Senior Exercise Program

What you Should Know Before Beginning a Senior Exercise Program

Physical activity is important – at any age – but is especially important once you hit the "over 50 something" crowd.

Getting started exercising doesn’t have to be difficult but it does require a little knowledge to do it right.

With menopause on the horizon (or at your front door) you can feel the aches in the joints or just feeling more tired and listless.

This feeling is not just for women, men also experience changes in their bodies and have less energy.

It seems impossible to think about doing a strenuous workout.  

When we were twenty, we could go without paying a lot of attention to the care of our body, but lack of exercise has a more profound effect on us when we reach fifty.

Don’t fret though. The human body responds well to good food and lots of movement.
You can feel  invigorated even after you get older, but with more wisdom about how to keep your body running smoothly.

Here are five things to do before you begin your senior exercise program, especially if you have been living a sedentary life for some time.

Check With Your Doctor

See your doctor first before beginning your senior exercise program.

This is not only sound advice for seniors, but for anyone who is unsure of their physical well being prior to staring a workout.

Because our bodies change as we age, different problems or conditions need to be considered before jumping into a weekly workout plan.

Checking with a doctor can ensure that you are in the best health possible before starting a senior exercise routine. 

Your doctor will also be able to guide you with any special restrictions in diet and movement.

Get to Know Yourself

Getting to know yourself and what you can and cannot do is important before you can design your senior exercise program. Understand your limitations.

senior woman exercisingNot everyone is up to running a marathon, so understanding your limitations will ensure you are not putting yourself at risk of injury.

No one likes to admit that there are things they can’t do but it will keep you from getting hurt and help you stay healthy and active.

If you have joint problems, find exercises that work the muscles  without putting undue stress on the knees, hips, shoulders, lower back, or elbows.

Try some of these seated senior strength training moves that put very little strain on the joints.

Be Your Tortoise

Start out slow. Just like the tortoise who wins the race, starting slow is a great strategy to ensure you make it to the finish line.

You are more likely to stick with your senior exercise program when you ease into it and find your own comfortable pace.

Be an Investigator

Investigate what activities you can do for your senior exercise program. If you have conditions that limit your movement, such as arthritis, then signing up for a step aerobics class may not be the wisest choice for your senior exercise program.

senior couple playing golfOpt for ways to get active that will not put additional pain and suffering in your life. Check out your local gym or community center for water aerobic classes.

You can even try some chair exercises and stretching exercises at home to accomodate your limitations.

Don't stress your body further than is medically safe. Be sure to discuss any concerns or limitations you think you may have with your doctor.

These senior stretching exercises are a great way to get start you off slow and steady.

As you get more comfortable with being active, add a bit more to your senior exercise program.

Go Beyond Exercise-Think Nutrition

Consider your nutrition as well as exercising. 

All the exercise in the world won’t help you if you are still eating those hamburgers and chocolate shakes you enjoyed in your younger years.

As we get older our metabolism slows down so it is harder to burn those excess calories from those tasty foods.  Look for ways to adjust your eating habits.

Make every meal count and eat foods higher in nutritional values and lower in fats and sugars. Here are some tips on weight loss over 40.

So are you ready to get active? Great! Remember to start slow, listen to the Doc and eat healthy.

To help you build your senior exercise program, check out this article on senior exercises for healthy aging.

Additional Articles

Balance Exercises for Seniors
Preventing slips and falls as we age can help minimize injuries to joints and bones. Check out these balance exercises to keep you healthy.

Senior Strength Training
Building lean muscles can help prevent loss of bone density and keep you feeling young.

Stages of Menopause
Learn more about what you might go through during the change of life by understanding the different stages of menopause.