Exercise for Seniors / Golden Oldies

Many people over the age of 50 think that they are too old or frail to exercise. Staying active, throughout our lives, will help us achieve a positive outlook, during our older years, along with living a fuller life in our youth. Remember it is never too late to take care of yourself.

Taking your First Steps:

Remember that it is never too late and we are never too old to begin an exercise program. Before embarking on any training program it is worthwhile having a medical check up, especially if you have been sedentary or have either current injuries or hereditary medical conditions.

Areas to look at within the web site are in the Fitness Section under Home Exercises, Stretching, Body warmers, Aerobic and Strength training. Also the motivation section under Fit Tips will give you some added help.

Your three main areas that you need to look at are flexibility, aerobic training and weight training.

FLEXIBILITY

Flexibility is important as it helps prevent your muscles becoming short and tight, which can lead to injury. The greater range of movement that you have, the easier it is for you to perform simple everyday tasks such as climbing the stairs.

Before you begin your exercise training, either aerobic or with weights, you must always warm-up and stretch. Your aim is to gradually increase the heart rate, which in turns warms your muscles up, making them more pliable, ready then to be stretched and worked.

Begin your warm-up with some simple mobility exercises, which will help lubricate your joints with your body's natural lubricant, synovial fluid. Aim to work from your feet up to your head, so that you avoid missing any area.

Start by standing on one leg, holding a chair for balance, rotate your foot in both directions, then lift and lower the toes whilst the foot is off the floor.

Move onto the knee joint, again holding onto a chair; simply bend the leg taking your foot upwards towards your buttocks. Repeat slowly 4-5 times, and then change legs to perform both exercises on the other leg.

Move onto your hip joint. Here again hold for balance taking your leg only a few inches (6-10) to your front, then to the side finishing off at the rear. Repeat 4-5 times making the movements a little larger each time. Keep the leg straight and under control at all times, working both sides.

For your middle, stand straight with feet shoulder width apart, bending slowly each side under control, taking your hand down the outside of your thigh. Avoid leaning forward or back taking only small movements 2-3 inches each side.

Work your arms together, bend and straighten your arms at the elbow, in a slow motion 4-6 times followed by circular movements in both directions with the wrists.

Lift and lower the shoulders upward towards your ears, followed by small circular movements both forward and back for 3-5 repetitions.

Finish off with slow turns of the neck, aiming to look over the shoulder, followed by simply looking down at the floor, then taking your head to a normal position.

Never force any of the movements, stopping immediately if you feel any pain.

Learn about Aerobic Training (Heart and Lungs) or ticker training on the next page.

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