Important Workout Tips for the Over Fifties
This short article will explain a number of tips and tricks that can be applied to your regular routines to improve what you do.
It is important to recognize that there are specific issues that need to be taken in to account for the active senior athlete. However, don’t be put off as there are special approaches to exercise and training that take in to account the strength, flexibility and endurance of the older athlete. These, while not as vigorous as those followed by younger athletes will still help to build strength, stamina and endurance but in a safe, sensible way.
There are many benefits that exercise and improved fitness bring to the over fifties. Obviously, there is the physical and well-being aspect, but there is also a major psychological component to consider. Exercise gives people a positive outlook to life and actually helps to release the brains feel-good hormones… called endorphins.
We’ve listed here some of the components of a great workout for over the fifties, and some of the things to watch out for.
Don’t do too much too soon
If you are new to exercise and fitness then you need to be careful about starting out and doing too much too soon. It may also be a good idea to consult your doctor before getting started.
You should try to start your new exercise programme at a relatively slow pace, and then increase your intensity gradually over time. This will allow your body to adapt to the new stresses and strains that you are subjecting it to.
For those in their fifties, post exercise recovery times should still be relatively quick albeit slower than when you were in your twenties, as long as you don’t overdo it.
However, if you are sixty years old or over, your post-workout recovery times will probably be longer, and this should be taken into account when organizing your workouts for the week.
With this in mind, senior athletes should try to avoid working out on consecutive days.
Ideally a three to five day regimen should be enough for most seniors.
Remember, doing too much and working out every day could well be counterproductive to your fitness goals.
Resting between sets
Ensuring that you rest sufficiently between each exercise is an important element in your approach to your workout programme.
Your exercise sessions need to be based on the goals of the individual and their current level of fitness.
For seniors, generally speaking, the rest/recovery time between exercise sets should be a little longer than usual. For example, if you are using light weights on say a 10 or 12 rep session, a 60-90 second rest interval is likely to be a good time period for the majority of senior fitness athletes.
Everything in moderation…a thirty-minute workout is a probably a suitable for most seniors.
It is much better to have a short, good quality, energetic workout than to extend your training time and have a poorer quality, less productive training session.
Additionally, try to remember that a positive mental attitude helps the body to release beneficial hormones early on in a training session, however these tend to tail off as the workout passes the 45-minute mark.
What are the best exercises?
As a senior athlete you should ideally look to exercise the major muscle groups of the body, just like those from other age groups.
The major muscle groups include the legs, back, chest, arms and shoulders.
A comprehensive all round workout programme works very well, but the week can also be split into exercising different muscle groups. When taking this approach, it is often best to work complimentary areas of the body together. For example you could work the chest and triceps together, the back and biceps, and shoulders and legs.
A routine like this would usually split the week into three sessions, with a day of rest between each workout.
Remember to progress carefully, consider your safety and to focus on the compound lift when using weights (such as cleans, squats and presses).
Alternatively, you can create an exercise circuit involving your own bodyweight and lightly weighted exercises. For example, combine press-ups, dips and light barbells together into a 10 set routine.
If you are a personal trainer or fitness training partner working with a senior athlete try using the tips listed here. Just introducing a few changes to an existing fitness programme could deliver significant benefits.
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