Seniors getting started in the gym

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In the last blog we discussed the immediate positive impacts of resistance training on body, mind and soul. Now we get into the how and the whats. Remember that the best way to get started is always right away. Nike has this one right.

Always start with a warmup. 10 minutes should be fine. Enough to get the heart rate up slowly and lubricate the joints. Shoulders back and always focus on form and posture. Start easy and again focus on form.  Use stationary cycle or walk on the treadmill at a good pace and once again focus on form. The moment you deviate from form you risk injury.

Start then with the mats. Plank or half plank exercises for core and stretching. You can also get your bent knee raises, straight leg raises, lunges, stretches, and squats ( no weight ). The idea is to get comfortable with your surroundings and get some feedback from you body. Let's move on to the weights and some resistance trainingpush up is a great place to start. Get to 15 for three sets. Use your knees if it is too difficult off your toes or stand up and push off the wall.

Before you start lugging weights important to take note;

  • Don't hold your breath during strength exercises. This could affect your blood pressure.
  • Use smooth, steady movements. Always form and absolutely no jerking or move
    ments.
  • Avoid locking the joints of your arms and legs into a strained position. Breathe out as you lift or push a weight and breathe in as you relax.
  • Muscle soreness lasting a few days and slight fatigue are normal after muscle building exercises.
  • Exhaustion, sore joints, and painful muscle pulls are not normal.

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Time for the iron. Start with some shoulder press, dumbbell bent over rowsbicep curlsdumbbell chest press and tricep donkey kicks. This includes major groups for the upper body. Repetitions recommended
vary, but certainly a good place to start is 10 - 12 reps and two to three sets. Workouts should be at least 30 minutes. Keep with this 3 times a week for at least 4-6 weeks increasing resistance as your body gets stronger.  One more tip for a successful workout...find a partner that is committed. You will both find many excuses not to go to your workout and your partner will help you when your motivation is low and vice versa. It also makes the experience more sociable and fun. Good luck!


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