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Exercise Considerations As We Age

Updated: Nov 16, 2021


Exercise considerations as we age


You may think the word "aging" is for our senior population. Unfortunately, when it comes to the body and its functions, age 30 is when we begin to lose our muscle mass and bone density. There is never a wrong time to start exercising, but the earlier you make it a habit, the better. Exercise slows down the natural aging process. You will look and feel younger! In this article, we will talk about the best type of exercise to combat the effects of aging.


Strength training:

Cardio exercise alone can encourage muscle loss. It is essential to add strength training into your workout routine, especially as we age. Strength training keeps your bones strong, keeps your metabolism moving, and produces strong lean muscles, improving your day-to-day functions. You can combat the aging process by incorporating strength training into your workouts. Here are some great ways to ensure you are getting strengthening exercises into your workouts. Just add:

· Yoga

· Dumbbell/kettlebell exercises

· Strength training machines

· Resistance bands

· Bodyweight

Bringing functional strength training into your workout is a great way to look better and be better equipped to handle your day-to-day functional task. Functional strength training includes squats, lunges, core strengthening, and more. These types of exercises translate into your daily routines like lifting objects, getting off the floor, transferring out of a chair, gardening, etc. You are never too old to start to incorporate strengthening into your workout; you may simply need modifications.

Postural improvement exercise

Posterior chain exercises work on specific muscles, including your back, glutes, and hamstrings. These muscles are essential to improve posture and improve functional activities. Most of us spend long hours sitting at a computer all day, driving, reading, etc. When we sit for long durations with forwarding posture, we end up with muscle imbalances. Chronic muscle imbalances lead to poor posture, increased fall risk, increased back pain, decreased ability to take a deep breath, neck pain, and more. How does your posture prevent deep breathing? Sit in a chair, exaggerate your forward slumped position. Now take a breath. Repeat this process while sitting tall with a purposeful tall posture. Notice the difference? Good posture allows deep, full breaths. The ability to breathe fully not only lessens your fatigue but can also decrease feelings of anxiety. Some great posterior chain exercises are:


· Squats: Watch your form here. Good technique is pressing your butt back, not your knees forward. When you are in a squat position, your upper body should remain upright, and your weight should be in your heels. You should be able to wiggle your toes without difficulties. If you have difficulties wiggling your toes, then your knees are coming too far forward. A simple fix is to place a chair behind you and slowly lower your butt to tap the chair and stand back up. Do not forget to squeeze your glutes at the top.


· Rows: These can be done with dumbbells or a resistance band.

I prefer the resistance band here. Place the band around a solid surface. Grab the handles of the band and stand up nice and tall. With your elbows bent, pull your elbows back and squeeze between your shoulder blades. For more or less resistance, move closer or further away from the wall.


· Bird Dogs: This is one of the best postural exercises. While on your hands and knees, slowly raise your right arm and left leg up simultaneously. Squeeze and hold for a few seconds. Repeat on the other side.


Balance Training:

As we age, our eyesight, hearing, and proprioception start to wear away. Proprioceptors are receptors in our body that tell our brains where our body is in space. Neuropathy and certain diseases can interfere with this system. The loss of any of these symptoms can significantly increase our risk of falling. Your balance can be improved with the appropriate exercises. There are multiple ways to improve your balance by static, dynamic, and agility training. You can start by standing on one foot. How long can you hold? Holding your balance for over 30 seconds with minimal wobble can significantly reduce your fall risk. Once you can hold your balance for 30 seconds, you will want to add movement, uneven surface, or agility to your workouts. Here are some great ways to intensify your balance routine.


· Tandem stance progression

Start by standing with one foot in front of the other. Once that feels easy, move a single dumbbell around your body. To progress this exercise, include movement by walking heel-toe while moving the dumbbell around the body. You can continue to make this exercise more challenging by changing the surface you are standing on, closing your eyes, head movements, and more.


These are all great ways to improve your workout routine to support the aging process. Incorporating these exercises can make a significant difference in your body, safety, and daily activities. Each of these focused exercises will keep your posture upright, your bones strong, your muscles lean, and your joints healthy. Wellness 360 can provide support for your health and wellness needs. We offer individualized treatments through physical therapy, massage therapy, and additional wellness services. You can find out more through www.wellness360fitness.com.



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