Exercise is a vital part of staying fit and healthy as we age. While it can be a bit more challenging to start an exercise program after 60, it is possible to find low impact exercises that increase fitness. Below are ten exercises for women over 60 who are looking to get in shape.
Swimming is one of the best exercises for people of all ages, but especially for older women because it is low impact and a good form of cardiovascular exercise. According to Healthy At 60.com, swimming improves bone health and reduces the risk of osteoporosis for women over 60 years of age.
Swimming also increases muscle tone and strength because it is performed in water, which provides resistance. People who swim can typically exercise for longer periods of time because the water is easier on the joints than those performed on land. Other key benefits of swimming include increased flexibility, heart health, reduced stress and increased metabolism.
Walking is a great exercise for people over 60 because it increases metabolism and is a low impact activity, meaning those who have knee replacements or arthritis should tolerate it well.
The American Academy Of Orthopaedic Surgeons recommends gradually increasing your steps until you reach 10,000 to 15,000 a day. There are many pedometers available on the market today that will help you accomplish this goal.
Women over 60 can safely train with weights if they are careful and start out slowly. Working out with moderate resistance increases lean muscle mass and increases overall body strength. If weights are too heavy, you can try resistance bands or light kettlebells for a great workout.
Riding a stationary bicycle is a safe activity for those who may have a few health challenges. Since it is stationary, you don’t run the risk of having a spill and getting injured. You can start with as little as 10 minutes and work up from there as tolerated.
Yoga is one of the easiest exercises for people to begin with. Even though it may take awhile to learn the poses, the meditation involved is restorative and helps reduce stress. Yoga also increases flexibility and self-confidence.
Women over 60 years of age can also try pilates, which is similar to yoga with a few differences. Pilates focuses on core strength and it is easy to start slowly and work your way up to more advanced levels. Many local gyms and YMCA’s offer pilates specifically designed for people over 60,
The treadmill offers older women a way to walk indoors in a controlled environment. It is great for those who live in areas where walking outside is difficult at certain times of the year due to weather. Women can get a great workout by increasing the speed and incline to tolerance on the treadmill.
Many women in their 60’s find they love the social interaction and exercise that comes along with dancing. Many places offer line dancing and ball room dancing for seniors. This is a fun way to stay active and mingle with people of similar age and interest while getting some exercise.
Step aerobics is a low impact exercise as long as you use low steps and monitor your heart rate during the workout session. Many gyms and fitness centers offer step aerobics classes for senior citizens who are beginners and more advanced. It is a great way to get your heart rate up and improve stamina.
The rowing machine in your local gym is likely to offer a great workout. When you first start out, keep the resistance light and stop if you feel discomfort or pain. No matter which exercise you choose, always increase your repetitions slowly to prevent injury.
Things to Keep in Mind
When starting an exercise program, it is always a good idea to have the proper equipment. If you choose to walk 3 or 4 times each week, be sure to replace your shoes every 250 miles. According to the American Academy Of Orthopaedic Surgeons, replacing your shoes in this manner will help prevent injuries.
Before beginning your workout, be sure to see your doctor who will determine if you are healthy enough for exercise. Discuss any concerns you have regarding your health at this time. Prevention is the best way to avoid injuring yourself and not being able to exercise until you heal.
If you have high blood pressure or a heart condition, be sure to ask you doctor what exercise he recommends for your situation. Prevention magazine states that women who exercise for fat loss after age 60, must consult their doctor because diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure are more common in this age group.
Taking the time to make exercise a part of your life will bring big benefits in the long run. You will have more energy, have more self-confidence and less anxiety when you exercise on a regular basis. With all the exercise options available to healthy women over 60, there is no reason you can’t be in the best shape of your life at this age.