|Someone suggested that if you lifted a calf every day from birth, you should be able to lift that cow when it it is fully grown. Of course the theory is beyond ridiculous. Fortunately for us we don’t have to go in search for a cow to strengthen our body. There are easy ten minute exercises seniors can do every day. Before you start you should check with your Health Care Practitioner and get a complete physical before attempting any form of exercise; there could be hidden health problems that you are unaware of.
Our bodies change every day. As we age we notice a decrease in our strength, endurance and appearance. Our muscle mass and bone density decrease, we get stiff, achy and flabby. The good news is we can slow the ravages of time with nutrition and exercise.
What are the Benefits of Strength Exercise?
According to the Department of Kinesiology and Health at Georgia State University strength training increased muscular strength, increased strength of tendons and ligaments, potentially improves flexibility, reduces body fat and increased lean muscle mass. Strength training may contribute in lowering blood pressure, improve blood cholesterol, glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity. It can also improve strength, balance and functional ability in seniors.
It is important for seniors to remember to warm up, stretch and cool down. Begin your warm up with light 8-10 repetitions of stretching which increases blood flow to the muscles making them more flexible and decreases the risk of injury. In a work out work the larger muscles before working the smaller muscles groups . The term cool down means to keep the body active at a lower intensity to keep the blood from pooling in the extremities. Through all this breathing correctly is very important. Failure to breath correctly during heavy lifting may cause drastic increase in blood pressure.
In strength training you are either lifting or pushing. You can start today to strengthen your body with simple exercises. You can start by lifting soup cans, walk around the house with weights attached to your wrists and anckles. Climb stairs, do push-ups, slide down wall slowly with your back, lift chairs and do stomach crunches. Increase the weights as you feel comfortable. Always listen to what your body’s telling you. More isn’t always better. Use your common sense, consult your health care practitioner, do the appropriate warm-ups and cool-downs and breath.