In general, lifting weights is a great exercise for all but it gives an extra boost to fitness levels to elders and seniors. If you are in the 60 plus range you will surely benefit from weight lifts because it will give you a stronger body that will not be vulnerable to injuries, pain, falls and other issues generally associated with elders.
The main effect of the ageing process is losing muscle mass and you should take up exercises regularly to ensure that this does not happen. When you workout you will actually gain muscle mass which will lead to a better quality of life.
This guide focuses on total body workouts for elders that will increase strength, stability and flexibility. The equipment needed is very basic – dumbbells, a resistance band, a medicine ball, a step or staircase and a chair.
If you have led a sedentary lifestyle for long, you should gradually ease into weight lifting. Initially it might cause some soreness but that is normal. Add weights only when you feel comfortable with the exercises. If you have any pre-existing pain or injuries or other health conditions, it is advisable to consult your doctor before you start on weight training.
Always start with a warm-up regimen, of light cardio, say walking in place for 5 to 10 minutes. Then gradually get used to light weights before adding more. The workout should be as per your fitness levels and goals and should not be very strenuous.
This is one exercise that you are doing the whole day informally – sitting and standing up from chairs, getting in and out of cars and so on. However, including this in your fitness routine will build strength in your “glutes”, hips and thighs.
Stand in front of a chair with legs apart. Bend at the knees and send your hips back while simultaneously extending your arms forward for balance. Go down gradually and as soon as you make contact with the chair stand up. Repeat for 12 times.
Side leg lifts
This workout adds strength to both your legs apart from improving balance. The leg you will be standing on uses muscles to keep your body balanced and stable while the lifting leg builds strength in the hips and the glutes. If you want some high intensity routine, use a resistance band around the ankles but that is really not necessary.
Stand sideways to a chair or a wall for support, shift your weight to the right leg and lift the left leg out to the side. The knees and feet should be in alignment and the toes should face the front of the room. Ensure that the torso remains upright when you lift the leg a few inches off the ground.
Lower the leg down and repeat the process for the other leg.
Go over the routine 12 times for each leg.
There are many others that you can try out like bicep curls but these three are the basics that you must include in your daily routine to be active and healthy in your advanced years.