look, feel, and do our best. More specifically it is: The ability to perform daily tasks vigorously and alertly, with energy left over for enjoying leisure-time activities and meeting emergency demands. It is the ability to endure, to bear up, to withstand stress, to carry on in circumstances where an unfit person could not continue, and it is a major basis for good health and well-being.
Physical fitness involves the performance of the heart, lungs, and muscles. And, since what we do with our bodies also affects what we can do with our minds, fitness influences to some degree qualities such as mental alertness and emotional stability.
Before starting an exercise program
Get your doctor's OK!
Staying Hydrated Throughout The Day
One of the biggest fitness challenges we have as seniors is staying hydrated. As we age, we have a decreased sense of thirst.
Of course, when you are exercising, it is very important to stay hydrated because you are sweating. But it is equally important to stay hydrated during the course of your day.
Get yourself a reusable water bottle and carry it around with you. Fil it with water and ice so you always have a refreshing drink available as you go through your day.
If you are like me and get busy, set your phone or alarm clock so that you remember to stop and take that water pit stop.
Eating water-rich fruits and veggies like cucumbers, spinach, and watermelon can also help you get enough fluids throughout the day.
Talk A Walk-Easy Fitness Program
Fun Ideas To Get Your Exercise
Exercise does not have to be boring. You can work in a few changes in your life that will start your journey onto a healthier life. Exercise can be fun!
- Go swimming at a natural spring or lake. Make sure to have someone with you to share the experience and stay safe!
- Take a bike ride with some friends
- Take a dance class! learn some Zumba moves, take a square dance class or some line dancing classes
- Take time to fly a kite or throw frisbees with your grandkids
- Garden at home or at a community garden. Gardening is a great way to get some stretches and movement in.
- Participate in a charity walk
- Volunteer for a rive, park or beach clean up
- Take an outdoor yoga class
Silver Sneakers Classes And Resources
Your Medicare and backup insurance may include the Silver Sneakers Program. This is a free program that is offered through many insurances. Not all insurance programs offer Silver Sneakers. Check to see if these free programs are available in your insurance.
Silver Sneakers offers both online classes as well as programs that are held in local gyms and facilities.
They also offer a fitness app for your phone. This is a very comprehensive program just for seniors. So, it is worth checking out.
Check here to see if you can join or check with your insurance provider.
Sports Activities For Seniors
No matter what your age, you can still participate in sports activities. Check out your local area to see what classes might be available so that you can try a new sport. If you have participated in some sports activities in the past, why not renew that activity?
- Golf-Very popular in the warmer states. But if you live in the northern states there are classes and courses open in the Spring through fall. Most courses have classes for beginners or those who want to brush up on their skills
- Miniature Golf- A fun way to get some exercise with your friend and family
- Pool-An indoor sport, but you still get some exercise
- Shuffleboards- get some air and some exercise too
- Bocce- Have fun with friends playing this traditional game
- Tennis-Take some lessons or renew your game
- Badminton-Play this fun game right in your own yard
- Pickle board-Has become very popular for seniors
- Croquet- Another game that you can play at your home.
- Horseshoes- Great game for at home play
- Wii Bowling-A popular indoor bowling game
Senior Fitness Tip
It's more fun to work out with someone else or with a group. Exercise is less work and more about being social when you work out with someone else.
The Presidents Challenge - Challenge Yourself and Win Awards For Your Fitness Program
- The Presidents Challenge
I love a challenge and here is one that you will enjoy.We've expanded the President's Challenge into a whole series of programs designed to help improve anyone's activity level. Young or old. It's about choosing to live healthier - and finding things
Fitness Tools - Great tools to get you going
- BMI Calculator
When you step onto the bathroom scale, the number you see doesn't necessarily tell you how healthy you are. Body Mass Index, or BMI, shows at a glance whether extra pounds translate into health risks. BMI expresses the relationship between weight
Yoga As A Fitness Program
Many of us as we age start getting arthritis. It's the wear and tear that is ongoing through the years that our bodies have been around. Yoga is perfect for you age. I don't see myself taking a full blown yoga class, but if you can find a chair yoga class, I promise you will reap great rewards with it. Check in your area or find a chair yoga tape that you can do at home
I found a form of exercise that really works for me. It is a toning table program. Not only is it keeping my joints in better shape, but it's also helping me to lose weight. There are a series of tables that electronically move you. The series is meant to exercise you without creating stress or overdoing the program. The program calls for each table use for 6 minutes. One helps you work your knees. One does sit ups. One moves you side to side. one actually stimulates walking. Many of these programs are covered by Silver Sneakers. Check your policy to see if you have that kind of coverage.
Fun Ideas For Senior Fitness
- Exercise Activity Ideas for Seniors & the Elderly
Exercise Activity Ideas for Seniors & the Elderly
- Fun Activities for Seniors: Over 100 Ways to Play
See a huge range of senior-friendly ideas for enjoyable pursuits related to games, sports, crafts, parties, the great outdoors, active learning, excursions, and more. And find out how play can improve your physical, emotional, and social well-being!
- Fun Ways for Older Adults to Stay Physically Active | National Institute on Aging
Being physically active with your family is a great way to stay healthy. Find ways to stay active in all 4 seasons.
Are You Challenged By Exercise?
Exercise can be repetitive and at time a little boring. There are a few steps you can take to make your exercise a little more interesting:
- Watch a movie while you walk on a treadmill
- Listen to an audiobook or some music while you work with weights
- Take photos on a nature hike
- Chat with friends while do stretches
- Walk the golf course instead of riding a cart
- Walk or play with your dog
Balance Your Exercise Plan
Remember, different types of exercise will go far in improving your overall health. Using different types of exercise in your routine will keep it interesting so you will keep going in the long run.
Balance exercises will help you maintain your stability while standing. That applies to just standing or moving around. Yoga, Tai Chi and posture exercise are great ideas to keep and improve your balance. Your balance and gait will be steady. These exercises also reduce your fear and keep you from falling.
Cardiovascular exercise uses large muscle groups in rhythmic motions over a period of time. It gets your heart pumping and may even leave you feeling a little short of breath. Cardio workouts include walking, stair climbing, swimming, hiking, cycling, rowing, tennis, and dancing.
Cardio helps lessen fatigue and reduces shortness of breath. It adds endurance for the things you do in the course of your day.
Strength training builds up your muscles with repetitive motion using weights, elastic bands or your own body weight. Strength training helps you reatain your bone mass, builds muscle and improves balance.
When you do flexibility exercises, you are challenging the ability of your joints to move freely. These exercises involve a lot of stretching. It increases your ability to move in your daily activity.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2008 Linda F Correa