A healthy lifestyle becomes more important when you are getting older. Regular physical activity will not only preserve the flexibility of the joints, allow longer to remain independent and slow the appearance of signs of old age, but will help increase energy, cope with certain symptoms of the disease and prevent the occurrence of dementia.
In addition to good for the body, exercises will also help maintain mental acuity, reaction, memory and a good mood. Physical activity is your ticket to healthy life.
If you have difficulties with mobility, disability, weight problems, trauma or diabetes, then, of course, you should be more careful with the selection of exercises. However, this is not the reason to put a cross on fitness. The doctor will help you to choose the type of activity according to your individual needs.
Why it can be diffucult to start fitness after 60
- You may have problems with maintaining regular physical activity or the probability of a breakdown;
- You may feel insecure due to illness, injury or fear of getting damaged;
- A person unfamiliar with fitness may simply not be clear where to start;
- In the end, you can consider yourself already too old and fragile, or think that physical exercises are not designed for you.
Although this may all seem like a good reason to refuse training, in fact, age is not the reason to stop living an active life. You can choose for yourself the kind of activity that does not require excessive stress from you. Even chained to the home is not a hindrance to the movement for better health.
Myths about fitness for the seniors
The majority of older people who decided to improve their physical situation face errors that prevent them from realizing their plans:
The myth of the inevitability of painful old age. “There is no sense in physical activity for the seniors because I will grow old anyway.”
It is fitness that will help you to postpone infirmity and avoid such troubles as diabetes, colon cancer, hypertension, senile obesity, etc.
The myth of the need for peace. “We need to save strength and relax more.”
Studies prove that a sedentary lifestyle is especially harmful to people older than 50 years and every year the effect of hypodynamia on the body is increasingly harmful. It is inaction that often causes older people to lose the ability to do many things on their own. Healthy workloads will significantly reduce the likelihood of hospitalization and use of drugs, which will also prolong your life.
The myth of fragility. “Being engaged in fitness, I can fall.”
In fact, it is physical activity that helps prevent bone loss and improves balance and reaction rate, effectively reducing the risk of falling and getting injured.
The myth of the missed time. “It is too late. That would be ten years ago…”
You just can’t be too old for a healthy lifestyle. If you have never done anything like this before, start with slow walking or other sparing actions.
The myth of inferiority. “I’m limited in movement and can not sit still.”
Indeed, people who are chained to a chair, using a cane or walker, need a particular training regime. However, you can still lift light weights, perform uncomplicated stretching, and do “sit-down” aerobics. This, in any case, will help you increase the range of movements, improve muscle tone and help fight cardiovascular diseases.
Benefits of active life
With age, the metabolism slows down, and maintaining a healthy weight becomes a problem. Activities help maintain and increase metabolism and build muscle mass, which will help burn more calories. The closer your weight is the norm, the better the effect of any recovery. In addition to creating an additional burden on the body as a whole, excess fat accumulates around the internal organs, which leads to a deterioration in their work.
Exercises have a positive effect on the body’s ability to resist the action of various acute and chronic diseases. Among the many benefits of training, it’s not the least of them that they stimulate the immune system, improve the heart, normalize blood pressure, increase the strength of bones and put the digestive system in order.
Exercises improve joint mobility, flexibility and balance. Promote accuracy of coordination and help alleviate the symptoms of arthritis.
The benefits of fitness for your mental state
- Exercises will improve your sleep. Sleep problems are not an inevitable consequence of aging, and the quality of sleep is important for your well-being and health in general. Fitness will help you fall asleep more quickly and sleep deeper;
- Endorphins produced by physical activity will increase your mood and help you feel better;
- Improving coordination will help you maintain confidence in your body;
- Exercises involve the regulatory functions of the brain and keep it active, which will help you retain memory functions, the accuracy of cognitive processes and prevent senile dementia.
Where to begin?
