Thursday, September 20th, 2018

Safe and Effective Indoor Exercises for Seniors and Baby Boomers

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Baby boomers stay fit 300x203 Safe and Effective Indoor Exercises for Seniors and Baby Boomers

Guest Post By Aaron O’Connor

Staying healthy and fit is essential to living a long and healthy life, and especially so for those of us who have gone to the trouble of getting over the hill. For baby boomers or their senior parents, exercise is no longer something that can just be put off: studies conducted by the National Institutes of Health have shown that people who regularly exercise during their twilight years are more likely to avoid injury, prevent disease, and live better than those who don’t. Unfortunately, the excuses for not exercising multiply as we get older, personal safety and convenience perhaps being most prominent.

Luckily, one of the best exercises for anyone is walking regularly; and a quick glance through any online treadmill reviews will show that there are a number of home treadmill machines that have been designed with a mind toward seniors. Through a combination of features, treadmills offer the fitness conscious who are unable to engage in unassisted exercise to reap the benefits of regular walks, light running, and even strength training.

Benefits of Exercise for Boomers and Seniors

According to the National Institute on Aging, as we get older we should participate in both physical activities and exercise on a daily basis in order to stay healthy. While these two tasks may sound similar, there are differences. Physical activity includes normal, everyday activities such as household chores, while exercise is a repetitive regimen structured specifically around improving one’s physical well-being. While physical activity may be enough to keep a person from becoming a limp noodle, exercise provides boomers and seniors with numerous benefits, including:

* Reduced risk of heart disease
* Lowered LDL cholesterol
* Increased HDL cholesterol
* Lower blood pressure
* Increased lung capacity
* Strengthened bones
* Increased muscle mass
* Reduced body fat
* Increased flexibility
* Strengthened immune system
* Greater self-confidence
* Improved energy levels
* Lower instance of insomnia

Walking and Treadmill Exercises

The National Institutes of Health state that endurance training is possibly the most important type of training for seniors. Two of the most popular endurance exercises are walking and running. These exercises help keep seniors physically active and increase their overall stamina. Endurance training also helps in with circulatory health and increasing oxygen levels.

Walking, along with swimming, is one of the safest and most effective endurance exercises. The problem with walking for many people finding a safe environment outside where it can be done properly and at length. One way to get around this is to take a daily trip to a local indoor mall, but it can be a real hassle to have to travel every day. The best way to get around this is to use a treadmill. Treadmills today are reliable and don’t take up a lot of space. Treadmill walking is very convenient and is one of the best investment a person interested in endurance training can make in terms of exercise equipment.

When just starting, a person should make sure to test and know their limits. They should start softly, walking for a short period each day at a speed they can handle, then increase the distance and speed until they feel comfortable with the exertion. If their goal is to increase their stamina, they should increase the length of the walking or running workout gradually each week. If their goal is to improve their cardiovascular health, they should experiment with increasing their speed, alternating between light and heavy exercise days.

Strength Training

While not as important as endurance exercise, strength training can be safe and effective when done properly. The National Institute on Aging recommends boomers and seniors strength train at least two days per week. Weight training can be dangerous if not done properly. It is best to start with free weights that weigh only one to two pounds when first starting out. Each week, another pound can be added as needed. If a person can’t do eight repetitions of any weight training exercise, then it is too much and they should reduce the weight until they feel comfortable trying the larger weight again.

When lifting, the weight should be fully extended over the course of three seconds. At full extension, the weight should be held for one second, then slowly brought back to the starting position over three seconds again. It is vitally important that person doing weight training extend their arm fully, otherwise their muscles will not develop properly and they will lose flexibility.

Regular exercise is very important for the health of seniors. Physical activity is not enough exercise for most people, yet many may fear getting injured while working out. However, injuries can be avoided through the correct use of treadmills. Clearly treadmill workouts are the best choice for seniors: not only providing a safe and effective way to get exercise, but also the ability to work out conveniently at home.

Aaron O’Connor is a former track & field athlete, currently a writer and amateur fitness trainer in Washington State.

Comments

One Response to “Safe and Effective Indoor Exercises for Seniors and Baby Boomers”
  1. Love the post.

    Anything to get more Boomers and Seniors out and about the better.

    BTW, Boomers are not Seniors…..

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