No matter one’s age or current fitness level, seniors should never feel as though they’re “too old” to derive the benefits of following a sensible exercise program.
Throughout our lifetimes – and especially in our golden years – we need to prioritize maintaining as much of our physical vitality as possible. That means cardiovascular training, strength training, and flexibility training.
But if it’s been a long time (or ever!) since you’ve exercised regularly, you’d be wise to consider letting a personal trainer – one who has extensive experience in working with senior clients – guide you through a prudent workout regimen.
Depending on your fitness level and lifestyle, a personal trainer will be able to devise a program that’s designed specifically for you. For instance, your trainer can help you improve your cardiovascular fitness via a brisk walk outside or on a treadmill, pedaling on a stationary bike, or exercising in a pool. To reduce undue joint stress on their clients’ joints, personal trainers usually have seniors avoid doing any kind of high-impact movements.
Where a personal trainer can also be a tremendous advantage is in helping you reach your targeted heart rate – albeit in a safe, sustainable manner. Under your personal trainer’s direction, you’ll become mindful of your “perceived exertion.” Personal trainers who specialize in senior fitness often use a 0-10 scale for perceived exertion. Thus, the trainer will solicit your feedback and try to strike the right combination of light intensity (say, a 3 or 4 on the scale), moderate intensity (5-6) and vigorous intensity (7-8).
Your personal trainer will also be attuned to any pre-existing injuries and/or medical conditions you may have – and modify your workouts accordingly. With seniors, strength training should be done cautiously – but must be performed regularly. That’s because, as we age, if we don’t do strength-training movements regularly, we lose vital muscle mass – up to 15 percent per decade after the age of 50.
However, don’t be intimidated by the idea of “strength training.” Personal trainers are adept at helping you accomplish what you need to with light hand weights, bands and other specialty equipment that’s designed for folks who aren’t experienced weightlifters.
Maintaining both your upper and lower body strength is what will enable you to perform the tasks of daily life – carrying groceries; negotiating stairs and curbs; taking care of household chores, etc.
What’s more, as your fitness improves – and trust us, it will improve! – you’ll become an even more active, vibrant version of yourself!
© Lourdes-Noreen McKeen | 315 South Flagler Drive, West Palm Beach, FL33401 | 561.655.8544