The right workout plan for a senior tends to be considerably different than a general workout plan. After all, the “fitness” requirements tend to differ quite a bit, with older adults having to deal with certain health challenges that are hardly common in younger people.
Similarly, they can no longer put in as much effort into their workout as they once could, which means that an ideal workout plan for them would need to be designed rather carefully. This is because even some minor errors or mistakes may lead to compounding the dysfunctions that they may already be dealing with.
With that being said, let us take a look at some of the must-include exercises out there for a senior’s ideal workout plan.
Weight lifting helps develop muscle strength, which tends to be a major requirement for most seniors due to the decreased muscle strength caused by a growing age. An effective start would probably be to go for weight lifting machines, which would also help prepare their body for other, more challenging workouts. It also involves significantly lower risk of falling or ending up having an injury, which is also very helpful, especially given that older adults may be short on confidence while starting out.
Once they are comfortable with that, however, and start feeling a little more confident, they can be introduced to free weights and elastic bands. Spending some time with these exercises may help build up some serious strength in them.
Many challenges that seniors find difficult to deal with are related with the decreased flexibility and balance. This is usually caused by decreased cardiovascular capacity. It affects both the heart’s ability to pump blood and the muscles ability to absorb oxygen from that blood.
To take on these problems, doing some simple but effective cardio exercises may turn out to be very useful. Treadmills may be great to start off with, and most seniors would have absolutely no problem working out on it. It would help improve both the flexibility and balance, and there would even be a rail in case they need help.
The next step would probably be to workout using bicycles and elliptical trainers. However, if you’re a beginner or have been living a sedentary life from a long time now, a recumbent bike may turn out to be a better alternative.
Once seniors get the hang of things after spending a while with simpler but effective exercises, they can take on their slowing metabolism, which may not turn out to be an easy target. Exercises that involved hard breathing and burning muscles will be crucial, as they would have to go well beyond simply riding a bicycle at a set pace.
Improving Bone Density
Achieving stronger bones with an improved density, too, should be one of the goals of an ideal workout plan for seniors. While impact-sprinting on a treadmill may turn out to be a very effective way of strengthening bones, it may turn out to be a bit too challenging for them, unless they are quite experienced with it.
That being said, the same results can be achieved with other exercises such as squats, chest presses, overhead presses and lunges, though it may take a little longer.