- Don’t forget to consult a doctor and, taking into account the peculiarities of your condition, discuss the activities that you should avoid;
- Consider and take into account your current health problems. For example, people with diabetes may need to adjust the nutrition and medication plan with training in mind;
- Start with the simplest. If you have not trained for a long time, a sharp transition to active exercises can do more harm than good. Choose a program with a slow increase in intensity. Try light interval training at intervals of ten minutes twice a day. And type in one type of exercise no more often than once a week. During training, avoid overheating and always keep water at hand;
- Keep the exercise schedule at least 3 or 4 weeks before you increase the intensity. But make an effort to adhere to it;
- Set short-term goals for yourself. Do not immediately aim at complete normalization of weight or landing on the twine;
- Don’t be afraid to admit that you are having problems. Exercises should not make you feel bad. If you feel dizzy or short of breath, chest pain, pressure buildup, cold sweats, the pain of any kind, stop the workout and consult a doctor if necessary. Urgently seek help if you notice redness or swelling of the joints.
How to build a balanced training plan
You may think that this is difficult and requires specialized skills but remember – an active way of life is not science. Just remember that mixing different exercises helps to dispel boredom and monotony, and thus increase efficiency from training. The key to choosing the right exercises should be those types of activity that you like most.
Groups of exercises that you should to perform
Cardio. These practices involve a large number of muscles for a long time. During such exercises, you can feel the adrenaline rush and even start to gasp a little. Acceptable for you program includes walking, climbing stairs, swimming, hiking, cycling, rowing, tennis, dancing. These exercises are essential for increasing stamina, reducing fatigue and shortness of breath. Such training will help you to raise your activity in everyday life: for long walks, occupations by households, maintenance of their needs, etc.
Power training. These exercises help build muscle tissue by systematically repeating movements. When they are performed, we usually use weights or means to create external resistance to your efforts: simulators, dumbbells, elastic bands, and other sports equipment. Such training, in addition to muscle building, also helps to prevent bone loss, improve balance and coordination. They will help you respond faster and more accurately in situations of possible falling or injuries. Moreover, increasing the strength will make you more independent in cases where you just need to open a jar or pick up an item.
Flexibility exercises. These exercises will help you to better master your body, expanding the range of possible movements. They will allow you to keep the health of your joints and muscle tone longer, which will also make the body less prone to injury. You will find it easier to clean up the house, serve yourself in the bathroom and operate with various items.
Exercises on balance. Yoga, tai chi or exercises for posture or easy static gymnastics will help you learn to control the balance of the body better. This will improve your posture, spine, remove most of the back pain and help maintain speed and posture while walking.
Activities that are good for older people
- Hiking. This is probably the best way to start training after a long break. It doesn’t require professional equipment or study methods. All you need is comfortable shoes;
- Group fitness classes. This will help get not only additional motivation, but also make new friends with similar interests. People engaged in groups tend to miss training less often;
- Aqua aerobics and water sports. Training in the water is excellent for people who are overloaded, as well as for those who have difficulty moving in any part of the body. Water reduces the load on the joints and helps to avoid overexertion;
- Yoga. Helps to develop flexibility, endurance and balance. It can be adapted to any level of preparation;
- Tai Chi and Qigong. These are the varieties of gymnastics in motion, which owe their appearance to martial arts. Unfortunately, they will only be available to you if you live in the capital or major centers.
You can come up with many more ways that will suit you. Although this is not a fitness in the usual sense, it will help you to “swing” before going to active training if you have had a long break in activity.
It’s not at all terrible if you do not have the opportunity to study with a coach or attend a fitness center. After all, if your goal is not to achieve any sports results, then you can do it at home.
Of course, the coach will be able to coordinate your training much more efficiently. If the only reason that you are training at home is a constraint to younger visitors, then these doubts are not justified. Most regulars of the gym will gladly help you with advice.
The most remarkable in an active way of life is that it gives a charge of vivacity for other activities. It may be difficult for you to start, but getting used to it, you probably will not want to give up training.