Aging calls for adjusting to a number of changes, and the way we exercise after 50 and care for our bodies is among the most significant ones. We all know the necessity of staying physically active, but might not realize that the old tried-and-true physical exercise methods we’ve long practiced need to be customized, due to an increase in injuries, soreness in muscles and joints, as well as overall fatigue. For example:
- Resistance more than cardio. Although aerobic exercise is definitely still important for heart health, resistance training is crucial to fight the natural decline in bone density and muscle mass. A recent study also linked weight training with enhanced memory, even when performed just once weekly for as few as 20 minutes. The idea should be to perform twelve repetitions of each set of resistance exercises several times each week, increasing the resistance level when it becomes simpler to perform the exercises.
- Consistently warm up. Because of decreased elasticity in tendons that happens later in life, warm-ups are necessary. Stretching out the muscles you are preparing to exercise, plus a full body warm-up with light cardio exercise such as a walk on the treadmill, is highly recommended, a minimum of 2 or 3 times a week. Health benefits consist of enhanced flexibility, increased heart rate and body temperature and better readiness for any muscles which are about to be exercised.
- Switch over to interval training. It is advised that interval training – high intensity exercises alternated with considerably easier “rest” periods – provides a better benefit when compared with a consistent exercise pace to burn off more calories and to enhance 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 could mean several days in between exercise sessions. Take note of any kind of aching experienced and the impact it’s having on the next workout to discover the right time period to rest in between.
Be sure to check with your physician for personal recommendations on beneficial exercise routines, and if you’ve a client or loved one who needs support in giving the motivation, guidance, and transportation needed to stick to an exercise program and boost wellbeing, contact All Care In-Home Care Solutions of Oregon’s Rogue Valley at (541) 857-9195. Our professional caregivers are experienced in helping seniors optimize health and overall wellbeing, and we help make exercising, and other activities, more fulfilling.