Being a woman over 60 can come with a lot of responsibilities, whether it’s juggling work and personal life or managing the never-ending household chores. Often, self-care takes a backseat, and activities like exercising seem like distant dreams. However, as we age and realize that our loved ones can manage without us, it’s important to focus on our own physical well-being. The first step is to believe that today is the day we start working out. The next step is to discover which exercises are safe for women over 60.
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Exercising is not easy, regardless of age, but it can be particularly intimidating for women over 60 who have never incorporated it into their lives. This feeling can be amplified for those dealing with underlying health issues or those who have led sedentary lifestyles.
But fear not! Exercising can be both enjoyable and incredibly beneficial, as long as you approach it correctly. To shed light on what women over 60 need to keep in mind before starting an exercise routine, Health Shots spoke with fitness trainer Varun Rattan, Co-founder of The Body Science Academy in Noida, Uttar Pradesh.
Benefits of Regular Exercise
If you are new to the world of exercise or lack an inherent interest in it, you may find yourself tempted to skip a workout here and there. However, it’s best to stick to a regular exercise routine, as it can greatly improve your physical and mental health, increase mobility, and reduce the risk of chronic diseases. Rattan also highlights the empowering aspect of exercise, as it enables women over 60 to maintain their independence and promotes a sense of overall well-being.
Exercises for Women Over 60
Here are five exercises that are particularly beneficial for women over 60:
No need to rush to the gym right away! Walking is one of the most accessible forms of exercise and requires very little effort, making it perfect for seniors. According to Rattan, walking provides numerous benefits without any excuse to opt-out.
2. Water Aerobics
If you enjoy swimming, give water aerobics a try. Exercising in water provides joint support, making it ideal for individuals with arthritis or other joint problems. Water aerobics can build strength, flexibility, and balance without putting excessive strain on your body.
3. Strength Training
Muscle atrophy, the wasting away of muscles, can become more common as we age. Rattan suggests that strength training is one of the best methods to counteract this effect. It can increase bone mineral density, insulin sensitivity, and help manage weight.
Extensive research has been conducted on the health benefits of yoga. Rattan highlights that studies have shown yoga to provide neurological and mental health benefits. Additionally, it can help maintain physical mobility and functional independence in seniors.
5. Balance Exercises
Tai chi, an internal Chinese martial art, may appear complicated, but it is an excellent choice for older adults looking to improve balance. It not only benefits physical well-being but also contributes to overall mental and emotional harmony.
Exercises to Avoid
As we age, our bodies become more fragile and prone to injury. While staying active is important, it’s equally crucial to know which exercises to avoid:
1. Rock Climbing
Rock climbing demands exceptional grip strength and strong arms, back, and legs. The risk of finger injuries and tears in the rotator cuff and meniscus is high.
Burpees can cause low back pain and accidental knee injuries if not performed with proper form.
3. Jumping Rope
Jumping rope carries an increased risk of tripping over the rope, resulting in ankle or knee injuries, or low back pain.
Performing crunches involves repeated flexion and extension of the lumbar region, potentially leading to low back pain.
Headstands place excessive stress on the wrists and neck. Given the higher risk compared to the reward, it’s best to avoid this exercise.
Remember, it’s crucial to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new exercise program, especially if you have underlying health conditions. Stay safe, enjoy your workouts, and embrace a healthier lifestyle at any age!