If you’re over the age of 65 and well into your Golden Years, it’s never too late to incorporate weight training into your daily fitness routine. In fact, a little weight training can keep you strong when sarcopenia (loss of muscle tissue) is a natural part of the aging process.
Many seniors may be hesitant to get into weight training in fear of getting “too bulky,” not having enough space to exercise in, or not wanting to deal with complicated equipment. Here are some easy weight training exercises that can be done in smaller areas and with minimal equipment.
Before You Get Started
As with any new exercise, it’s always a good idea to talk with your doctor. While many exercises are perfectly safe, your doctor may have some helpful tips, or he or she may have certain restrictions based on your current health.
Your doctor can even help you set a goal and stay motivated. Don’t forget to listen to your body. If you feel dizzy, faint, or have shortness of breath, stop and call a medical professional immediately.
Working Out in Small Spaces
When you think of weight training, you may think of a decent sized room, like a basement or rec room, dedicated to heavy equipment and racks of free weights. Fortunately, it doesn’t take too much room to start strength training so even if you live in a small apartment or in assisted living, your equipment won’t be in the way.
Little Equipment Needed
Weight training requires very little equipment. All you need is a set of five-pound dumbbells, resistance bands if you choose to do exercises with them, and a chair if you have stability issues. Keep in mind that you can always increase your dumbbell weight and resistant band tension.
Easy Exercises to Try
Are there parts of your body that feel weaker than they used to? These will be the areas of focus. For strengthening your knees, extensions are a great exercise. By sitting on a chair, you can extend one leg in front of you and do the same with the other. You can also use an ankle weight to increase the resistance.
Strong arms are essential for holding, lifting, and grabbing everyday items. Biceps curls from the comfort of your chair are an easy way to strengthen your arms. Similarly, an overhead press which consists of lifting your dumbbells above your head will make everyday movements easier.
There are many other exercises you can try as well a specific diet, and you can read more about them here.
Contributed by freelance writer Jess Walter.