What are the benefits of exercise for the over 60s? One term I’ve come across is sarcopenia which is essentially muscle loss through aging. This effect starts to happen in our 30s. Broadly speaking we can lose 3-5% of our muscle mass every ten years; If we are and if we remain physically inactive. Aging does produce natural muscle loss but we can fight it, and lessen its effect on us, by incorporating weight training or the use of resistance bands into our fitness routines. That is definitely beneficial.
The effects of muscle loss
What happens when we lose muscle? We lose our strength and the ability to move easily and freely. Muscle loss also reduces our stamina, which is a sort of vicious circle, because if we don’t have stamina we are less likely to get up and do anything. I’ve included a link here to an article on muscle mass and function which shows clearly the importance of maintaining your muscle and incorporating strength training exercises into your routine.
The effect of exercise on energy levels
What can you look forward to after your regular home works have started to have a positive overall effect on your health? One of these is particularly true of cardiovascular exercise combined with the increase of testosterone from lifting weights. Some of the many benefits are:
You will feel more energised
Look fitter and trimmer
You will be stronger
You will have more stamina
More stamina and strength means higher energy levels
You will have increased levels of endorphins and adrenaline after working out
You will have better circulation of blood flow around the body
That last one is a big plus, better circulation has a positive effect on another part of adult life. I have to be careful what I write here. I do not want Google or more importantly my wife too think I’m writing a for a sex site. Here is an article on a male issue, of which exercise is a big part of the solution.
The mental health benefits of exercise
Exercise and increased levels of endorphins help to fight depression and improve your self-esteem. People who exercise regularly tend to do so because it gives them:
Recently I wrote a piece called Advice for older people who want to exercise; as articles go it wasn’t bad. But I wanted to write more and as I learn, I want to share that information. So I’m going to expand on that piece and give you more detailed information, to help you work out, what is right for your situation.
I’m still on the right side of 60 but I’m getting there fast, and to say I’m unfit would be a bit of an understatement. What I’m going to discuss today is still in the realm of common sense but applying it could make a lot of difference.
What should come first before any exercise at all?
The answer to that is medical advice, your Doctor can advise you on what care you need to take. Is there a certain type of exercise you can’t do or something you should take into account before starting an exercise programme? What personal limitations should you be aware of and take extra care with?
You don’t need to be Charles Atlas or that stretchy person from the fantastic 4 films and comics. Getting fit and active is simple, and with the right advice putting a fitness plan together is not a hard thing to do at all.
Do I need a personal trainer?
Everyone’s budget is different, mine does not include enough money for a personal trainer. What I did was research the internet. I spent hours and hours putting together a plan for me to improve my fitness, without injury. I took ownership and responsibility for the unfit state and condition I’d allowed myself to get into. By finding out the facts on how to improve my own health and mobility. For now and later on in life.
At a later date I may book a one off session with a trainer in my own home to get further help and advice. Working on the principle that two heads are better than one. But to get started I did not need that expense.
What are the right questions to research about a fitness plan?
That depends on what you want. But to start you thinking, consider this, what do you aim to achieve. I looked for information about the right exercise routines to follow and which fitness tools and products, I should be using to achieve the following:
My knees are shot so I needed to avoid injuring them further. I have not done any exercise in the last 30 years. So gathering the right information was important to me. In this particular case, I looked into low impact exercises. Exercises that would not place any extra strain on my joints.
Stick to the plan
The point being, people start in January and usually give up by February. That doesn’t work. It really takes willpower patience and time to get that toned fitter body. It is not going to happen overnight.
Commitment and persistence is the key.
You may have noticed here that I’m psyching myself up. This writing is part of my personal training and fitness routine. I’ve committing myself to a plan of action using my own home workouts combined with education and sharing
We live in a world where everything can be so easy. You want groceries, the supermarket delivers. You need a book or a pair of shoes, you can get them online. Basic exercise to get everyday items is almost a thing of the past. It is now far too easy to become sedentary. To become a couch potato. More simple examples of this are: Who goes to the bank to pay bills, who goes to a post office to tax a vehicle? Almost every aspect of our daily life, that used to require some sort of exertion can now be done online.
In a way we were forced to move our bodies, to get things done in previous years. We had to be more active. Now moving our bodies is a choice. And if you spend any time at all watching the news or reading the papers, facts about a growing obesity problem in the western world cannot have escaped your notice? Personally I only have to look at my own waist line to see the truth of it.
There are a lot of exercises that are perfect for doing at home. The point I’m rambling towards is a good way to stick to the plan is make it a regularly scheduled commitment.
Put it in your diary make and make it a must do thing.
Mixing with people matters as well.
