As we get older, exercise becomes more of a necessity so we can prevent common injuries and enjoy our later life. However, as our bodies age, certain types of exercise become more important than others. Incorporate these into your workout routine and your body will thank you!
1) Low-Impact Cardiovascular Exercise
Walking, riding a bike, swimming, using an elliptical trainer, or taking dance classes like Zumba are great ways to get your heart rate up without impact. Cardiovascular exercise will reduce your risk of heart disease, lower your blood pressure, and aid in weight reduction. The lower the impact, the happier your knees! Aim for 20-60 minutes at least 3 times per week.
2) Perfect Your Posture
Years of hunching over the computer, childcare, and incorrect movement patterns can wreck your posture and weaken your core. Try Pilates and yoga to realign your spine and resolve any bad habits you may have developed over the years.
3) Get Flexy
Range of motion work and stretching can help keep your joints running smoothly. Exercises like windmills, leg stretches, and abdominal rotations will help your posture and develop strength cardiovascular and musculoskeletal exercises. For optimal results, stretch before bed when your joints and muscles are warm.
4) Add Resistance to Your Routine
As our bones weaken and muscles atrophy with age, it becomes critical to incorporate a consistent weight routine along with cardiovascular exercise. Weight training will increase bone density and musculoskeletal health. You will recover better from surgeries and falls when your muscles are strong and being challenged regularly. If you’re just starting out, use machines and cables to assist your form and build strength, and then move to bodyweight, cable, and dumbbell routines to incorporate range of motion and postural work.
A recent study suggests that 80% of falls in the elderly population results in death. Balance training is critical to prevent falls and possible injury. Even standing on one leg while brushing your teeth is a good start to engage your core and fire up your proprioceptive muscles that increase visual-spatial awareness and strength. Aim to add at least 3 balancing and core exercises every time you hit the gym.