Many of us know that keeping active as we age can help us to enjoy greater longevity, fewer health issues and a wonderful quality of life but what do we actually need to do in order to achieve these things? Here are our top exercises for women over the age of 60!
Firstly, it’s important to know that it’s never too late to start exercising! The key lies in making it fun, finding activities or sports that you enjoy or keeping active with friends to make it a priority and a staple in your daily routine.
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
If you have been inactive for some time or have been working with injury or illness, we’d always suggest that you seek clearance from your doctor or health care professional first. They can often advise how to best introduce things slowly or adapt exercise to work best for you.
There are a lot of different recommendations out there around how much exercise we should be doing but first and foremost, any exercise is awesome!
The general guidelines are to aim for a minimum of 150 mins per week- which equates to 30 mins across 5 days per week. Ideally you want to include aerobic exercise, strength or resistance training as well as balance and flexibility. Here’s why!
For women as we age and experience changing hormone levels, we notice a loss of lean muscle mass, we lose bone density, our metabolism declines and we may find ourselves not only gaining weight but we find it redistributed around our midsection. We are then carrying fat that sits closer to our internal organs which places us at risk of developing cardiovascular disease. This makes aerobic exercise even more of a priority!
Aerobic exercise can then be divided into weight bearing and non-weight bearing exercise.
Weight bearing exercise involves doing aerobic exercise on your feet, with your bones supporting your weight. Examples include walking, jogging, dancing (Zumba, Ballroom or Bollywood) low-impact aerobics, elliptical training machines.
Non-weight bearing activity is exercise or motion you can do without supporting your own weight. Examples include swimming, water aerobics, cycling outdoors or on a stationary bike. Non-weight bearing exercise can be ideal for anyone who is experiencing joint pain, is overweight or who have specific injuries. Aim to include 2-3 aerobic sessions into your week.
Strength and Resistance Training
Strength and resistance training is hugely beneficial in building our muscular strength, our lean muscle mass, it preserves bone density, independence and vitality with age.
Activities that involve weight training include; classes at the gym or in a home set up, resistance bands or weight based classes like BodyPump. Aim for 2 sessions per week.
Balance, Flexibility and Mobility
Balance, flexibility and mobility are also key components of an exercise regime. Yoga, Pilates, BodyBalance or Tai Chi classes are excellent choices for older adults who want to improve balance and flexibility. Include 1-2 workouts per week or even some daily exercises that challenge your balance.
If you want to hear more about how 12WBT can cater for the training and nutrition goals of women over 60, check out our website 12WBT.com