A part of my Active Ageing Program for Seniors……
……and for those who want to end up being healthy seniors.
You don’t need me to tell you this, but aging can take a huge toll on your mind and body, if you let it.
I have proven to myself, and those who have watched my progress in the gym over the years, that it doesn’t have to.
Active Aging is the answer.
You can easily do something about aging by implementing your own anti-aging exercise program.
I firmly believe is that it’s not enough just to live longer as modern medical science will have us do.
The goal is to approach the century mark living a full and active life and not residing in a long-term care facility with little quality of life. That’s not what I call living.
And from all the people I speak to, this is their greatest fear as they age.
You can’t turn back the clock…….but if you follow (and do) what I am about to tell you, you can wind it up again…….and with great results.
It really is all about active ageing rather than just resting and rusting.
It is a well proven fact that one of the strongest predictors of longevity and quality of life is physical fitness.
The way to stay mentally sharp and physically mobile is by engaging in regular bouts of moderate mental and physical exercise.
This is just the tip of the ice berg……there are many other unexpected benefits of exercise for seniors.
If you are unsure of what you need to do to rise above the aging process then let me know in the comments box at the bottom of the page……..I would love to help.
Here are 4 senior exercise ideas that will help slow the ageing process.
The 4 Best Anti-Aging Exercises for Baby Boomers
Think you can’t teach old dogs new tricks – or so they say?
Well, this isn’t true according to a March 2017 post in the New York Times that detailed a study conducted by Dr. Sreekumaran Nair, a professor of medicine and an endocrinologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.
The study found that intense exercise has the ability to correct the decline in the cellular health of aging muscles caused by, among other things, Sarcopenia.
While the study focused on weight training and stationary bike riding in different combinations, most health experts agree that at least 30 minutes of physical activity daily helps to maintain good health at any age.
For people over the age of 50, daily exercise continues to be vital for good health.
The right amount and type of exercise can reduce the chance of health problems such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes 2 and osteoporosis.
To get you started, here are four of the best exercises for seniors that you can do to help slow the aging process.
1. Stretching for Seniors
As you age, your muscles naturally shorten and lose their elasticity. If you haven’t worked out for a while, I highly recommend you start slowly by doing stretching exercises each and every morning.
This will get your muscles used to the idea of some regular exercise and help you regain your loss of flexibility and balance.
Keep in mind that stretching exercises can be as easy as reaching your arms above your head or bending over to touch your toes. They shouldn’t cause pain, if they do then stop immediately.
Also see #3 (The 5 Tibetan Rites) at the bottom of the page.
2. Strength Training for Baby Boomers
According to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), adults should do strength training (anti-aging exercises) for all major muscle groups at least twice a week (preferably more).
The major muscle groups are the legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms.
This might seem like a lot to do; however, you only need to use a weight amount that tires your muscles after 12 to 15 repetitions and don’t worry, there are plenty of exercises that will work two or three areas of your body at once.
Some of the easiest upper body exercises for older adults include bicep curls, pushups (start with wall push-ups progressing to your knees then straight floor push-ups) and chest presses.
For your lower body, try bodyweight squats and lunges, with or without weights. Don’t forget some leg raises for your core and midsection.
3. Endurance Exercises for Seniors
Confused about the difference between aerobic and cardio exercise?
You can’t do one without the other, so they’re virtually the same thing. It’s all about endurance.
The purpose is to increase your breathing and heart rate by using the muscles in your lower body on a steady and repetitive basis. This will greatly reduce your risk of having high blood pressure or a heart attack.
Some of the best endurance exercises for seniors include brisk walking, swimming and biking. Even gardening and general yard work (not sitting on the ride-on mower though), cleaning the house, dancing and some different forms of Yoga or Pilates for seniors can give you a great aerobic/cardio workout.
But also remember, exercise does lots more than just keep your heart and lungs in good working order. Done regularly, it is the elixir of a long and healthy life.
4. Thinking and the Importance of Exercises for the Brain
“One of the most accurate predictors of longevity is what a person thinks about their own health.” – Ellen Wood, author of The Secret Method of Growing Younger.
You may question why I dropped this one in but it is one of the most important exercises in the list.
