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Fit After 50: How the Rules Change

fit after 50Growing old requires adjusting to a great many changes, and how we take care of our bodies is one of the most meaningful ones. We realize the necessity of remaining physically active, but might not know that the old tried-and-true physical exercise techniques we’ve long utilized should be altered when getting fit after 50 years old, because of an increase in injuries and soreness in muscles and joints, as well as overall fatigue. For example:

  • Resistance is more important than cardiovascular exercise. While aerobic exercise is unquestionably still important for heart health, resistance training is crucial to fight the natural decline in bone density and muscle mass. A recent study also linked weight training with improved memory, even when conducted just once weekly for as little as 20 minutes. The aim should be to complete 12 repetitions of each set of resistance weight exercises several times each week, increasing the resistance level when it gets easier to perform the exercises.
  • Make sure you warm up. Due to reduced elasticity in tendons that occurs later in life, warm-ups are necessary. Stretching out the muscles you’re getting ready to exercise, along with a full body warm-up with light cardio like a walk on the treadmill, is strongly recommended, at least 2 or 3 times every week. Health benefits include improved flexibility, increased heart rate and body temperature and better readiness for the muscles which are about to be exercised.
  • Switch to interval training. It is recommended that interval training – intense exercises alternated with easier “rest” periods – produces a greater benefit when compared with a consistent exercise pace to burn more calories and to maximize oxygen consumption.
  • Increase rest days. Per Dr. David W. Kruse of the Hoag Orthopedic Institute, “You need to focus more on recovery after 50. Tissue recovery takes more time and more effort to support that recovery.” This might mean a couple of days in between exercise sessions. Take note of any kind of pain experienced and the impact it’s having on your next workout to discover the ideal length of time to rest in between.

Be certain that you check with your physician for personal recommendations on beneficial exercise regimens, and if you have a client or loved one who requires support in offering the motivation, guidance, and transportation needed to stick to an exercise program and boost wellness, contact Independence-4-Seniors Home Care of Hinsdale at (630) 323-4665. Our professional caregivers are experienced in helping older persons improve health and overall wellbeing, and we help to make exercising, and other activities, more enjoyable.

Posted October 18, 2017
Tags: exercise, Senior Health

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