Friday, August 10, 2018

Fit For Life: Your 60s

Your body changes with each passing year - and your workout program should, too. "Fitness is a marathon" says trainer Billy Anderson. It's the accumulation of fitness over time that matters. Focusing on strength, coordination, cardiovascular fitness and mobility is vital at every age. Today I continue a series of blogs offering insights on what it takes to stay fit in each decade of life.

In Your 60s


You may be tempted to put less effort into your workouts in this decade, but strenuous workouts now will pay more dividends than ever. Almost every age-related illness - be it cardiovascular, metabolic, psychiatric, neurological, pulmonary or cancer - has been shown to benefit from exercise in the form of improving quality of life, lowering the risk of disease, and decreasing mortality.

One near constant at this age is stiffer joints.  Movement of any kind floods the joints with oxygenated blood. Mobility and flexibility exercises that involve large, controlled range of motion in the ankles, hips, shoulders and upper back can be particularly effective. Try a yoga class and work mobility into your daily routine.

Balance exercises are as important as strength training & endurance when you are over 60. Try single-leg balancing or walking a "tightrope". Walk, jog or run on uneven surfaces.

Training for power as well as strength becomes increasingly important in this decade. (Check out this blog for info on the difference between power & strength.) Power training is a safeguard against falling and other declines in function that are common later in life.

Try this power squat: choose a medium-heavy weight. Slowly lower into the squat, then push up to standing as fast as possible. You can even jump both feet off the floor, if desired. For a power bench press, slowly lower the weight toward your chest, then push up as though you were punching the weight into the ceiling.

Whatever physical movement or exercise you choose - tennis, rock climbing, ballroom dancing - strike a balance between respecting your limitations and challenging yourself. Muscle responds the same way to exercise regardless of age. Your body remains adaptable all your life.

In your 60s, it's all about maintaining range of motion, balance & power moves. 

Stay Active (in your 60s), Keep Moving and
Enjoy Your Food

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