When putting together
your senior exercise
program, it’s important to make sure you take a well-rounded approach.
The various components of fitness are like the ingredients of a cake.
If you leave one out, things don’t turn out quite right. Take a look at
each area below and see if there’s any you are neglecting.
Exercise – This should be the foundation of any senior
exercise program. In essence, cardiovascular exercise just means that
you are doing an activity that raises your heart rate above resting
level for an extended period of time. It does not need to be intense to
be of benefit. Instead, think more about how often you do it and for
You should aim for
thirty minutes or more at least three days a week, preferably every
day. This keeps your heart healthy and increases your energy levels.
Some of the most common ways to do cardiovascular training are by
walking, riding a stationary bike, water exercises, or using a rowing
Training – Strong muscles make life easier. Strength training
involves you using weights, bands, machines, or your own body weight to
place a stress on your muscles. This stress then encourages your
muscles to grow stronger. Your goal when doing a weight-training
workout should be to use each muscle group at least once. Focus on
breathing naturally and moving in a controlled manner, and don’t use a
weight that is beyond your ability level.
A typical senior
exercise program would include two or three days of strength training
per week. The strength workouts should be spaced out over the course of
the week so you don’t do two days in a row. You should do about ten
exercises for fifteen reps each. This will usually take about twenty
Exercises – Balance exercises are
the most commonly neglected component in most senior exercise programs.
But if you’re doing all that work to keep your heart in shape and your
muscles strong, it just makes sense that you would want to do balance
training as well. Good balance helps you control those strong muscles
in a coordinated way out in the real world.
should do balance
exercises as many days per week as possible. The good thing is that
they only take about ten minutes, and you can do them any time at home
or your health club.
Flexible muscles allow you to move your joints in a full range of
motion. Stretching should be done gently to the point of mild
discomfort, not beyond. Try to do a stretch for each major muscle group
and hold each one for at least thirty seconds.
The best time to
stretch is after your cardiovascular or strength training workout when
the muscles are warm. Warm tissue is more pliable. Flexibility work
only needs to take about ten minutes or less.
When you start to incorporate cardiovascular training, strength
training, flexibility, and balance training together,
each aspect of the program will benefit the other aspects, and your
body will be firing on all cylinders.
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