Every ten years after thirty, we lose 3-5% of our muscle mass.
So as we age, we need to preserve as much muscle as possible.
Not just to look a certain way, but to also continue performing daily living activities with ease.
Increasing daily activity will also improve mental health, increase independence, support brain function, prevent disease, and boost your energy levels.
Strength training and working out are also great ways to spend your time!
People in their sixties are thinking about or are close to retirement, so prioritizing health can become more manageable as work becomes less of a priority.
As free time in the day increases, the need for connection can increase too. Joining a gym is also a great way to be around others and improve overall well-being.
To stay in shape as you age, prioritizing muscle strength, joint health, and flexibility will increase your quality of life. Whether you are already active or just starting, these ten tips will help you reinvent your body after 60.
Exercising should always be done safely. As we age, this becomes even more important because mobility issues, balance, and joining problems may cause someone to be a bit more clumsy already.
When thinking about what exercise to do, consider ones that can be lifelong activities.
Workouts chosen should always be comfortable to complete, effective, efficient, and sustainable.
Common ideas include walking, biking, swimming, performing supersets and compound lifts while strength training and participating in recreational activities.
Strength train often
Strength training is critical as we age, especially if you want to keep your body toned — and daily tasks are not usually enough to improve health and overall wellbeing.
Physically active adults are less likely to fall and accomplish everyday activities such as eating, dressing, and cleaning. They can also increase strength and bone density.
Some of the best ways to incorporate strength training include performing sit-to-stand movements, adding in dumbbell exercises, performing bodyweight workouts, practicing Pilates, and doing resistance band work.
Another fun option is to join a group workout class like water aerobics, chair yoga, or joining a local club.
Create a schedule — and stick to it
When it comes to workouts, consistency is more important than intensity.
One hour-long, intense workout a month will not provide the same results as two twenty-minute workouts every week.
Making a schedule that works for you and is realistic is vital. It is also important to schedule rest days for your body to fully rebuild for your next workout.
A great place to start is with two strength training days a week, two rest days a week, and three active days, including a recreational or aerobic activity.
Add in aerobic exercises
Aerobic exercises should be happening multiple times a week for a total of at least two and a half hours.
Doing so can improve cardiovascular health and aid in fat loss. Some options include hiking, biking, dancing, gardening, and walking.
Don’t forget about balance
To stay healthy as we age, it is essential to keep the balance of our bodies at the forefront.
Doing so can prevent falls, often leading to fractures, head injuries, and declining mental and physical health.
Some ways to work on balance are keeping your eyesight keen, doing yoga, strengthening your core, and doing exercises like Tai Chi.
Flexibility is essential to the body for a full range of motion, mobility, and independence.
Stretches that focus on legs, hips, and shoulders are crucial to preventing balance problems and gaining strength as we age.
Stretching can also help elevate those pesky aches and pains that tend to be expected as we age and prevent muscle strain.
Hire a personal trainer
It is okay to call for reinforcements.
Finding a workout you enjoy can be difficult.
And knowing what exercises are best for you can sometimes be better off left to the professionals.
Many gyms have options for personal trainers who can work with your unique needs, and lots specialize in working with older populations.
Some gyms even have discounts for people over 50!
So, a trainer may be a great option to stay in shape and determine what movements would work best for you!
Keep nutrition in mind
You can’t out-train a lousy diet, regardless of age.
Excessive amounts of sugar can also decrease energy levels, wreak havoc on our mental health, and lead to other, more serious, long-term problems.
As we age, prioritizing proteins, vegetables, and natural sugars will help you reinvent your body alongside your strength training and other physical efforts.
The “must-do” movements
Though everyone’s needs will be different for everyone based on physical ability and where you are at in your fitness journey, ideas to always include are:
- Core work
- Front raise
- Overhead press
It is also great to stay in shape with others.
Whether it is a spouse, friend, or neighbor, staying active as you age with others is not only motivating but is a great way to stay connected and combat loneliness.
Exercises to avoid.
As we age, people must take deeper care of their physical bodies.
Some things to avoid include:
- Lifting more weight than we can handle
- Doing balancing work without a spotter
- Power cleans
- Rock climbing
- Long-distance running
Though some people can do these things as they age, don’t do it if you are not used to that specific type of strenuous activity.
The Bottom Line
As we age, the importance of health increases.
Staying in good physical shape is not only helpful for our quality of life, independence, and mental health, but it is also a great way to improve confidence.
Strength training, balance, aerobic exercises, and stretching will give you the body you want and help you live a fuller life long term.
Though everyone’s abilities are different, it is never too late (or too early) to prioritize our physical health to live a long and strong, prosperous life.