Three work­outs ev­ery­one over 60 needs

The Southern Berks News - - SENIOR LIFESTYLES -

(BPT) - You want to live the health­i­est life pos­si­ble and you re­al­ize that to do so, you can’t rely on the same old ex­er­cise rou­tine. You need to change it up and ad­just your plans as you grow older. It may seem daunt­ing, but the good news is that stay­ing fit can be eas­ier than you think.

“Many older adults know their fit­ness rou­tines have to change as they age be­cause of in­juries, chronic aches and pains, or even shifts in the ex­er­cises they en­joy,” says Julie Logue, Sil­verSneak­ers (R) train­ing man­ager for Tiv­ity Health. “That’s why find­ing the right health plan dur­ing Medi­care’s open en­roll­ment pe­riod is so im­por­tant. It’s es­pe­cially valu­able to find a health plan that in­cludes Sil­verSneak­ers, which is the na­tion’s lead­ing fit­ness pro­gram de­signed ex­clu­sively for older adults. It’s much eas­ier to be con­sis­tent with ex­er­cise when you find a pro­gram you love.”

If you are an older adult who likes yoga, strength train­ing or aer­o­bic ex­er­cise - or if you are con­sid­er­ing such a reg­i­men - Logue sug­gests a few ways to switch up your rou­tine, so you can con­tinue liv­ing a healthy, ac­tive life­style.

Find­ing peace with your yoga rou­tine

Yoga is pop­u­lar with fit­ness en­thu­si­asts of all ages, and for older adults, prac­tic­ing yoga can im­prove bal­ance, flex­i­bil­ity, men­tal fo­cus, core strength and breath­ing ef­fi­ciency. It can also be a won­der­ful stress re­liever.

If you are new to the prac­tice of yoga, or if you feel un­sure or un­sta­ble dur­ing any class, con­sider us­ing a wall or chair to aid you in your bal­ance for cer­tain poses. Make sure to pro­tect your joints by mov­ing gen­tly into stretches and poses, never forc­ing your body into any pos­ture. You can reg­u­late your blood pres­sure with even, con­tin­u­ous breath­ing. Ad­di­tion­ally, be aware that in­ver­sions, those poses that place your head be­low your heart, can cause changes in blood pres­sure. Fi­nally, while yoga can cer­tainly be prac­ticed alone, tak­ing a class through Sil­verSneak­ers is a great way to bond with oth­ers dur­ing your work­out and get ex­pert guid­ance from a trained in­struc­tor.

Step­ping up your strength

Build­ing mus­cle mass is a key ben­e­fit of strength train­ing, but for older adults there are ad­di­tional ben­e­fits. Strength train­ing, some­times called re­sis­tance train­ing, sup­ports bone health and aids in the pre­ven­tion of os­teo­poro­sis, im­proves your bal­ance and sup­ports a healthy weight. Reg­u­lar strength train­ing also can make ev­ery­day ac­tiv­i­ties eas­ier.

The Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion (CDC) rec­om­mends that adults of age 65 and older, who are gen­er­ally fit with no lim­it­ing health con­di­tions, should do re­sis­tance train­ing ex­er­cise on two or more days a week, fo­cus­ing on all ma­jor mus­cle groups. When be­gin­ning an ex­er­cise pro­gram, the best prac­tice is to start with lighter weights, per­form­ing one to two sets of each ex­er­cise with 10 to 15 rep­e­ti­tions in each set.

To con­tinue to ben­e­fit from strength train­ing safely, in­crease your re­sis­tance slowly, al­ways us­ing proper tech­nique to avoid strains and other in­juries. You can man­age your blood pres­sure by ex­hal­ing dur­ing the most chal­leng­ing part of each ex­er­cise. Choos­ing to work out with a part­ner or coach can help keep you mo­ti­vated and make you more aware of your form and align­ment, keep­ing you safer dur­ing your work­out. Fi­nally, take a break. Al­low­ing a day be­tween strength train­ing work­outs helps your mus­cles re­cover so you come back to your next rou­tine even stronger. Down­load the new Sil­verSneak­ers GO(TM) app and dis­cover pro­grams to fit your per­sonal ac­tiv­ity level.

Keep­ing the car­dio

Whether it’s dance or an­other calo­rie-burn­ing car­dio ex­er­cise like cy­cling or walk­ing, get­ting your body mov­ing is a fun and healthy way to im­prove your life­style. Car­dio ex­er­cise has also been shown to im­prove your co­or­di­na­tion, agility and re­ac­tion time, as well as help you man­age your blood pres­sure and im­prove cog­ni­tive func­tion. Plus, it’s just flat-out fun, es­pe­cially if you en­roll in a class as a Sil­verSneak­ers mem­ber.

To keep your car­dio rou­tine in­ter­est­ing and ef­fec­tive, pay at­ten­tion to the im­pact that some types of ex­er­cise can have on your joints. Walk­ing, cy­cling and wa­ter ex­er­cise are all ef­fi­cient ways to get a great work­out while be­ing gen­tle on your joints. And, with so­cial iso­la­tion af­fect­ing as many as 43 per­cent of older adults, ask­ing a friend to join you is a great way to stay mo­ti­vated, con­nect with oth­ers and en­joy life.

Don’t de­lay in im­prov­ing your healthy life­style to­day

Im­prove­ments to your reg­u­lar ex­er­cise rou­tine will sup­port you in your goal of liv­ing a healthy life, but you can take the next step with the sup­port of a pro­gram that in­cludes classes, dig­i­tal tools and work­outs de­signed with se­niors in mind. Medi­care open en­roll­ment takes place from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7, so as you re­view your plan op­tions, look for a health plan that of­fers Sil­verSneak­ers. Mem­bers have ac­cess to more than 15,000 fit­ness lo­ca­tions and com­mu­nity or­ga­ni­za­tions across the coun­try, so don’t de­lay. No mat­ter where you live, a bet­ter, health­ier you is wait­ing to be dis­cov­ered.

To learn more about Sil­verSneak­ers, visit www. sil­versneak­ers.com.

Stay­ing fit can be eas­ier than you think.

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