Exercise suggestions for older adults

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userafw
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22 Jul 2022, 9:41 pm

I am in my early 50s, and having lived a sedentary life for the last 20 years, I have a lot of difficulty with exercise. I tried yoga today, but unlike the other students in the class, was unable to even get myself down on the mat: I had to use a chair. I used to like dancing and swimming, but haven't done either one in forever. Any suggestions?



babybird
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23 Jul 2022, 4:01 am

I would say that if you have been living a sedentary lifestyle for the past 20 years then you should speak to your doctor before getting involved with any kind of strenuous exercise.

Other than that you might like to do gentle stretching exercises to get your muscles used to moving. Don't take anything too fast.

If you used to love swimming then reintroduced yourself to the pool and do a bit of low impact exercise that way.

Just take it easy though. You're not actually that old if you're in your early 50's by the way and you can easily be right as rain again once you get going.


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enz
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23 Jul 2022, 4:05 am

walking for 30 mins or an hour might be a good start



DuckHairback
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25 Jul 2022, 5:09 pm

I'll sing the praises of swimming all day long. You should do that, I often go if I have like a crick neck or something - the movement just frees everything up. I bought some waterproof earphones because I find the drone of the pool machinery irritating and get a bit freaked out if there's too many people in the pool. Otherwise it's awesome.



KimD
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25 Jul 2022, 6:43 pm

I'll second babybird's recommendation regarding a doctor's advice and I'll also suggest walking.

If a lack of cardio fitness or mobility is preventing you from getting back into dancing right now, you might try walking to music with some choreography worked in. (No, I'm talking about that Leslie Sansone crap!!) I'm a fan of a lot of Jessica Smith's online workouts and can recommend her Walk n' Talk series* as a good place to start over. "How to Love Your Body As-Is" is an easy one. https://www.youtube.com/results?search_ ... +workouts+

If those are too easy, you can try her power walks (some of which are surprisingly tough), her HIIT stuff, circuit workouts, kickboxing, barre, the wide variety of strength workouts, yoga, and more. She covers practically everything, for all ability/fitness levels.

You could also get back into the groove with Up to the Beat Fit: the instructor, Gina, plays some great tunes and really has the moves. (I really DON'T!!) Some of her dance videos are set to a single song and are less than 5 minutes long, so if she's more your style, go for it. I don't recommend all of her toning/strength videos due to their pace, but hey--no one's perfect.

I could give you a run-down on a lot of other online instructors, and online workouts in general, if you wish.

In the 30+ years I've been working out (or not!), I've had some real ups and downs, from uninspired slacking off to plateaus, minor injuries, and long-term rehab. One important thing to keep in mind is that with a balance of patience and persistence, your body can do amazing things.


*Jessica always says "this is not a workout" during these 1-mile sessions, but if you're really just getting into/back into things, it can be! If nothing else, it's a good warm-up before a better stretch session. Regardless of where you are, give yourself credit for whatever you can do and whatever other steps you take.



BartMRosa
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15 Sep 2022, 7:05 am

Gentle stretching exercises can be helpful for you.


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15 Sep 2022, 8:05 am

Nutrition is the most important component. Track your calories and macros (specifically, protein). Try to get at least 50-100+ grams of protein in per day without eating excess calories.

If you've been sedentary for 20 years, you've likely lost a lot of muscle mass. People typically do lose muscle mass as they age, but they can build it back if they eat and exercise properly.

I suggest going to the gym and doing compound exercises like assisted pull ups, assisted chin ups, deadlifts, farmer walks. This will help build your core strength across your body.



Where_am_I
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15 Sep 2022, 4:27 pm

Madfit workouts on YouTube. She has workouts for beginners too.


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