Senior Strength Training: A Vital Part OF A Fitness Routine
Senior strength training provides many benefits that can help improve the quality of life for older adults. As we age, we lose important strength and muscle mass. As this happens, seniors begin to lose the ability to move freely and with confidence. Balance and good posture can also be affected.Every day activities begin to become more and more difficult as time passes. The good news is that this trend can be improved or even reversed with proper resistance types of exercise.
If you were to choose just one form of exercise, it should be some type of strength building exercise.
Here are good reasons to consider strength building:
- Lose Weight
- Improve Strength
- Improve Balance
- Improve Mood/Self-Confidence
- Help prevent cardiovascular disease and other chronic illnesses
- Improve Mobility/Flexibility
- Every Day Activities Made Easier
- Build Muscle
- Build Bone Mass
You only need to spend 2-3 times per week to reap the benefits of this type of training. You would perform 1-3 sets of each exercise for the total body.
You only need to observe a few tips to make your training safe. (1) Warm up for about 5-10 minutes before and after exercise. Marching in place or walking outside for a few minutes is all you need.A few stretching exercises before and after is also a good thing to do. (2) Observe good posture as you do each exercise. (3) Start with very light weights. Gradually progress to heavier weights as you get stronger.(4) Make sure to use good exercise form to prevent injury.
OTHER STRENGTH BUILDING ACTIVITIES
Senior strength training can be fun when you try other forms of training such as:
- Tai Chi
- Resistance Bands
- Body Weight Exercises
Here is a sample routine to try:
Half Squat- with dumbbells- Hold two dumbbells at your sides. Squat half way to the floor. Return to a standing position. Keep your back straight as you keep your eyes toward the front
Shoulder presses- with dumbbells- Raise two dumbbells to your shoulders. Press both weights overhead. Lower and repeat. Again, keep your back straight as you press.
Plank- Lie down on the floor or mat. Raise yourself on to your forearms. You are in a push up type position. As you keep your back straight, tighten you abdominal muscles and hold the position for 10-60 seconds.
Bent-over dumbbell row- Hold two dumbbells at your sides. Bend over at the waist. Hold the weights just above the floor. Raise each dumbbell up to your chest. Lower and repeat.
Biceps curls- with dumbbells- Stand with dumbbells at your sides. Turn your hands palms forward. Curl each weight up to your chest. Lower and repeat.
Calf raises- Stand with dumbbells at your sides. Raise up from your heals as high as you can. Lower and repeat.
Crunches- Lie on the floor. Cross your arms at your chest. Tighten your abdominal muscles. Slightly raise your shoulders upwards. Keep your lower back on the floor. Lower shoulders and repeat.
Perform 12-15 repetitions for each exercise. After a brief rest, repeat each exercise for 1-3 sets.
For seniors interested in turning back the clock, resistance exercise may be the most important physical activity they can do. The benefits are well worth the effort.
Be sure to consult your doctor before beginning this type of activity. Take your time to learn the exercises and the proper way to do them.
It is important that you make resistance training a part of your daily life. senior strength training
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