As you get older, your body becomes less supple, your joints lose their flexibility and your muscles weaken. This is the perfect time to start a healthy lifestyle plan, in this article, you will learn some simple yet effective methods for exercise for over 60s. You will also learn about the benefits of exercising as you age.
Why Exercise Is Important
Exercise is an essential part of living a healthy and fulfilling lifestyle. Incorporating physical activity into your day to day life can improve your health and reduce the risk of developing various diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cancer and heart disease. Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise per day to improve health and boost the immune system. Here are some of the benefits of regular exercise for over 60:
Benefits of Exercise
- Live longer
- Reduce the risk of heart disease
- Manage your weight
- Reduce the risk of high blood pressure
- Look and feel better
- More energy
- Strengthen bones and muscles
- Faster recover from illness
- Look fitter and younger
- Better mood
Exercises To Try
Exercising should be something you incorporate into your daily life, if you are just starting out, start slow and simple. Here are some easy, yet effective keep fit exercises for over 60s to include in your exercise regime:
Walking is one of the easiest exercises to include in your day to day physical activity plan. Aim for 30 minutes of brisk walking daily. There are several benefits of walking 30 minutes a day, here are just a few of those benefits:
- Improve cardiovascular health
- Decrease excess body fat
- Improve muscle power and endurance
- Reduce anxiety and depression
- Reduce the risk of osteoporosis
- Improve overall health
Swimming is one of the most effective exercise options for over 60s because it places little or no stress on the joints and you can burn up to 300 calories every 30 minutes. Swimming reduces stress levels and increases strength and endurance. Try to swim for 30 minutes two to three times a week.
Here are swimming exercise benefits:
- Increases the heart rate without putting stress on your joints
- Builds endurance, muscle and bone strength
- Tones muscles and reduces excess fat
- Strengthens the heart and lungs
Dancing is a fun and effective cardiovascular workout. However, if you have problematic joints, take it slow. Start with slow and graceful arm movements to slow music, do this daily until you build your strength up.
Stretching should be something you engage in daily, be cautious and perform gentle stretches before you workout to prevent injury.
Cycling is an excellent example of a low impact form of exercise. The safest way of incorporating cycling into your workout routine is to utilize a stationary exercise bike. Start off slow and work your way up to 30 minutes of cycling three to four times a week. You should be aiming for an effective low intensity workout as opposed to a high intensity workout. You should be able to comfortably hold a conversation whilst exercising.
Low impact cardiovascular exercise is highly beneficial for over 60s, here are some of the benefits of low impact cardio:
- Less stress for the joints
- Build strength and endurance slowly and safely
- Learn what works best for your body
Low Impact Weight Lifting Exercises
Weight lifting strengthens the muscles and bones however, heavy lifting is not recommended for over 60’s unless you are an experienced, seasoned weight lifter, low impact weight lifting exercises is best. The great thing about low impact strength training is that you can perform them for 10 minutes a day for the rest of your life making it easy and enjoyable. Low impact strength training is more sustainable for over 60’s, try some of these simple low impact weight lifting exercises at home or at the gym:
Dumbbell Biceps Curls
Remember to stretch before you perform weight lifting exercises to warm up the muscles and prevent injury:
Hold two lightweight dumbbells in your palms, with your wrists turned upwards, slowly bend your arms toward your chest. Try doing one set of ten biceps curls and work your way up to the three sets over time.
Dumbell Triceps kickbacks
Hold the same lightweight dumbbells, but this time your wrists should be facing each other and the weights should be vertical and facing upwards. Feet hip-width apart and dumbbells by your sides, slowly push the dumbells back until your arms are almost straight, repeat ten times, work your way up to the three sets of ten.
Leg strengthening kickbacks
Use light ankle weights, hold on to a stable chair or bar and kick one leg back with your knee slightly bent. Repeat this move ten times and work your way to three sets of ten repetitions.
Healthy Lifestyles and Life Expectancy
Healthy life expectancy is how many years you are likely to live in a healthy state. Life expectancy is how many years you are likely to live. Granted, you would most probably want to live out the rest of your years in a healthy and happy state. Therefore, it is vital that you incorporate physical activity into your day to day life; in addition to eating a healthy and balanced diet that includes plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, lean protein, calcium rich foods and plenty of healthy fats to increase your healthy life expectancy, and to improve your overall quality of life as you age.