When I turned 70, my workouts did not appreciably change. But I had been training with resistance and doing cardio for over 50 years. My workout frequency actually increased, since I was no longer playing tennis or other competitive sports.
I did notice a greater vulnerability to sprains, tears and pain in general. As I write this now, I am dealing with a rotator cuff injury, self – induced and healing very slowly.
Here are a few guidelines:
- Check with your family physician before embarking on a new program
- Measure your blood pressure and pulse before and after a workout
- Warm up carefully before any significant exertion
- Begin slowly with lighter weights and fewer sets
- Include cardio – walking or jogging. Do not begin with sprints. Water aerobics and bicycling are good.
- Consider resistance cords or bands for lower impact to start
- Be assured that you can still make muscle gains and/or lose weight as a senior
Remember the words of George Bernard Shaw – “We don’t stop exercising because we grow old; we grow old because we stop exercising”. He is shown below.
Be sure that if you are starting out as a senior, that you get medical approval and then progress slowly.
Here is a complete set of resistance cords (or bands), suitable for serious workouts
Click here for information on a fitness tracker that measures body weight, body fat percentage, body mass index, bone mass, fat mass and 12 other health indices.
I have enjoyed treadmills at home for the last 20 years. Inclement weather is never a problem and I can moderate my speed, elevation and time as I work out. My present plan is to do a 30-minute treadmill program 3 mornings per week and 30 sets of rehab for shoulder / bodybuilding for the 3 other days each week. Rest on Sundays.
My treadmill program is as follows:
- To start at 2 mph
- To increase the rate of speed after every minute
- Thereby reaching 4.6 mph at the end
- To listen to music and to view outside activity (even tree leaves blowing) as I work out
It seems to me that a piece of indoor cardio equipment would be a sine qua non for anyone who wants a complete home workout gym or who is dedicating space for exercise.
Senior adults may especially benefit from having an indoor cardio option, since cool air conditioning in hot summer months certainly beats sweltering outdoor heat.
I like treadmills, but exercise bikes, recumbent bikes, climbers and rowing machines are also effective. In my opinion, Dick’s Sporting Goods has the best inventory of cardio equipment – and also the best prices. Check below. Look for fitness deals and then cardio equipment deals.
MY FAVORITE RESISTANCE MOVEMENTS
- V-UPS – This is my favorite abdominal exercise. It can be challenging, so don’t begin with 30 reps. Try 10 if you are new to workouts. From a floor position, raise your shoulders and legs at the same time, to approximate the shape of a V. See below.
- SEATED TWISTS – Sitting in a chair, twist your midsection to the left and then to the right, as you look forward, without twisting your shoulders. This will work the external oblique muscles to help reduce waist size. I do 100 reps. Begin with about 20 and move up from there.
- TRICEPS KICKBACKS – With dumbbells or resistance cords (attached at a door), lean over slightly and straighten your arm to the back to work the triceps muscles.
- CHEST COMPRESSION WITH BULLWORKER STEEL BOW – This is the best specific pectoral developer that I have found. The Steel Bow is only 20″ long and quite portable. The chest muscles are engaged when the handles at both ends are squeezed together for 10 – 12 reps. An isometric hold is included. With my current shoulder injury, I only do the isometric part, but I hold the squeeze for about 30 seconds. See the You Tube video for an illustration of the Steel Bow chest compression- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUTtg–NCls For complete information on the full line of Bullworker products, Click here
- LAT PULL WITH RESISTANCE CORDS – By anchoring resistance cords at a door, you may thoroughly work your back muscles (latissimus dorsi) by pulling the cords to your sides. It is helpful to vary the pulls by bringing the cords to the lower back, then working upward. I do 30 reps, but begin with about 12 if you are new. See image below.
- THE BASIC CURL- With dumbbells or by standing on the midpoint of resistance cords, “curl” each arm upward to shoulder level. You may do each arm separately or alternately.
Those who are over 70 will want to carefully avoid dehydration, overexertion and injuries from lack of warm-up. Effective warm-ups may be rope jumping, walking with high knees or jumping jacks.
Don’t forget swimming, bicycling and walking for outdoor cardio. Any cardio exercise will reduce the risk of heart disease and osteoporosis.
My focus has been on indoor workouts, since this is my niche and also because our “quarantined” way of life is still ongoing.
Muscle mass and definition may be increased at any age.
Let’s not become what the image below suggests. No excuses!
Please leave any comments or questions in the “Comments” section below. Or e-mail me, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be well and stay safe!