We all know that in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle, you need to be physically active. There are all sorts of ways to workout — ranging from yoga all the way to high cardio activities like biking and running. But if your current workout routine doesn’t include strength exercises, you could be missing out on some big health and fitness benefits. In fact, strength training helps prevent age-related muscle loss, keeps your bones strong, helps mobility and even helps prevent falls by improving your balance.
If you’re not sure where to get started on your strength training, below are a few great exercises for older adults who are just starting out.
Strength Training Exercises for Older Adults
With strength training, safety is always key. The below exercises can be manipulated in different ways, so as you get more comfortable and stronger, you can make them more difficult. Remember, if you have a chronic condition, an existing injury, or problems related to balance, be sure to speak with your doctor about how you can exercise safely.
- Squats: Standing in front of a chair, keep your weight on your heels and bend your knees to slowly lower your body to the chair with control. As soon as your rear touches the seat, push yourself back up to return to your standing position. Try to do at least 7 – 10 reps. To help maintain your balance, reach your arm forward as you lower yourself.
- Incline pushups (wall pushups): Stand facing a sturdy wall and place your hands on the surface or edge, a little bit wider than shoulder-width apart. Move your feet back so that you are at a comfortable angle while you keep your arms straight and perpendicular to your upper body. Next, bend your elbows to lower your chest towards the wall, pause for a few seconds holding your position, and then push back to straighten your arms. Aim to do about 10 – 15 reps.
Weight Training for Seniors
Another component of strength training for older adults includes the incorporation of equipment like weights. The great part of these exercises is that you can gradually make them more difficult by adding heavier weights. To start off, however, make sure you’re comfortable doing these exercises without weights or using very light weights.
- Shoulder overhead press: Start by standing with your feet hip-width apart. Holding one weight in each hand, bring your elbows out to the side of your head creating a goal post position with your arms. Slowly push the weights up until your arms are straight, hold for a few seconds, and slowly lower the weight to your starting position. Repeat this between 5 – 10 times.
- Arm curls: Start by standing up straight, holding one weight in each hand with your arms at your side and palms facing toward the side of your thighs. Lift one weight toward your shoulder, rotating your arm as it moves up so that your palm is now facing upwards and your elbow is pointing to the ground and forearm vertical. Lower your arm back to the side position and execute the same motion with the other arm. Continue to alternate and try to do about 10 curls for each arm.
Live healthy & active when you’re a resident of The Vista
The Vista is a new senior living community coming to Northern New Jersey. At The Vista, the services, amenities, and programs will be designed to help residents maintain control of their own lives — both today and in the future.
Maintaining your health is important for everyone as we age. That’s why The Vista offers an extensive variety of specialized programs and activities to help enhance residents’ lives in all dimensions of wellness: physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual, social, environmental, and occupational. The Vista Wellness Center is centrally located in the community and offers a range of fitness options.