Training for Seniors
When it comes to training for seniors, I often hear the dismissive response “I’m too old for all that”. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. With people living longer and longer these days, it’s even more important for seniors to take their health and well being into account.
Truthfully, the senior population is probably the one that could stand to benefit most from training and movement. However, training for seniors must be approached with extreme care. Here, I’ll detail some of the benefits of training for seniors, and some ways to put a regime in effect.
Benefits of training for seniors.
What do seniors stand to gain from training? Here are just a few of the many benefits.
Avoid gaining weight. As we age, the metabolism slows down. For many, this adds up to a widening waist, more pressure on the joints, and decreased energy. Since exercise both builds muscle mass and increases the metabolism, it can have a huge effect on preventing weight gain.
Maintain flexibility and mobility. Seniors often complain about feeling stiff and creaky in the bones and joints. While this is common, it’s also avoidable. Working out not only improves strength, but it also helps with mobility, posture, and flexibility. This means that seniors who exercise will be less prone to feeling stiff, and at less risk for potentially harmful falls.
Less potential of chronic disease. Did you know that exercise strengthens the immune system? This is particularly important for the aging population, as they are more prone toward chronic diseases. Training for seniors can help reduce the risk of diseases like heart disease, osteoporosis, and more!
Overall well being. In addition to these physical benefits, exercise just feels good. Some of the additional indirect benefits of training for seniors will include improved sleep, better digestion, and an overall better mood. Who couldn’t use these benefits, at any age?
Considerations of training for seniors.
While training for seniors comes with many benefits, it isn’t something that should be entered into lightly. Here are some important considerations for seniors who want to begin a workout routine.
Don’t be afraid to push yourself, safely. Seniors shouldn’t be afraid to test their limits at the gym. However, slow but steady wins the race here. There’s no need to be comparing yourself to the 30-something on the other side of the room, or even to your own performance in the past, for that matter. Working with a trainer who can help you tailor a routine, such as in the New You Challenge, can be a great way to challenge yourself without taking things too far.
Workouts must be scaled. You absolutely need to meet yourself where you’re at. This means that you need to take into account individual concerns when planning a workout. For instance, if you have suffered from arthritis or had a knee replacement surgery, your workout might look different from someone of the same age who has not dealt with such health concerns. It’s vital to create a routine which takes into account your individual needs.
Adjust your goals. An important aspect of training for seniors is that your goals have to be evaluated frequently. As your stamina and endurance increases, it’s important to adjust the goals so that you remain challenged. However, at the same time, if you begin to see issues such as inflammation or pain crop up, you must adjust your goals in the other direction and know when to take it easy. Listening to your body is always important, but particularly so for seniors.
Consider your diet as well. This is a super important consideration. Many people of all ages think about adding exercise into their routine for health, but then totally neglect to consider nutrition. We are what we eat! What you choose to fuel your body with will have a direct effect on your fitness results. This is why the New You Challenge has partnered with Diet-to-Go. This unique meal plan program is specifically designed to help you meet your fitness goals, and can be highly tailored to suit your specific needs. It’s the perfect complement to a training program. Seniors in particular must be very conscious about getting proper nutrients to fuel their workouts!
Ready to move forward? Are you ready to take the next steps necessary for personal wellness? Be sure to check out the New You Challenge to find a program near you!
Are you a senior? If so, what are your personal fitness goals?