Fitness Programs for Older Adults

There are many adults trying to be healthy and active and maintaining a good physique. Proper techniques are as important as maintaining good physique.

However, exercise is important no matter what is the age. As per mark twain,” Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” One may want to start workout but may not be sure where to start and how to start.

So first of all you need to take safety precautions before starting a workout program such as;

  • You should have a checkup and get clearance from a doctor, regarding your workout.
  • If all good, then you should start slow.
  • You should also discuss the workout plan and its level of exertion with your doctor.
  • And last but not the least, stop the exercise if;
  • You feel severe pain in joints, legs ankles or feet.
  • You have muscle cramps.
  • Fell sick to your stomach.

A workout plan should be composed of exercises done for 30-45 minutes daily except the rest day. You can workout at home, gym, outdoors, etc. Whatever the plan you choose, don’t forget to do warm up exercises. The warm up exercises helps in loosening your muscles so that they are better conditioned to handle the exercises which require great effort and also helps in preventing injuries.

There are many exercises you can do to build strength without having to set foot in a gym. These are indoor exercises which any adults can do at their home.

1. Squats: keep your arms in front of you and be sure not to extend your knees past your toes. Hold the almost sitting position for a second and then raise yourself to a standing position again. Repeat for two sets of 8-10 reps.

2.  Shoulder blade squeeze: sit straight on your seat and rest your hands in your lap. Squeeze your shoulders blades towards one another. Remember to keep your shoulders down, not hunched up towards your ears. Hold for a moment and then slowly release them to starting positions. Repeat this for 10-12 times.

3. Biceps curl: Biceps curl helps in strengthening the muscles involved in lifting everyday objects like suitcase or a jug of water. You can do this exercise either seated or standing. First hold the dumbbells in each down and palms facing up and elbows tucked in, and then bend your elbows and lift the weights towards your chest. Hold your dumbbells for a second and slowly lower your arms. Repeat for a set of 2 consisting of 10 reps each.

4. Wall Pushups: Pushups are a great way to work muscles in the arms, chest and shoulders. Stand with your feet about three feet away from a wall and lean against it with your palms flat. Bend your arms and slowly bring your upper body towards the wall. Hold for a second and push yourself back until your arms are straight again. Do 2 sets of 10-12 reps in each set.

5. Aerobics Exercises: Aerobics exercises helps adults in burning calories, keeping blood pressure low and maintaining cholesterol levels, increase energy levels, improving heart health and maintaining joint movements. Aerobics exercises includes skipping, squat jumps, jumping jacks, high knees, plank jacks, jumping lunges, butt kicks and many more.

6. Heel raises: Stand with your feet a few inches apart, with your hands lightly resting on a chair or counter in front of you. And then slowly raise your heels off the floor. Do not bend your knees. Hold for a moment and slowly lower your heels to the floor. Repeat 15-20 reps and do 2 sets.

7. Standing leg raises: Standing leg raises increases strength in the lower body. This exercise also improves core stability and balance. Stand behind the chair and lift one leg out to the side keeping it completely aligned from heel to hip. Try to maintain your back straight and a slight bend in your supporting leg. Now slowly lower your leg and alternate sides. This is your side leg raise exercise.

To do back leg raises, use the chair for balance and slowly lift your one leg behind you without leaning forward. Hold for a second and again lower your leg. Do remember not to bend the lifted leg but you can slightly bend the standing leg. Now alternate sides and do this for your next leg. Do two sets of minimum 10-12 reps for each leg for both exercises.

8. Flutter kick: Flutter kicks target your abdominal muscles and in particular, your lower abs. lie on your back and slide your hands beneath your lower back curve for additional support. With your slight bend at the knees, lift your legs up so that your heels are about 5-6 inches off the ground. Now lift your one leg up about a 45 degree angle while your other leg is lowered at 5-6 inches off the ground. Switch sides by raising your other leg and vice versa. Repeat 2-3 set of 15-20 reps each.

9. Treadmill workout: Just adjust the speed and incline of the treadmill to suit your fitness level. You can do this workout 3-4 times a week or go with how your body feels and adjust the workout accordingly. Walk for 5 minutes on treadmill and then increase the incline or speed and then again cool down by 5 minutes walk.

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