If at all possible, involve a spouse partner or friend in some of; if not all of your chosen exercise activities.
Sociability matters and it will help.
I feel that I have added some value to the previous post. I will end this one with a few more of the tips I got during my research.
Unfortunately, not my favourite beer in this case but water and other non alcoholic fluids . Before during and after a workout. The advice was to actually drink more on a daily basis. Six to eight glasses of fluid a day was the amount I found as best advice. NHS Choicesa British health service site backed up that information.
If you can find someone to exercise with it will and does make it easier to stick to the plan. You will be less tempted to skip sessions if a friend is exercising with you. Perhaps a session in the park or a group activity in a local community centre of some sort?
The value of a schedule that you stick to, cannot be over emphasised. This is a golden rule. But remember to leave some rest times in-between your exercise days. There is nothing to stop you doing a short little extra home workout, if you really want to. But don’t burn yourself out. Stick to the plan.
Mix it up a bit. You will probably be doing some cardio workouts possibly some aerobics? Consider picking up some light weights which will give your results a boost. One way this will work is while walking briskly. You can pump your arms with the light weights.
Focus on improvement
Monitor and track your results aim to improve, not overnight for sure but over the weeks and months. Keep a record and track how much you are improving and how much closer you are getting to your goals.
Ok the last tip to share on this post is this.
There may come a time when nothing seems to be happening? Don’t worry just change your routine a bit. Fat may be turning into muscle your body may be saying “I can handle this much exercise now” Give your routine a boost and get things moving again. Don’t stop and don’t give up. The plateaus will and do stop and the improvements will start again.
Ok this is the 2nd in a series of posts. My fitness plan starts on Sunday so bookmark this blog and hopefully you will follow the series.
But make sure you check out posts by other writers on this site. There is a lot of very useful and helpful advice on many subjects related to home fitness routines. There are plenty of exercise tips and plans you could follow and learn from.
I would very grateful if you shared your story in the comments section.
Perhaps you have a question that I can answer from research I’ve already done into exercising and fitness? Or you could point me in an interesting new direction for fact finding. Any and all comments are welcome!
A Quick Guide for Seniors Who Want to Start the Exercising Habit
In general, when you have hit your 60’s, 70’s and 80’s in age terms, you have gotten to a senior position in your life. Unfortunately, as you get older you will automatically lose strength and muscle mass and the only way to regain some of this, and to help you to enjoy your elder years, is exercising. Exercising is a great way for you to recoup not only your strength but also your mobility and freedom.
If you haven’t really exercised for a while it is natural for you to want to avoid it, and to resist completing any form of physical exercise or effort. The majority of us are creatures of habit. However you can break old habits and it really is “never too late to start”. We can create new habits; all it really takes, is a mixture of desire and willpower!
21 Days to Form a Habit
Studies have shown us that if you complete an activity every day it will take around 3 weeks for it to become an unconscious habit. However, everyone is different and it could take some people longer or shorter than 21 days to get back into the routine.
The best thing to do initially is to complete your exercises or activity every day for 30 days and you are more likely to be successful in your physical fitness efforts going forward.
Focus on Your Rewards, Not the Work Involved
A saying that is widely used in the United States is “You catch more flies with sugar than with vinegar.” The meaning of this is that you are going to get better results with positive motivation rather than negative motivation.
You need to stay focused on what you are going to get out of all of your exercise efforts.
You are going to become stronger, more mobile and flexible.
Your self-esteem is going to improve and you are going to be more independent.
You are going to achieve your desired goal.
What is Your Reason?
Your grandchildren could be the reason you want to start exercising and getting fitter as you want to be able to play with them or you may be unhappy with the way that you look? In order to have better success, make sure you are focussing on the rewards that you are looking to get out of this rather than the actual physical exercise itself.
Start to Change up Your Routines
You may wish to start off your new fitness routines at home but here is a warning. Many people get bored of exercising quickly! If you keep doing the same routine or exercise program every day, after a few weeks it is going to become really boring! and chances are you will stop; that will mean you do not achieve what got you started in the first place. You are well advised to join a club or group, and mix things up a bit. Make your exercising social and interesting.
Or… You will lose interest as it will become dull and monotonous. So remember to change your program and include different activities like walking, aerobics, swimming, tennis. You could join some classes like Yoga or Pilates. There are a lot of programmes aimed at helping people who are “not as young as they used to be” get fit and active!
By doing this and mixing up your routines, you will look forward to your next exercise session much more. You will have successfully created new habits and you will be well on the road to creating the outcome you desired, the goal that made you start exercising in the first place. A lot of this post is just pure common sense, but I am sure you know that.