How To Modify Your Workout Routine As You Age
According to the CDC, approximately 28 percent of Americans over 50 are not physically active. That’s 31 million people! If you’re one of those people (and even if you’re not), you may wonder how you can start working out or modify your workouts. Since one of the biggest hurdles to working out as we get older is the new limitations of our bodies, here are some ways to adapt your exercise routine to your new (and still amazing) body.
Is Exercise Important As We Age?
Absolutely! It can help maintain and improve muscle strength, balance, and flexibility. It can also help prevent chronic health issues like heart disease and diabetes. And, it feels good! Group exercise classes are good for accountability and offer the bonus of making new friends who have similar interests.
Why Working Out Is Important As We Mature
Regular Exercise Can Help You Lose or Maintain Weight
It’s no secret that it can be harder to keep off extra weight as we age. But exercise can help with weight loss and maintenance by burning calories and building muscle mass.
Regular Exercise Can Increase Mobility, Flexibility, and Balance
Regular exercise helps maintain muscle strength, making everyday tasks like climbing stairs or carrying groceries easier. Falls are a common concern for older adults, but exercise can help decrease your risk of falling by improving strength and balance – and help you catch yourself if you do stumble.
But It’s Important Not To Over-Exercise
It’s important to note that exercise is essential, but you shouldn’t push yourself to the point of exhaustion or injury. Always listen to your body and take breaks when needed. And don’t forget the warm-up and cool-down stretches! Taking time to stretch properly before and after your workout can help prevent injury.
How To Maintain Your Fitness Now And Later
Here are some tips for maintaining your fitness:
- Stay active throughout the day. Take a walk in the morning, park farther away from stores, and take the stairs instead of the elevator. It all adds up!
- Incorporate resistance training into your exercise routine. Resistance training can help maintain muscle mass and strength as you age.
- Make exercising daily a part of your routine. It will become a habit and get easier.
- Try something new, like pickleball or dance. Keep workouts fun!
- Always hydrate during exercise. Water is essential for healthy bodies.
- Most notably, listen to your body and don’t push yourself too hard. You know yourself best, so trust your instincts and take breaks when necessary.
Exercise Ideas For Healthy Aging
Many types of exercises can benefit older adults. Here are some options to consider:
Yoga is a great way to improve flexibility, balance, and overall strength. It can reduce anxiety and increase mindfulness, leading to improved overall well-being. Some research has shown that it may even lower oxidative stress (and therefore reduce your risk of high blood pressure).
Like yoga, Pilates can improve flexibility and balance while simultaneously increasing muscle strength. It can also enhance joint health, give you better posture, and improve your circulation. Pilates is easy to modify for different needs and fitness levels and can be practiced in a class or at home with videos or equipment.
Aerobic exercise (such as walking, dancing, or biking) can improve cardiovascular health and endurance. These exercises can also help you maintain a healthy weight, increase bone density, and improve your overall mood. They can even help you sleep better!
Swimming is one of our favorite exercises for seniors. It’s low-impact and easy on the joints while still providing an excellent cardiovascular workout. And if you have arthritis, the water’s buoyancy can relieve joint pain. In fact, research shows that swimming and hydrotherapy produce significantly more improvement in joint pain, tenderness, and range of movement than other activities. Swimming can also improve balance and flexibility.
Weight Training (with proper technique and supervision)
Weight training may not be the first exercise that comes to mind for seniors and older adults, but it’s a terrific way to maintain muscle mass and reduce signs of aging. It can also improve bone density, joint health, balance, and overall strength. However, using proper form and technique with weight training is vital to prevent injury. Many gyms offer classes or personal trainers specifically for older adults, or you can work with a physical therapist to develop a safe weight training routine.
We Value Your Overall Health & Fitness
At Roland Park Place, we value our residents’ overall health and fitness. That’s why we offer a variety of unlimited fitness classes, including aerobics, swimming, and a fitness studio to use at your own pace. Join us and improve your physical well-being in a safe and supportive environment. Contact us today to learn more about our community and see why our residents are proud to call us their home.