8 Changes in Exercise for Seniors Over 70

8 Changes in Exercise for Seniors Over 70
Photo courtesy of Unsplash

By Amanda Turner, Contributor

After 30, inactive people can lose 3% to 5% muscle mass per decade, according to WebMD. Exercise for seniors over 70 can help maintain good health and slow down this loss. If you’re wondering what exercises will be suitable for you as a senior over 70, here are eight workout routine-related adjustments you can consider.

1. Exercise regularly

To get the best benefits from exercise, it’s important that you do it regularly. Five days a week is a good starting point for moderate activities and three days for harder workouts.

2. Strength exercises (bodyweight vs. lifting weights)

Start with bodyweight exercises. Once, you’re able to handle your bodyweight, only then consider lifting weights, says trainer Meghan Kennihan. She uses exercises like squats, pushups, bicycle crunches, etc.

Work on all the major muscles of the body at least twice a week. Try to complete at least one set (up to 12 reps) of each strength exercise. Besides going to the gym and lifting weights, you can also build strength with yoga and doing the harder digging jobs in your yard.

3. Aerobic activity (moderate)

Choose one or more exercises that require moderate effort on your part. Some options include walking and riding a bike on flat surfaces. If you aren’t big on these activities, consider joining and ballroom or line dancing group or cutting your grass with a lawnmower. Go for a daily limit of at least 30 minutes and a weekly limit of 150 minutes. Divide your daily activity into separate sessions if that works best for you.

4. Aerobic exercises (hard)

If you can handle high-intensity workouts, substitute the 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity for 75 minutes of vigorous activity. There are a few ways you can go about this. Start to jog or run or ride a bike in a hilly area. If you like racket sports, considered playing singles tennis. The more energy-intensive types of dances are another option.

5. Mix moderate with hard activity

If your preferences for the intensity of exercise change often, consider a mix of the two approaches. Remember that one minute of vigorous exercise equals two minutes of moderate activity.

Exercise routines for seniors over 70 can include a mix of structured training and getting out with friends and family.
Exercise routines for seniors over 70 can include a mix of structured training and getting out with friends and family. Photo by Christian Bowen on Unsplash.

6. Mobility (bike vs. treadmill)

By age 75, about 33% of men and 50% of women do no physical activity, says CDC. And, staying sedentary for long periods hurts health. But, staying mobile has its own challenges for people with balance issues and joint pain. For its increased safety, using a stationary bicycle or treadmill can be a better choice compared to biking outside.

7. Flexibility (full-body vs. muscle group)

When stretching to stay flexible, try to incorporate full-body multidirectional movements instead of isolating a muscle group, says strength and conditioning specialist Rocky Snyder.

8. Good environment

Your workout environment, both the people and the surroundings, matter when it comes to staying healthy. Ensure that your overall health remains in top condition by maintaining the health of your home environment.

Amanda Turner is a freelance writer and a recent graduate who is taking some time to build her writing portfolio and explore her passions through writing. 

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