Strength Training For Seniors
The songwriter Paul Simon once said, “A good day is when nothing new hurts.” At Phelps LaClair, serving Phoenix, Chandler, Mesa and Scottsdale, we value good health. Daily activity is one of the keys to a long and healthy life; yet as we grow older, it becomes a challenge to stay active. Last month, we blogged about aquatic exercise and how its high resistance, low impact factor was great for cardio. This month, we will look at strength training for seniors. Let’s see how simple strength training can improve the quality of life for you.
Benefits of strength training
We’re not advocating a regimen that will turn you into Arnold Schwarzenegger, but we do want you to know that strength training can help you increase your energy and overcome some aging symptoms. The Center for Disease Control says that strength training can actually lessen the symptoms of osteoporosis, arthritis, diabetes, obesity and depression. You don’t even need a gym membership to do simple, effective exercises. You can do these at home without any special equipment at all. Here are some guidelines to follow on the way to better health:
Athletes know that going into training exercises without warming up is an invitation to injury. Spend a few minutes warming up with these easy moves.
- Jog in place for one minute. If you have joint pain and want to avoid impact, you can march in place instead. Lift your knees as you do this.
- Quickly punch the air in front of you for one minute. Muhammad Ali, the greatest boxer of all time, said: “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee; his hands can’t hit what his eyes can’t see!”
- Lunge for one minute. Lunge with one leg at a time, as if you were a sword fighter dealing the final thrust to your mortal enemy: old age.
- Do squats for one minute. It’s OK to use a chair or table to steady yourself while you do these. Take it slowly as you build endurance.
Now that you are warmed up, here are some more challenging exercises:
Easy weight lifting
- Shoulder overhead press. Stand with your feet a shoulder width apart. Holding 3lb – 5lb dumbbells in both hands, curl the dumbbells up to your shoulders, then extend your arms straight up over your head. Hint: if you don’t have dumbbells, you can use a liter of bottled water instead.
- Squat thruster. Hold the dumbbells shoulder-high and do a half-squat. In one motion, stand up and thrust the dumbbells straight overhead.
- Deadlift. Keeping your back straight, bend over at the waist while holding the dumbbells. You should bend your knees slightly while doing this. Now, using your legs and glute muscles, straighten up to your starting position.
- Half pendulum. Stand straight, feet slightly apart. With the dumbbells in each hand, raise one arm at a time out to the side, lifting the dumbbell shoulder-high.
Do 8-12 repetitions of each of these exercises. They are working your arm, leg, back, shoulder and core muscles. As you gain strength over time, you can move on to heavier dumbbells and try more repetitions. When you combine strength and resistance training, you are giving your body a complete workout. Alternating these two types of exercise will provide maximum benefit, so try weight training one day and resistance training the next.
Phelps LaClair is a second generation estate planning firm. Protecting your assets is what we do. We also want to protect your greatest asset—your health—with fun activities because we want you to live a long and healthy life! We encourage you to look after your future with good estate planning as well. Your first consultation with us is free, so call for an appointment today. No stress, just peace of mind.