One of the things that the ageing definition includes is that your brain is one of the most important muscles in your body for achieving your long term health and fitness goals.
I have found most older people when, considering the importance of exercising their bodily muscles, forget that the brain is a muscle as well.
While physical exercise will certainly help by increasing the flow of oxygen and blood to your brain, mental exercises are equally as important to good brain health.
Keep your mind sharp by reading, doing math in your head, learning something new, socializing with friends, crosswords, Sudoku, card games and also playing memorization games – in other words, any activity that requires you to think.
Staying active as you age is vital to staying healthy and out of the old age home.
If you are convinced that starting a new exercise program seems like a good idea for you then make sure you see your family doctor for a check-up before you get started.
Also let your doctor know how you’re going to incorporate these four exercises into your daily routine to help slow the aging process (he will be impressed I’m sure).
In conclusion, let me leave you with these few lines from a conversation I came across the other day which I thought sums it all up pretty well……….one day I asked him, “What is the secret of living a long life?” He said, “A fellow here at the YMCA when I was young gave me the best advice. It was, “A running river never freezes.” So, all I can say is, “Keep moving. No matter how much it hurts…just keep moving.”
I thought this was a thought provoking and well-timed piece of advice……..I’d also say it’s a big part of the answer to active and healthy ageing.
Good luck with your health and fitness journey and if I can help in any way then please let me know.
Best wishes – John – your Active Aging Mentor and Coach.
P.S. Help a friend……like and share. Thanks.
References and more Anti-Aging exercises + ideas to help transform your body:
1. Reynolds, Gretchen. “The Best Exercise for Aging Muscles.” The New York Times. March 23, 2017. Accessed: May 2, 2017.
2. Woolston, Chris, M.S. “Seniors and Weightlifting: Never Too Late.” HealthDay. January 21, 2017. Accessed: May 2, 2017.
3. The 5 Tibetan Rites:
This is a stretching and strength routine I do most mornings as part of my warm-up at the gym. I highly recommend it to everyone of all ages and genders even if it ends up being the only exercise program you do each day.
Start with three repetitions of each of the five exercises and add two more reps each week until you reach 21 of each. If it takes longer, don’t worry…….just keep going.
Then continue to do your 21 reps each morning as soon as you get out of bed. Don’t try and do these exercises too fast…….nice and slow and concentrate on your breathing.
You don’t have to be overly strict about adding two more reps each week…….if that is too much for you then add an extra one or two every two or three weeks. The important thing is you must keep progressing until you reach the magic number of 21 reps.
Just one word of warning though……..some people can become quite giddy with the first exercise so be careful and take it slowly for the first few weeks.
I don’t want you falling over and hurting yourself. I find this helps; get one particular spot somewhere and concentrate on that. I put my thumb up pointing to the ceiling and watch that……works for me.
5. Strength Training for Older Adults – Growing Stronger (PDF)
6. 7 Ultimate Anti-Aging Exercises – The best tricks to stop the clock.
8. Senior Fitness: Exercise for seniors.
9. BackfitPro Blog: Everything you need to know about bad backs.
10. YouTube Video with Waterloo’s Dr Spine, Stuart McGill – the back guru – I highly recommend you watch this one.
11. Another video by Dr Stuart McGill on how to Train the Core the right way.
12. Click on this Go4Life link and find a plethora of free resources – and also download their Exercise & Physical Activity PDF of around 124 pages. It is the perfect Seniors Exercise Guide and has everything you need to know about health and fitness plus loads of exercises to suit from beginners upwards.
13. Most of us are bound by our habits…..both good and bad. If you want to improve your health and fitness then we have to change some of our habits or maybe create some new ones. How do we do that.
Over the years I have read loads of books and been to dozens of training sessions dedicated to changing or creating new and better habits. In recent years I have come across the person who I think can help you most – read all of this page and check out some of his many links – James Clear Habits – it will reshape the way you think about progress and success and give you the tools and strategies you need to transform your health and your habits.
Hope all this helps.
Cheers – John – your Active Ageing Mentor and Coach.
P.S. Help a friend……like and share. Thanks.
And remember to always think about your body like this: “You can’t look after something that you don’t love.” – Taryn Brumfitt