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.
The best exercises to start doing, are the ones that you enjoy doing, making sure that they are safe for you. Begin any activity in short bouts. Don't start out too hard, begin slowly, setting yourself achievable goals, i.e. aiming to walk a mile in the park after two weeks.
Training with a partner is a great way to stay motivated as both parties can encourage each other. Likewise joining a suitable class, for example an over 50’s aerobic class, or low impact aerobic class, will give you good guidance to both the correct exercises to do, and the best way to perform them. Make sure that your instructor is qualified.
Another good form of exercise for those who enjoy the water is aqua aerobics, highly suitable for beginners, especially persons who are overweight. The water will help support your body weight, whilst allowing a good range of both movement and exercises to be performed. Again make sure that the instructor is qualified; don't be afraid to ask, as it is your health that they have in their hands.
Other good examples of aerobic exercises are swimming, rowing, cycling and brisk walking. Aim for low impact workouts ideally for 3 –5 times per week, for a period of ideally 20 – 60 minutes, making sure that you are working within your limits.
Aerobic exercise means training with oxygen, hence you should not be out of breath, however both your heart rate and breathing should increase. Whilst training perform a simple talk test, for example say " I feel fine, positive and looking forward to lunch". If you cannot say this then slow down, if you go on chatting all about how and what you are going to have for lunch, you might want to work a little harder.
The final page will give you a sample of a strength workout - but always remember to work within your own limits.