Okay, you’re getting old. Please don’t take offense because I am. I’ve been where you are in life, and perhaps for a little longer. I’ve also been studying exercise and exercising for years, long before I was considered ‘old.’
Quite frequently, it is not the exercise itself that offers a significant challenge to an elderly person. After all, we’ve encountered and overcome numerous challenges throughout our lives.
No, the exercise is not always the issue.
Actually, the largest issue for anyone considering a senior fitness program is the same one that younger people encounter.
When you can’t see any genuine progress on a project, it’s difficult to keep working on it. It’s much more difficult when you don’t know what ‘development’ truly means.
I’m not going to tell you how many minutes, how many times a week, how much weight you should lift, and so on. A lot will rely on who you are, where you are in your fitness journey, where you want to go, and what type of exercise you pick, to mention a few factors.
First and first, let us eliminate those who do not need to read this.
If you’re working out with the hopes of participating in a sport or fitness activity, you probably don’t need to read this. You will be exercising at a far higher level than someone who is simply wanting to be healthy and live a longer life.
If you have specific health issues or concerns and are exercising to address them, while this essay may provide some food for thought, you should definitely listen to the advice of the health care provider you are working with.
If you are a regular person who wants to stay healthy, fit, and maybe live a longer life, keep reading. We are not going to reach any definitive conclusions, but we will discuss a few ideas.
There are two basic types of exercise to consider:
- Muscle building
- Cardiovascular fitness
Why didn’t I add any stretches?
Well, flexibility is key, and I advocate it if you can fit it in. However, many seniors will discover that achieving the necessary activity in the two areas I mentioned may not leave them with the time, energy, or willingness to add the extra. Also, I’ve discovered that if you implement the two things I suggested, you’ll probably see an improvement in flexibility anyhow.
Yoga is one approach to improve strength and flexibility. You will, however, need to add some type of cardiovascular workout.
That is the problem.
Almost every type of exercise will assist one or both of these areas, but attaining both benefits frequently needs more time and effort.
Fortunately, someone starting a senior fitness program will not have to compete with a younger exerciser.
According to some experts, you should walk 10,000 steps every day. Others argue that 10 minutes of exercise every day is sufficient. Some people urge you to drop 10 pounds. Others advocate for an hour and a half of exercise each week.
Most people find that striving for one of these makes meeting the others challenging.
Trying to do all of the exercise you believe you should receive on a daily basis might be a real buzzkill. When you start to worry if your fitness regimen is working, motivation begins to fade.
First and foremost, acknowledge that some everyday activity, particularly in a senior fitness program, is preferable than a few, dispersed, intense exercise sessions at specified times and locations.
Second, combining strength training and cardiovascular activity might result in a more complete workout experience. To put it another way, do part of one and then some of the other. While it may be ideal to combine many minutes of exercise for cardiovascular advantages, performing some strength training now and some aerobic activity later can work well for the older exerciser… if done frequently.
Finally, doing something is preferable than doing nothing… as long as you do not attempt to accomplish too much at once. Because “doing anything” might include gardening, swimming, doing laundry, mowing the lawn, or lifting weights, you can mix enjoyable activities, required tasks, and simple exercising to receive the amount of activity you require for health and fitness.
As I stated at the outset, my objective is not to provide you with minutes and measurements, but rather to provide you with suggestions for senior exercise motivation. Knowing you can accomplish it without going overboard is a fantastic starting step.