Top exercise tips for over 60s
As we age, it’s important to adapt our physical activities and exercise regimes to suit our bodies. Regular, moderate physical activity is great for your health and your overall well-being. Benefits include keeping your heart young, lowering high blood pressure, improving balance, increase mental acuity, elevate mood, ease joint pain, strengthen bones, and much more!
Below are our top exercise tips for over 60s. While most of these are easy to follow and incorporate into your routine, please remember to consult your doctor before undertaking any extreme changes to your activity level.
- Warm up. It is important to start your exercise properly with around a 10-15 minute warm up. Use slow walking, stretches or light calisthenics and do the same at the end of your workout to help your body cool down. As we age our bodies take longer to warm up and cool down so it is important to ease into physical activity with light exercises first.
- Drink lots of water. It is important to stay hydrated so always be prepared with a water bottle close by.
- Check out your shoes. Whatever kind of exercise you do, you need to make sure your feet are comfortable and well supported. The right kind of shoes for you may be expensive but the amount you’ll save down the track in doctors’ bills or rehab will be more than worth it! Walking or running shoes absorb the shock of your stride because of a slightly elevated heel. This helps to prevent injuries to leg muscles and tendons. Tennis and other types of athletic shoes absorb impact of sideways movement and quick turns. It is important to buy new shoes often, even though they may appear to last for years, the shock absorption only lasts a few months.
- Experts suggest that half of your exercise routine should include aerobics and the best aerobic exercise is walking, especially if you’re over 60. Time yourself and gradually increase your distance over time. For variation, try walking with small hand weights or swinging your arms while you walk.
- Keep up your strength. Muscle strength is important as we age because, amongst other benefits, it can help prevent falls. To avoid injury and increase the benefits of your exercise, perform movements slowly, spending two seconds in the lifting phase of each exercise and four to six seconds in the lowering part. Inhale before lifting, exhale while lifting and inhale as you lower the weight for maximum benefit.