My review and recommendation based on value, effectiveness and personal satisfaction.
Aging is a process that slows down metabolism. What this means is that our energy levels drop, body functions are slower, and organs start to lose their effectiveness. By the time people reach fifty, a significant change may be noticeable. How, then, do people stay fit after fifty?
The Importance Of Exercise
The term exercise may be interpreted in different ways. There isn’t just one definition for “exercise”. Almost any kind of movement is better than none at all. If you visualize muscular, sweaty bodies hoisting enormous weights over their heads, you haven’t begun to explore the subject. There are hundreds of ways to get beneficial exercise, without even going to a gym. To start with, simply get up and walk.
Walking is, by far, the simplest and easiest way to start exercising. Recommended by nearly every health and fitness expert, you can plan out a walking route that gives you a sense of well-being, as it gets your body in shape. Exercise isn’t meant to be a chore, something that you dread, and ultimately quit. Its very nature is to challenge the mind and body to take good care of itself.
What The Medical Profession says
Exercise is key to independence and quality of life. It builds muscle mass, increases balance, and gives you flexibility and strength. Studies show that older people who do a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise 3 or more times a week improve their overall health picture. If you are in a program with other people, you can add social amenities to the benefits. In fact, your commitment to exercise is increased if you have signed up for regular classes.
Looking and feeling better gives you a positive assessment of yourself. Confidence, emotional well-being and maintaining your ideal weight all contribute to self-esteem.
In particular, diabetes, blood pressure and dementia occur less often in individuals who exercise regularly. If you are in a class, the leader or trainer will watch the progress of each attendee, and make suggestions or corrections for you.
Variety Of Choices
We already talked about the benefits of walking. Many people walk first thing in the morning, then again in late afternoon, or after dinner. Use a pedometer if you like, and chart your progress. Walking with friends may make it more fun. Form your own group.
A trainer is ideal for learning about a good exercise program. Personal or group training is available at a variety of places and prices. Seniors have Silver Sneakers, an excellent program if you qualify. Check with your supplement provider. There are also programs at the Y, and at privately owned and operated gyms and centers. Trained personnel can advise and monitor your activities, and make sure you are benefiting from the program. They will also watch for harmful habits. Make sure you are properly instructed before you use the equipment.
Trainer-led classes may include cardio, resistance bands, weights, yoga, Pilates, dance and kick boxing. Your leader will make sure you are on the right level of each activity. In addition to an organized fitness plan, there are a host of enjoyable sports. Golf, tennis, cycling and swimming all contribute to your overall health. It’s about being in motion.
The Flip Side Know Your Limits
Common sense rules when it comes to exercise. A trainer will tell you that some soreness is OK, but real pain is not. The value of working out in a gym or a trainer-led group is that careful choices will be made. The main ingredient for successful exercising is consistency. Three or four times a week is ideal. Actually, you should be doing some form of exercise every day, if you count walking and any of the previously mentioned sports. Just keep it balanced. Your doctor should give you a go ahead and your body will tell you what is just right for you.
Health professionals agree that certain kinds of exercise should not be done for seniors, even those in good shape. These include long distance running, bench press, overhead press, running upstairs and using certain machines. Ask an expert about the equipment, and don’t try something on the Do Not Use list.
Benefits Of A Good Program
To repeat the statement above, exercise is the key to independence and quality of life.
Exercise builds muscle mass, and increases balance, flexibility, strength and brain function. It helps you maintain your ideal weight. You look and feel better.
Independence means you can continue to enjoy the things you love as you grow older. People who stay fit don’t have to contantly say “I can’t do that anymore.” Seeing yourself become more and more dependent brings a sadness to life, a defeated attitude and you just give up.
Quality of life is more than a state of mind. It’s the reality that emotional well-being and mental clarity go hand in hand with physical fitness and a good medical checkup.
It means you’re happy with the way you look. A good appearance means confidence and a positive self image. It says to others that you like yourself, take care of yourself and life is good.
Stories abound about seniors who hike, bicycle, compete in golf, tennis and swimming contests and stand out in their age group.
If you want to stay in the game of life, a good fitness program is the place to start.
My Personal Wellness Program
I exercise in a group program with a trainer who is a senior specialist. Each day offers different, carefully planned workouts. I choose each week what I want to do according to the exercise and the time schedule. The program offers the following:
Cardio, weights, resistance bands, dance, squats, yoga, pilates, kick boxing, water aerobics, zumba, chair yoga and balance. We are all senior women (I am 79), our health picture has improved, our bodies look better and our stamina has increased. My favorite is kick boxing.
Exercise programs definitely have a positive affect on the senior population. Begin today to find the best program for you. Research on the internet, ask around, call your doctor’s office and give it a try. You have everything to gain.