Weightlifting for seniors can promote a sense of energy, vigor, and well-being in our senior citizens, thereby providing them with a better outlook on life.
The perception that weightlifting is for the younger generation has changed. It has now become a popular way of maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle for senior citizens. With the onset of old age, the human body goes through inevitable changes. The capacity of the muscles tends to weaken, leading to a cycle of inactivity. This results in loss of strength, endurance, flexibility, and balance, thereby making the body inactive and unfit. The body starts gaining weight resulting in obesity, joint problems, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
At this stage, older people tend to resign themselves to an inactive lifestyle marked with frail health. It is at this crucial moment that weightlifting becomes very beneficial for seniors helping them regain their spark. It is a safe and efficient way of regaining muscle strength. Muscles are important, as they play a role in burning up the accumulated fat in the human body through exercises. With growing muscles, a body can burn more fat leading to weight loss and decrease in glucose levels, along with a lower blood pressure. This exercise helps them in regaining strength, resulting in a healthy lifestyle and a positive outlook towards life.
Before starting any form of exercise, one should consult a doctor. A doctor can check and verify whether the person has any health problems that will make weightlifting unsafe. If there are problems, they chart out a program keeping that in mind. A doctor usually advises warm up exercises initially, which include walking, swimming, and a slow work up, before starting the actual routine.
Basic Tips for Seniors
- Build up the heart and lung capacity with aerobic exercises, to prepare the body before workouts.
- Start with some stretching exercises to get the body accustomed to the many motions and positions involved with weight training.
- Working out in a gym with other people is encouraged, as occasional help from a fellow trainee is also available along with the guidance from the professionals.
- Warm up by practicing to lift without the weights, before starting the actual lifting of weights.
- Take the help of an experienced instructor to work out, and get a program chart made, according to the individual body needs.
- Make sure that the chart focuses attention on all the different body parts.
- Work on all the different body muscles, which include arms, abs, back, shoulders, legs, and chest.
- Correct the possible unforeseen mistakes, while warming up.
- Perform these exercises in sets, each containing at least 10-15 repetitions.
- Control your strength and repeat the exercise 15 times each. Make sure that you take enough rest during the sets.
- Start with light weights, and then progress to heavier ones gradually, as it takes time for the body to adjust.
- Increase the weight only when you are completely sure.
- Always consult a doctor, in case of any pain arising out of the sessions, as body parts are susceptible to injury if a workout is not performed in the correct manner.
- Use supplementary foods, like proteins, carbohydrates, etc., for extra calories needed.
- Have patience, as it will take some time before you notice any change.
- Bones: It helps in keeping bones strong and also prevents osteoporosis, which is a sickness that sometimes comes with the onset of age.
- Muscle: It helps in stopping the declining muscle strength, and also decreases the fat tissue that gets accumulated in the body.
- Heart: It helps in strengthening the heart, by controlling the body composition.
- Back: It helps in increasing the flexibility and reducing the pain caused by the back muscles, thereby strengthening the back and eliminating back pain.
- Balance: It helps in better balancing of the body, and reduces the number of falls that come with age, due to weakened motor functions.
- Arthritis: It helps in decreasing the pain, caused by knees affected with arthritis.
- Diabetes: It helps in controlling the blood sugar levels, leading to a controlled state of diabetes.
- Metabolism: It helps the body metabolism, by burning more calories.
- Physique: It helps in toning the body structures, resulting in a good physique.
With a little adjustment in these workout routines for senior citizens, they can now enjoy a more active and healthy lifestyle.