As you will see from my biography, I have been actively engaged in both weight training and the martial arts for 40 years. I can promise you no-nonsense advice on your training program, no matter what your age.
I have been working with seniors since 1995, and have become well-versed in what works best for your age group.
If you’re an active member of a fitness club – great. As much as some people complain about the high cost of fees, it’s the best bet for your money. Most of us spend way more than the cost of a gym membership on coffees each month. However, since statistics show that only about 10% of a given population attend commercial clubs, and even less so in senior communities, that leaves a lot of people out of the fitness system.
So, the problem is: where to begin?
The home (or garage) gym is the answer for both cost and accessibility, and is an ideal workout solution for seniors looking to get fit. You can effectively train in a space 6’x4’ with an 8’ ceiling. The cost will range from $200 – $500 depending on your needs – a cost affordable on even modest senior incomes, given the benefits (better health, longer life, fat loss, strength gain, etc., etc.).
Fitness machines are not the answer
How you train and with what equipment will depend on your goals and what you enjoy doing. Most people are adverse to using fitness machines. That’s good – they are bulky, expensive, have limited capabilities (in most cases) and are not suitable for everyone. Free weights, then, are the alternative. This may include dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells, medicine balls, clubs, or anything that provides weighted resistance.
Get creative in your workouts
Dragging or flipping tires can be beneficial, as is pushing or pulling your vehicle. Just because you’ve now in the ‘senior fitness’ category does not mean you get to slack off! Now for your cardio. Forget expensive treadmills and steppers. Consider bodyweight exercises such as jumping jacks (though I hate them, personally!), bungee jumps, running on the spot, and skipping. These exercises are just as effective, if not more so, than running for the same amount of time. Plus, if you mix them up, they can keep your workout much more interesting!
Try swinging a kettlebell or punching and kicking into a pliable target? My challenge to you: try either of those exercises for just two minutes and see your heart rate zoom.
Want more effective and inexpensive workout gear?
Additional equipment might include a Bosu ball and/or a Swiss ball and rubber bands of varying resistance.
Clients who come to train with me place their health, physique and strength above most other things. Their training sessions are at or near the top of their priority list. Often the results of their workouts allows them to function better at their job, or conditions them pre or post surgery. They know that if they don’t look after themselves, then they will be unable to look after others who are important to them. Correct training will often change their body’s shape, so they can move more fluently like they did when they were young. And some people just think it’s time to treat themselves after a lifetime of putting everyone else first.
For most individuals, however, I (or fitness in general) am way down at the bottom of the priority list or not on it at all.
Eating out at restaurants, big screen TVs, a new SUV, exotic vacations, and a new set of clothes to hide under all take precedent, and the list goes on.
My goal is to make my website available for free to everyone, particularly older adults, so they can benefit from all the information that abounds therein. My videos will help you to train effectively, with correct form, from the comfort of your own home, and the costs, you’ll find, are very reasonable. Maybe when people out there see my 70 year old clients working-out, or my 84 year old lady client doing kickboxing, they may think “Hey, I can do that”.
So now you’ve got your own workout space and equipment. What do you do?
Learn how to use the equipment correctly – that is, safely and effectively. Also, you must evaluate your body for muscle imbalances, in order to ensure a safe and effective workout. Ask yourself some of the following questions:
These assessments are best handled by a professional – be that a trainer or therapist, but if you choose to workout on your own, do a self-evaluation as best you can.
Of course, the best idea for your most effective home workout is to get in touch with me. It is my hope to help you diagnose some of these problems and overcome them with corrective exercise.Google+