How to Get Back into the Gym Later in Life

stretching in gym

Photo: Deposit Photos

By Joe Humphries

If you are over 45 or 50, one of the best exercises for you is incorporating strength and resistance training into your exercise routine. In case you don’t know where to start, here are a few exercises you can start doing to get your joints and muscles moving.

Why Do Strength Exercises

Strength exercises will help you climb stairs, get up from a chair quickly and strengthen your connective ligaments, tissues, and tendons to help your body remain upright. All in all, your general quality of life improves.

Diseases and conditions such as Alzheimer’s, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and osteoporosis can be reversed or slowed down when through strength training exercises.

Getting Started

Before you begin any exercise, you should do a warm up to get your joint prepared for what you will put them through. It is best to do 10-15 minutes of warm-up exercises, such as cardio before your normal exercise routine is ideal to get your heart pumping. How? You can ride a stationary bike or run on a treadmill.

Some exercises you can start on to make you feel young again are:

1. Squats to a chair.

Squats target your lower body and core to help you get out of chairs with no struggle.

How to do it: Stand with feet hip-width apart in front of a chair. Keep your chest upright, push back your hips, bend your knees to lower your body toward the chair. Your upper body should be leaning slightly when you get to the squat. Pause and push through your feet while squeezing your bum to return to your starting position.

older man swimming

Photo: Deposit Photos

2. Aerobics

You get to burn off calories, lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels and improve your heart’s health. You can do endurance exercises such as walking, swimming, and tennis to get the heart rate up. You can also try running and hiking for a more intense aerobic workout. Do the aerobics exercises at least three days a week for a beginner.

3. Yoga and Pilates

Yoga and Pilates are one way of alleviating repetitive injuries you can get from running or other cardio activities. They help with flexibility in your muscles, ligaments, and tendons. You get to work on your balance which you will appreciate in your later years. Do group yoga as it will keep you socially active and you’ll enjoy the session when you’re among friends.

4. Core Exercise

With your feet shoulder-width apart, place your hands should be behind your ears and do not clasp them. Your shoulders should be down and start by lifting your left knee while you rotate your right elbow to meet your left knee, then resume starting position.

Once you complete one side, do the same on the other side. Do 10 to 12 reps and take a break when you feel tired and go to the next set.

5. Low-impact Workout

For a beginner. Low impact workouts are fantastic if you want to burn fat and make aerobics more comfortable for you when you try it. You will work up a sweat, but it will be easy on your joints.

6. Stationary Skater

Standing with feet hip-width apart, bend your right knee like you’re doing a side lunge and extend your left leg and point it outwards. Push your left arm forward and your right arm backwards with the elbow bent.

Stay in your squat position and as quickly as you can shift the weight to the left leg lowering yourself to a left side lunge. Bend your left knee and point your right foot. Switch your arms to the left back and your right arm forward. Repeat the side to side motion as quickly as you can for 45 seconds.

Final Note

Always make sure you stretch before doing an exercise routine. Stretching can be through yoga or Pilates. It helps increase blood circulation and blood flow and helps with joint mobility. Stretch as often as you can so that when you transition to weights or low-intensity HIIT (interval) workouts, you don’t struggle. Try 10 to 15 stretches with each stretch being a maximum of one minute.

Joe Humphries is a contributing writer and media specialist for Orangetheory Fitness.
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