Many seniors shy away from strength training because they think they are too old to work with weights. They might also dread the idea of going to a gym or think they have to use all sorts of complicated and expensive equipment in order to get results.
The good news is that working with light weights and resistance bands can give you real results in the comfort of your own home, without spending a lot of money on fancy equipment or an expensive gym membership.
The most important part of planning a workout or set of workouts is to consider your overall health. Common health issues affecting seniors include arthritis, osteoporosis, heart health issues, obesity, diabetes and more. Discuss your plans with your doctor to start doing strength training. They can give you safety tips and help set your fitness goals.
Once you have set your fitness goals, you can decide what exercises will help you reach those goals. For example, if you want to target your flabby arms or get six pack abs, research exercises that will help with this goal and which you will be able to do as a beginner.
Another important consideration is a good whole body workout versus focusing on trouble spots. Alternate exercises for arms, chest and shoulders, abs and legs, so that no one area gets too tired.
This is especially important if you have any joint issues due to arthritis. Strength training can support your joints and keep them mobile and flexible provided you do not overdo things.
Once you do your research, it will be time to create a few customised workouts to keep you interested and work the parts you wish to focus on. For example, bicep curls, chest presses and tricep kickbacks will all give you nicely sculpted arms and get rid of chicken wing arms with flab dangling down. Vary your routines to keep you motivated.
You can also vary your equipment and exercises for the same reason. Getting sick of your dumbbells? Try resistance bands instead. Add one or two exercises to each of your strength training sessions. Or alternate days, using weights one day, resistance bands the next.
Add light weights or resistance bands to your usual work out moves, such as sit ups, lunges or squats. The extra weight can add variety and intensity for faster results. Enjoy yoga or tai chi? Try some of your moves with resistance bands or wrist and ankle weights and see what a difference it can make to your fitness.
All of these are fast and easy ways to add strength training to your fitness routine. Remember, the best workout is the one you will stick to. Try a few curls, rows and kickbacks and you should soon see a whole new you.