Developing a regular workout routine can be tricky for a number of reasons. Perhaps it’s difficult to factor this into your busy schedule, or your physical stamina has decreased due to age, a previous injury or other factors. Oftentimes, it’s simply difficult to find the motivation to get started, no matter what age you are.
Despite these potential obstacles, strength-building enhances the quality of life for everyone, as it promotes a happier and healthier lifestyle. Once you find a consistent workout schedule that works well for you, you’ll find that the many long-term benefits are worth the challenge of getting started.
Strength building, or strength training, is a form of physical exercise that involves building muscle mass. These activities are designed to increase strength and endurance over a period of time. Examples of strength-building exercises include:
Strength training exercises also improve brain function, cardiovascular health, flexibility, blood sugar and self-esteem, among other things. For these reasons, building a personal strength-building routine is a key element to a healthier lifestyle.
While strength training is essential for all age groups, it’s especially important for seniors due to the many health improvements it provides. By maintaining consistent physical exercise, you can live a healthier and longer life. Check out these six benefits of strength building for seniors:
Strength training involves exercises that stretch your legs and core muscles. Because these muscles help keep you upright, strength building can dramatically improve balance and coordination — as a result, it reduces the risk of falling.
Bone density tends to decrease with age, so it’s important to practice regular exercises that help improve your strength. Strength training helps strengthen your bones, lowering the risk of fractures and osteoporosis.
Strength building is a therapeutic way to relieve various pains and discomfort. It decreases muscle stiffness and offers more bone and cartilage support.
The body’s metabolism tends to slow down with age. Thankfully, strength building can improve metabolic rates for seniors. These exercises increase energy levels during the workout session and allow you to recover and rebuild the muscles afterward. By maintaining a consistent strength training workout, you can boost your metabolism over time.
Strength training is designed to build muscle, so it burns calories simultaneously, which helps reduce body fat. If you’re looking to lose weight through physical exercise, some effective workouts to try are swimming, yoga, pilates, cycling and weight training.
While strength building is known to improve physical health, it’s also a great way to elevate mental health. Strength training releases endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers which promote an overall feeling of well-being. Strength building also improves brain health by relieving stress and boosting self-esteem.
If you need ideas for strength-building exercises to start creating your own workout routine, there are a variety of mellow strength-building exercises for any senior workout. Here are eight types of low-impact workout routines for seniors you might consider:
Yoga is a gentle, low-impact form of aerobic exercise that improves balance, flexibility and strength. It’s a great way to relieve stress, back pain and arthritis symptoms. It can also help you feel more relaxed and sleep better at night. You can enroll in a yoga class to apply this form of exercise to your workout routine.
Pilates is a low-impact exercise that emphasizes breathing, alignment and core strength. It’s also known to improve posture, concentration, energy and focus. If you’re interested in a workout involving a series of structured movements, we recommend integrating Pilates into your workout routine.
Though it may seem like a simple exercise, walking provides a variety of health benefits that can improve your lifestyle dramatically. It’s also a lower-impact alternative to running, which tends to be tougher on bones and muscles for older adults.
There are a variety of ways to implement walking into your workout routine — for example, you can visit a local gym to walk around the track, or you can walk outdoors at a nearby park or trail. For an even more enjoyable walking experience, ask a friend to accompany you!
Cycling is a great way to boost cardiovascular and mental health, improve joint mobility and reduce body fat. If you’re looking to build leg strength but would prefer an alternative to running or walking, cycling could be a great exercise to apply to your workout schedule.
There are multiple ways to cycle — you can take a leisurely outdoor bike ride at a local trail with family or friends, or you can consider an indoor cycling studio as another option. A stationary bike also reduces the risk of falling and doesn’t require wearing a helmet.
Bodyweight training is a highly efficient workout for seniors and other age groups — it provides a quick way to burn fat, increase core strength and improve balance. The diverse series of body movements allow for a more lively and exciting workout as well. Examples of bodyweight training exercises for seniors include wall push-ups, stair climbing, chair squats and seated twists.
Dumbbell strength training for seniors is a great way to improve circulation, stimulate muscle growth and improve coordination. Some dumbbell exercises you can work into your routine include:
Swimming is an excellent form of exercise — it provides a full-body workout by strengthening your muscles, improving flexibility, building endurance and boosting cardiovascular health. It’s also a great way to relax, and it serves as a form of therapy for various injuries and complications. Despite being one of the most low-impact exercises to exist, it provides impressive health benefits.
If you’re interested in swimming for your regular workout routine, we recommend attending a water aerobics class or simply doing your own swimming exercises or laps around a pool.
Resistance band exercises use stretchy rubber strips that come in a variety of lengths and sizes. You can practice resistance band workouts at home, but a local gym will likely have readily-available bands for you to use.
A consistent resistance band workout provides many benefits — it serves as an excellent form of rehabilitation, boosts your core strength, improves flexibility and burns calories. For beginners, we recommend starting with a lower resistance band and gradually working your way up to a higher resistance band.
Whether you’re looking to work with a personal trainer or participate in group exercise classes, 5 Bridges Health & Fitness can help you find the right flow and style for your personal workout routine. We offer a variety of senior workout classes in Harrisburg that integrate cardio, cycling, yoga and other activities for an enjoyable, low-impact workout session.
Let us help you begin your journey to an active and healthy lifestyle. For more information about our services, contact 5 Bridges Health & Fitness today.