There are two key elements to finding appropriate senior fitness regimens. First, seek the advice of your medical professional. Second, listen to your body. Whether you are 9 or 99, these criteria apply. If you are closer to 99 than 9 though, it is especially important to take time in finding an exercise regimen that fits your skills and abilities.
If you are a “senior” and are not currently exercising’, but would like to start, consider having a conversation with your doctor. Ask what he/she recommends as a starting place. Their years of training and experience equip them to lead you in the right direction. After getting clearance from the doctor, it is time to find the appropriate location for your physical activities. The weather in Fayette County and the surrounding area isn’t going to allow for outdoor exercise year-round. When the temperature is 98 degrees, not including heat index, it just isn’t safe to exercise outdoors. So, finding a place to exercise indoors is a must.
If you choose to workout at home, there are many resources available for seniors. You might enjoy utilizing a workout video geared toward seniors. Of course, there are DVD’s for purchase, and you might even be able to stream them from your television provider. Many exercise videos can be found on the internet for free. Youtube has a wide variety of exercise regimens for senior populations. Try searching ‘senior fitness’ or ‘seated fitness’. Or, If you have a particular piece of equipment you would like to use, weights or a band, include that in your search terms. Perhaps, ‘band exercises for seniors’ will yield some helpful results. Working out at home is a great option for self-motivated individuals. If you are a busy go-getter, home based exercise is an excellent choice for you.
Another option is to exercise away from home at a fitness location. There are many fitness centers in Fayette County and some even have specific classes geared toward senior populations. The best way to find a gym that fits your needs is to visit the location and take a tour. Ask questions about what kind of classes are offered at that location. Membership might include an introduction to the equipment at the gym by a trainer or gym staff member. This is a great option for folks not familiar with the different machines and equipment available. Classes geared toward seniors are going to be led by instructors that are trained to lead senior populations. These instructors are familiar with common struggles encountered by the senior population. If you are the kind of person that needs accountability, finding a gym with fitness classes is a great option. Fitness classes are especially fun for those looking for an element of socialization attached to their workouts.
In each of these cases above, working out at home, and working out at a fitness location, listening to your body is extremely important. Exercise shouldn’t hurt. It is normal to experience muscle soreness 24-48 hours after participating in physical exercise, especially if the exercise is something you haven’t been doing regularly. Acute pain, or pain that persists beyond 48 hours warrants a call and perhaps a visit to a doctor. Listening to your body will be the key to avoiding injury and overuse. Start slow, and work up to more vigorous activities, allowing your body to get stronger along the way.
According to the CDC, physical activity can strengthen your bones and muscles, improve your ability to do daily tasks, prevent falls, and increase your chances of living longer. Moving more today, so you can continue to be mobile throughout your life is a great gift you can give to yourself.