It's common knowledge that seniors must engage in regular physical activity as they get older to maintain wellness. But many find that brisk exercise is rough on the joints and opt to take on light workouts, such as yoga and swimming. But experts are now suggesting that older adults amp up their exercise routines to incorporate more intensive activities.
According to New Straits Times, adults turning 50 may benefit from adjusting their workout routines to focus more on building muscle mass. As the body ages, the joints become stiffer, the ability to recover from injury decreases and seniors tend to experience a loss in lean muscle. For instance, women who don't practice resistance training can lose up to 10 pounds every 10 years in lean body mass alone. However, the body is capable of building muscle into your 90s. So, it's not only important to maintain lean mass as you get older, but it's also an entirely reachable goal.
Seniors may want to consider altering their daily exercise activities to include strength training. Try lifting weights, which not only tones and enhances the muscles but also improves posture and can help decrease your chance of an injury to the lower back. If you're new to the exercise, start out with a hand weight that's easy to grasp and doesn't cause strain to lift. Add more repetitions and weight as you build strength.
While muscle building is a key tool for wellness as a senior, cardiovascular training is also essential. Aerobics such as walking, dancing and jogging help reduce weight and work the large muscles in the body. Be sure not to push yourself too hard – intensive movements like high jumps can lead to injury. Additionally, when engaging in physical activity, you should be able to pass the "talk test" (being able to carry on a conversation while exercising). Seniors should keep in mind that older adults typically need more time to warm up and cool down after exercising, so ample stretching before and after working out are necessary.
Experts believe that, along with increasing energy and leading to a more toned body, these forms of brisk physical activity can potentially offset the physiological changes that tend to come with aging, and they may reduce the risk of chronic diseases.