Getting into fitness as an older person
Fitness is something everyone can do and take part in. Staying fit and healthy is beneficial for everyone and its never too late to start your fitness journey. Although many younger people tend to do sports or train in a gym you may notice that not many older people are engaging in fitness and taking a strive to improve their health. The requirements of a senior person are different to those of younger people which is why they don’t get a chance to engage in physical activity. If you are wandering how, you can take the first step in your fitness journey as an elderly person then this is the article for you as we are sharing what you need to take into consideration when looking to do exercise.
Never too late
Older people tend to not engage in physical activities as they generally don’t see any pint in doing them. The though “what’s the point in exercising now if I haven’t the rest of my life?” often pass peoples minds which is why they don’t exercise. However, exercising offers many benefits and its never too late to pay attention to your fitness even in your old age. The first reason seniors should do exercise is because it lowers the risk of conditions like diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Also, exercise can help with mobility which is reduced as you get older.
As we get older, we also need to generally be more health aware because at this point in our lives we are more likely to suffer from diseases or conditions that are harmful to our health. Although the results may not be as good as if you were younger it’s still worth exercising as you will still see results and make progress. Although you may not be as fit as before working out is still good but going at it at a lower intensity is probably a good idea.
Choose your intensity
When you’re deciding to workout you need to make sure you have the right intensity for you. High intensity exercises can include things like sprinting or heavy weightlifting and lower intensity exercises are things like jogging or walking. Many older people tend to go for lower to medium intensity exercise as it can reduce the chances of getting injured. Also, the body isn’t as strong as it used to be so doing things like lifting heavy weights and pushing yourself to the limit isn’t a good idea in older age as this makes your muscles and other organs work harder.
Although not everyone is the same and some elderly people may choose to train at a higher intensity. This is good if its done safely and your not pushing yourself too hard. Many types of exercises that elderly people often do include things like walking, jogging, bike riding and some weightlifting. These are medium intensity and are ideal. For things like weightlifting its easy to get injured if your new so if you are looking at hitting the weights and are an older person then its good to get some advice before you start.
Weights vs cardio
If you want to get more active and start exercising, then there are two main styles of training you can do. One of them is resistance training like weights and this involves exercising against a resistance, this is mainly used to build muscle but also is effective in burning fat. The other type of training is cardio training, and this is when you exercise to increase your heart and breathing rate. Cardio is mainly used to improve cardiovascular health and also to burn fat. Each style of training has its benefits and drawbacks but as an older person it’s a good idea to do a mixture of both.
A mixture of both is recommended as older people need to look after their cardiovascular system and try to keep down fat. This is where cardio comes in as it helps to do both of these and there are also many other benefits like an improved immune system that older people will benefit from. Also, as we age, we lose muscle mass and get weaker. Weight training will help to maintain this strength and regain some in your older age. Also, it will help you gain a bit of muscle and is good for things like improving mobility. Although resistance training is good it’s important you don’t push yourself too hard and try and lift too heavy as this increases the risk of you getting injured which takes longer to heal as you get older.
One thing that you need to consider when getting into a sport or training regime is the time you have available. If you decide to do a team sport, then you need to consider things like training days and then a match day. This is at least 2 to 3 days taken out of your week which is time you need to have available. Also, if you are just deciding to go to the gym or go for a run then you also need time available for this. If you get into something when you have no time, then your not going to see many results as fitness and strength is all about dedication and training regularly.
Also, one thing to keep in mind is that certain workouts and training regimes can be longer than others. For example, things like going for a walk or jog are a lot longer than doing HIIT training. So, if you have limited time then you need to start thinking of things to make your workouts quicker like doing supersets or shortening how much you do. When you are older your fitness should be a priority as its going to improve your quality of life and also has many mental health benefits.
When doing anything there is going to be a certain amount of money involved. When it comes to physical activities and keeping fit then there are is a range of things you can do with a vast range of price ranges. For example, the most expensive sports can include things like skiing where the equipment, lessons and traveling can cost thousands at a time. On the other hand you can have less expensive sports like running that require the bare minimum like some running gear and shoes. As the budget can be a vast range you need to make sure its something you are able to afford and maintain.
Before forking out anything major on some equipment it’s a good idea that you at least try the sport or activity first. This is to make sure you enjoy it and its something your passionate about before spending a big amount of money on it. So, try and have a go at the sport before spending money and you can do this by doing it with a friend or renting the equipment before starting.
Training and exercising is more then just doing the workout or sport. When you do these activities it’s a high possibility you are going to meet other people that have similar interests to you. For example, if you join a football team then your going to meet other people that are into football and also enjoy playing it. When selecting a sport or activity have your interests in mind as here you are doing more than getting exercise but also meeting other people and being part of a community. This can be great when your older as people of this age range tend to socialise less.
Although being part of a community is great older people and seniors may feel left out as majority of the fitness community may be made up of younger people. Here if your older you may find it harder to relate to the younger generation and may feel left out. For this reason, there are many seniors only classes and teams available where you can workout with people of a similar age. This means you will have similar interests and also similar levels of fitness which can make things easier as you’re not going to be playing against younger people.
In conclusion if you’re an older person and are deciding to get into fitness and do something like a sport then there are quite a few things that you need to consider before continuing. As your older a few things become harder for you to do, and your performance is affected. This limits what activities are best to do and you have a lot of things to consider before engaging in an activity or sport. Although these are things you should consider you shouldn’t let these hold you back when doing exercise as this has more benefits than drawbacks but just be mindful how your age can affect your performance and body.