Long gone are the times of seniors fading away until their passing. More and more seniors are taking active control of their health and fitness training to experience a fuller life that involves doing and achieving more, socialising and traveling. This is an emerging and growth area within the health and fitness industry that needs specialised training.
Some of the reasons seniors are looking for more fitness options are the proven benefits of exercise including reducing the risk of chronic diseases, helping weight management, increasing energy levels, and improving mental health and focus, resulting in an improved quality of life.
To gain these health benefits, first we need to start something. Here are some simple tips to get going:
- Just start – even walking around the kitchen a number of times to improve endurance
- Start small – no need to run a marathon on day one
- Be consistent – commit to doing something each day
- Do what you enjoy – lawn bowls, ten pin bowling, bush walks, tennis, gardening, golf
- Seek professional and specialist advice from a specialised Personal Trainer or an
- Exercise Physiologist to get better results and reduce the risk of injury
- Functional exercises to help with day-to-day activities rather that isolated weight training such as biceps curls.
- Extended warm-up and cool-down like 5–10 min each
Seniors should also incorporate in their training and exercise these three key considerations specific to this age group:
- Flexibility – We lose flexibility as we age, but flexibility is important for even simple things like getting in and out of cars, sitting down rather than falling into a chair, getting off the ground and even putting on clothes.
- Balance and stability – Injury from falls is probably the most significant issue that can impact seniors’ quality of life.
- Strength – We lose lean muscle mass as we age, but strength training can specifically help with medical conditions such as osteoporosis and arthritis.
Like most fitness training, seniors will gain great health benefits from training, and with applying these simple tips to get started and the three keys, an improved quality of life can be achieved.