Finding a Fitness Plan for Retirement


As a mature adult, you've probably heard that staying active can provide you with many health benefits, including preventing or delay certain diseases, improving mood and maintaining muscle tone, but how do you start the process of increasing your activity levels safely, and what exercises are best for retirees?

Retiree Fitness Goals

Each retiree exercise plan should have four components, according to the National Institute on Aging.

[if !supportLists]· [endif]Endurance

[if !supportLists]· [endif]Strength

[if !supportLists]· [endif]Balance

[if !supportLists]· [endif]Flexibility

Cardio Exercises for Retirees

It is recommended that retirees participate in at least 30 minutes of moderate cardio a day. Recommended cardio exercises include swimming, walking and dancing.

Swimming

Swimming is a great low-impact exercise for older adults. To start, retirees should acclimate themselves to the water and start their exercise regime slowly. Retirees that have not been swimming in a long time should plan on building their endurance over several weeks or months.

Pros

[if !supportLists]· [endif]Builds Endurance and Muscle Strength

[if !supportLists]· [endif]Increases Flexibility

[if !supportLists]· [endif]Low Impact

Cons

[if !supportLists]· [endif]Dirty or Damaged Pool Tiles

[if !supportLists]· [endif]Over-Chlorination

[if !supportLists]· [endif]Potential for Drowning

Workout Ideas

[if !supportLists]· [endif]Aqua Aerobics

[if !supportLists]· [endif]Aqua Yoga

[if !supportLists]· [endif]Lap Swimming

Walking

Walking is one of the best exercises retirees can do for their overall health. This exercise can be performed on a treadmill or outside while enjoying nature. The only equipment needed is a good pair of walking shoes.

Pros

[if !supportLists]· [endif]Builds Endurance

[if !supportLists]· [endif]Improves Balance

[if !supportLists]· [endif]Improves Circulation and Breathing

[if !supportLists]· [endif]Strengthens Bones

Cons

[if !supportLists]· [endif]Low Calorie Burn

[if !supportLists]· [endif]Shin Splints

[if !supportLists]· [endif]May not be Ideal for Retirees with Joint Disorders or who use Walking Aides

Workout Ideas

[if !supportLists]· [endif]Start Slow, Increase Your Endurance

[if !supportLists]· [endif]Keep a Walking Journal

[if !supportLists]· [endif]Outdoor Walking

[if !supportLists]· [endif]Treadmill Walking

Dancing

Dancing is a great way for retirees to get out and socialize while burning calories, learning new dance moves and styles and staying in shape.

Pros

[if !supportLists]· [endif]Burns Calories

[if !supportLists]· [endif]Improves Flexibility

[if !supportLists]· [endif]Improves Heart and Lung Function

[if !supportLists]· [endif]Increases Energy

Cons

[if !supportLists]· [endif]Can be Physically Strenuous

[if !supportLists]· [endif]May not be Good for Retirees with Joint Disorders

Workout Ideas

[if !supportLists]· [endif]Dance Classes

[if !supportLists]· [endif]Dance Videos for Older Adults

[if !supportLists]· [endif]Dance Meet-ups and Groups

Strength Training Exercises

Strength training is essential for retirees. As we age, we tend to become more sedentary, which results in a loss of muscle mass. This loss in strength translates into more difficulty lifting groceries, getting into and out of chairs and playing with the grandchildren. Retirees should perform strength training exercises three times a week.

Weight Lifting

Older adults should focus on upper body, lower body and core strength in order to improve balance and endurance and to maintain and active, independent lifestyle.

Pros

[if !supportLists]· [endif]Decreases Arthritis Symptoms

[if !supportLists]· [endif]Improves Bone Density

[if !supportLists]· [endif]Lowers Back Pain

[if !supportLists]· [endif]Reduces Risk of Falls

Cons

[if !supportLists]· [endif]Joint Pain

[if !supportLists]· [endif]Movements Must be Performed Slowly for Maximum Benefit

[if !supportLists]· [endif]Warm-up and Cool-Down to Prevent Muscle Pulls

Workout Ideas

[if !supportLists]· [endif]Lower Body

[if !supportLists]· [endif]Upper Body

[if !supportLists]· [endif]Total Body

Stretching

Before beginning any exercise routine, retirees should stretch their arms, legs and torso for at least 10 minutes. This helps prevent muscle pulls and injuries.

Pros

[if !supportLists]· [endif]Improves Flexibility

[if !supportLists]· [endif]Increases Range of Motion

[if !supportLists]· [endif]Prevents Injury

Cons

[if !supportLists]· [endif]Does not Improve Strength or Endurance

[if !supportLists]· [endif]Improper Stretching Can Cause Pain

[if !supportLists]· [endif]Retirees with Joint Disorders or Recent Injuries or Surgeries Should Consult with Their Doctor

Workout Ideas

[if !supportLists]· [endif]Best Stretches for Retirees

[if !supportLists]· [endif]Stretching Safety

As with all exercise programs, retirees should consult with their doctor before beginning a new fitness regimen and if they have any questions about particular exercises or have an underlying health condition that could limit their ability to exercise.

Sources:

http://nihseniorhealth.gov/exerciseforolderadults/healthbenefits/01.html

https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/publication/exercise-physical-activity/introduction

http://www.nspf.org/en/blog/13-01-11/6_Reasons_Why_Swimming_is_Great_Exercise_for_Seniors.aspx

http://www.backyardocean.com/Swimming-Benefits-Safety-Seniors-a/269.htm

http://www.livestrong.com/article/483119-advantages-disadvantages-of-swimming/

http://www.seniorlifestyle.com/5-best-water-aerobics-exercises-seniors/

http://www.doyouyoga.com/5-water-yoga-poses-noodling-around-with-yoga-in-the-pool/

http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/how-to-swim-to-get-a-good-workout.html

http://www.the-fitness-walking-guide.com/walking-for-senior-citizens.html

http://www.americantrails.org/resources/health/wayoflife.html

http://www.the-fitness-walking-guide.com/best-walking-shoes.html

http://www.livestrong.com/article/228672-disadvantages-of-walking-as-an-exercise/

http://www.50plus-fitness-walking.com/fitness-walking-programs.html

http://www.livestrong.com/article/39595-treadmill-speeds-seniors/

http://www.livestrong.com/article/155020-dance-exercise-for-seniors/

http://www.bestofhomecare.com/articles/tips-for-seniors-the-benefits-of-dance-for-the-elderly/

https://www.dancingforthedream.com/

http://www.centralhome.com/ballroomcountry/senior_citizen_dance_and_exercis.htm

http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/growingstronger/index.html

http://eldergym.com/elderly-strength.html

http://eldergym.com/leg-exercises.html

http://eldergym.com/upper-arm-exercises.html

http://www.totalgymdirect.com/total-gym-blog/workout-routine-for-seniors-and-baby-boomers-total-gym/

http://modifylifestyle.com/stretching-pros-cons/

http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/ten_tips_for_safe_stretching?Open

http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/choosing-the-best-walking-shoe-for-you.html

#fitness #planning #retirement #walking #swimming #strength #stretching #health

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