Physical Fitness for Senior Citizens

The baby boomers are the largest generation in our history.  As they start to turn to senior citizens, talking the important steps to maintain their health will become more and more important.

Doctor Parking (Photo credits: www.myparkingsign.com)

So to help those who are turning 65…or who have already done so…I wanted to put some simple to follow steps together so that those who wish can regain their strength and vitality.

Step 1: Get a thorough physical exam from your physician.  You need an honest appraisal of your health with your doctor to determine what your current condition is.  From this, you will learn not only what you current medical condition is [ie: if you are diabetic, high blood pressure, need to lose weight, etc…] but also have a conversation with your doctor to find out some of the weight loss tips you will need to follow in order to get in shape.

Step 2:  I am going to recommend the best overall exercise you can do…WALKING!  Why would I say so…because walking:

  • Can be done anywhere
  • Is free to do
  • Anyone can do it
  • No special equipment needed

And so long as you do it long enough…30 minutes at least…and strenuously enough…aiming to reach a 4.0 mph pace…this is one of the best workouts you could consider.

Step 3: Perhaps the biggest misnomer about exercise is that it has to involve ‘working out.’  Just because you are not sweating in a gym doesn’t mean that you aren’t exercising.  Here are a few ideas…

  • Playing with your grandchildren
  • Washing your car
  • Home remodeling
  • Dancing
  • Gardening
  • Yard work

All of these will get your heartbeat up without you going to the gym.

Step 4: Strength training-The best way to build muscle, lose weight, maintain strong bones, ward off osteoporosis and fight off the effects of age is by strength training.  Now, men won’t have the problem that women will have with that.  But just think about things this way…

The key to losing weight and regaining your health is to increase your metabolism so that your burns more calories when you are not working out.  And the only way to effectively do, as I said, this is to speed up your metabolism.  To do this is a natural and holistic fashion; there is one way to accomplish this…to add muscle to your frame.

In addition, for women strength training has the added benefit of strengthening bones so that the effects of ailments such as osteoporosis can be lessened or eliminated.

Now, I am not suggesting to anyone here that they have to start lifting heavy weights or compete in the World’s Strongest Man competition.  Quite the contrary, I am suggesting that you develop the discipline to do 20-30 minutes of resistance band and body weight workouts…from home…2-3 days a week.  Done properly, if you do resistance band exercises from home you will be able to obtain the same workout without having to go to the gym.

Step 5: Yoga…this one the guys will resist, but don’t knock it until you have tried it.  Yoga increases strength, flexibility and endurance.  And because it is a very low impact workout it is great for people with joint problems.

Step 6: Explore other avenues of cardiovascular endurance.  If you are bored with walking…especially if you do it on the treadmill at the gym…here are a few alternatives for you.

  • Elliptical machine [cross country skiing]
  • Step machine
  • Swimming
  • Step aerobics
  • Kickboxing
  • Rowing machine, etc…

There are plenty of options for you to choose from to get your heartbeat up.  The choice is up to you.  Find something you enjoy to do and start moving.

Step 7: Eating right.  I will mention it here even though your doctor probably talked to you about changing your diet and adding less processed foods at your physical.  Make sure to listen to your doctor’s recommendations regarding your intake of sugar and salt, as well as saturated fat that can raise your cholesterol.

About the author:

Tony Rovere is an advocate for senior citizens and elder health issues having to deal with the complexities of the Medicaid process following his mother’s heart attack.

He now shares his insights on care giving and senior issues on his blog, StuffSeniorsNeed, which was created to help senior citizens and baby boomers who have become caregivers.

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Why Resistance Training Will Help you Lose Weight Faster

Why Resistance Training Will Help you Lose Weight Faster

When you are trying to lose weight, it can seem like an uphill battle. You may be feeling like you will never reach your goal weight. Don’t give up: there is a simple solution to your weight struggles. When you add resistance, or strength training into your exercise routine, you will send your metabolism into overdrive. Your body will become a lean, mean fat-burning machine. If you are already doing cardio, adding 20 minutes of resistance training 3 times a week won’t seem like much trouble at all. If you are not exercising at all, you may have to look at ways to fit in some time during your busy day. Try walking after dinner instead of watching your favourite show.

The reason that resistance training is so effective is that it builds muscle, and will add definition to your body. You won’t look like a body builder, but you will be toned and defined. Muscle weighs twice as much as fat, and burns calories at twice the rate that fat does. To put it simply: more muscle = more calorie-burning. You should aim for at least 20 minutes three times a week. You can go to a gym if you already have a membership, or you can purchase some DVDs to do at home. There are a variety of instructors and workouts available, so you are sure to find something you’ll enjoy.

 

Kettle Bell training has become quite popular the past few years, because it combines cardio with resistance training, and is great for everyone from beginners to advanced exercisers. Pilates is also extremely popular, because you can combine mat exercises with resistance machines like the reformer. There are a number of light weights and resistance bands that you can purchase from your local department store. They are not expensive, and are extremely beneficial.

Once you’ve incorporated strength training into your regular exercise routine, you will notice changes almost immediately. Your clothes will fit better, your arms, legs and butt will be toned and you will feel great too. Don’t forget to eat properly; just because you are exercising doesn’t mean you can start eating chips and chocolate again.

When you are fit and healthy, other areas of your life will improve as well. You will feel more confident and more in control. You will have the self-esteem you need to go for that job, or that promotion. You will not have any issues going into a store and buying sexy clothes.

Most people don’t think about changing their insurance policies once they have lost weight and gotten healthy. When you are at a healthy weight, you are at less risk of disease and illness, like heart attacks and diabetes. Your insurance company may want to do another medical, but once they confirm that you are healthy, they will reduce your health insurance rate. The money you save can go into a bank account or an investment fund. You can use it to go on vacation so you can show off your body in your new bikini.

 

Johnny Guyzer has been helping hundreds of people lose weight over his 15 year career as a personal fitness coach. He also contributes to sites like Kanetix.ca where you can save money on health, travel, and life quotes.

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