Exercise over 60: living a healthy lifestyle

Exercise over 60: living a healthy lifestyle

2020 didn’t start exactly perfect for me. First on January 1 I fell during our walk, then a couple of days later a severe kind of flu attacked me. I managed to do a Facebook Live, fully convinced my old trick was helping me, and collapsed into bed for 2 weeks. 

This trick, that has helped me for years, is a mantra I start thinking quietly or out loud as soon as I am meeting someone who is ill: “I am healthy, I am healthy…”

Although living a healthy lifestyle counts for something as well, don’t you think?

Someone remarked “Well, so much for your healthy lifestyle”. And of course I was disappointed, feeling miserable and cloudy. Yet, I am still optimistic. Because I compare my life nowadays and my sick days, with when I was younger. Back then I was ill almost all the time.

A healthy lifestyle pays off

Let’s start with the disclaimer. As you can understand from my intro, living a healthy lifestyle does not come with guarantees. A cold or the flu can be caught anytime. Even big problems like cancer or dementia can happen.

That’s why you have to make sure that your healthy lifestyle is not a burden. Tom and I make sure we mainly do the things we like while in the meantime being convinced we’re on the right track.

To name a few:

  • Tom works in the garden and on the field of a friend who is an ecological farmer (exercise, socialize, contribute); 
  • I meditate and do stretch or strength training in the morning and evening (celebrate, exercise);
  • We walk almost daily in the surrounding mountains, enjoying nature (exercise, inspire);
  • Our meals are 90% vegetarian and since Tom is an excellent cook it’s always tasty (nourish, contribute).

So if our lives won’t be as long and thriving as we anticipate, at least we had fun doing the things we love. Even our exercises are not a chore. And those are really important, as you know.

Exercising reduces the risk of…

  • Cardiovascular disease and stroke
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Osteoporosis, arthritis, and joint pain
  • Mobility and motility issues
  • Back issues
  • Chronic pain
  • Various cancers
  • Alzheimer’s

By exercising you will boost lean muscle mass, increase metabolism, lose weight, tone your body, and decrease the risk of injury, even if you start at 60 and older.

Regular exercise also…

  • Improves confidence
  • Life quality
  • Flexibility and motility
  • Speed, endurance, and mobility
  • Memory recall

If you are out of the loop and haven’t been exercising regularly for quite some time, it’s important you first get the okay from your healthcare provider. The last thing you want to do is start training with a pre-existing condition and wind up on the sidelines; when all you needed was a modified program.

Further still, it doesn’t matter your age, physical ability, or health condition, because there’s some sort of exercise that will benefit you. That’s something all doctors can agree on because if you don’t use it, you WILL lose it over time, particularly after age 60.

To get started, all it takes is 15 minutes per day. Keep in mind, you need to cater to your tolerances and preferences, so choose an activity that you like. 

If you don’t want to be at the gym, take your training home, join a group that hikes or bikes, or you can even test the water with an outdoor boot camp; intense interval training for all ages and abilities that is guaranteed to whip you into shape fast. You get the idea. 

Set yourself up for success by making sure you are creating new habits with the support of your likes, dislikes, and life-long experiences.

Fantastic 15 Minute Workout Ideas…

Strength Training And Cardio Blast

exercise over 60: squat

This is a sequence of 4 exercises that give you a full body workout. Keep in mind you can alternate different exercises and modify any of them if required. 

The 4 main exercises are push-ups, crunches, squats, and jumping jacks, marching on the spot, or jump rope; depending on your ability.

This sequence is done in 3 X 5 minute intervals with a 1-2 minutes rest in between each 5-minute interval; again, depending on your level of fitness. 

The idea is to execute 5 repetitions of each exercise without stopping for 5 minutes. If you need to take a short break with each sequence make sure you do, just challenge yourself to get your heart rate up and breathing heavy; you need to get sweaty!

Power Walk And Light Weights

For this 15-minute mini exercise routine, you just need your running shoes and 2 lightweights, 2 or 5-pound Dumbbells work great. The idea is to do some interval power walking; where you change the pace and intensity about every 2 minutes or so to get your heart rate up and challenge your body to start blasting fat.

While you are doing this, you can swing the weights in an exaggerated natural walking motion to get the full effect. This will also help build your arm and shoulder strength while you are increasing your cardiovascular capacity.

Start with 15 minutes and work yourself up slowly to 45 minutes.

Cross Trainer And Weight Machines

You can get a quick 15 minute workout at the gym with alternate bouts of the cross trainer or stepper and the weight machines. 

Start with 5 minutes on a moderate level on the cross trainer. 

Next, do a 6-minute interval, alternating 3 different weight machines. 

To start use the pull down machine, leg press, and the chest press. Set your weight light but at a challenging level and execute forced reps of each. Set your timer for 1 minute and do as many as you can of pull downs, then leg extensions, followed by the chest press. By diversifying your workout, you maximize the calories utilized, according to Men’s Health.

Therefore, you should get 2 X 1 minute sets of each exercise. In addition, you should have your weight set so you really feel each exercise at least for the last 15 seconds of each set. 

Then finish up with a nice challenging 4 minutes on the cross trainer. 

Use this to help you get on track for fabulous health after 60!

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