As a senior, joint flexibility is one of the keys to living a healthy, active and independent lifestyle for as long as you can. While your joints may have stiffened over the last few years, it is never too late to start a stretching program to get back some of the flexibility lost. Without the intervention of a stretching program, muscles will keep getting shorter and continue to lose their elasticity. Stretching can reduce back and neck pain, improve posture and relieve pain caused by arthritis.
While there are several different types of stretching, the one’s seniors should focus on are static and dynamic.
Static vs Dynamic: Static stretching is preferred for lasting muscle length and soft tissue flexibility. It places a reduced load on a muscle, but for a longer period of time. The muscle is slowly extended to its fullest length and held there for 10 to 30 seconds.
Dynamic stretching increases range of motion by placing a greater load, but for a shorter period of time. The muscle is still stretched (but at a faster rate) to its fullest length and held there, but for a shorter amount of time, usually 2 to 5 seconds. It more replicates muscle movement when that muscle is in use.
However, because “muscle bouncing” is more of a danger with dynamic stretching, static is a safer choice as far as minimizing the risk of an injury in seniors. If a dynamic stretching program is used to increase joint flexibility and range of motion, only do it on muscles that have been warmed up prior to stretching.
While stretching is commonly used as part of both pre- and post-workout training programs in younger adults, stretching is the whole exercise program for many seniors.
How Often Should I Stretch?
After muscles are warmed, by doing a mild cardio exercise such as walking, stretch each major muscle group 3 to 5 times holding each stretch for 10 to 30 seconds. To maintain flexibility, stretching should be performed 2 to 3 days per week. For maximum, flexibility stretch 4 to 5 days per week.
Hip Extension – Stand while holding onto the back of a chair for stability. Extend one leg backward in a sweeping motion keeping your knee straight. Return to the starting position. Repeat 10 times with each leg.
Ankle Circles – Sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor. Lift your right foot up bending at the knee. Rotate your foot in a circle 20 times. Change the rotation direction and move in a circle 20 times again. Repeat with another ankle.
Bent Over Rows – From the standing position, hold onto the back of a chair with one hand for support. With your other arm fully extended downward and holding a lightweight in that hand, pull that arm up and back bending at the elbow until the upper arm is parallel to the floor. Repeat 10 times before switching arms.
Overhead Press – Seated in a chair with a light weight in each hand (chest level), ensure your arms are bent at the elbow. Forearms are perpendicular to the floor. Push the weights straight up until arms are fully extended. Hold for a second or two before lowering the weights back down to the starting position. Repeat 10 times.
Weights can be a bottle of water, unopened soup can or light dumbbells as required. Increasing and maintaining flexibility makes everyday tasks easier along with being less painful.
When it comes to weight loss, there are generally three schools of thought. The first is extreme dieting. This involves strictly following the instructions of the latest dieting trend to make headlines. The measures are extreme, and the results are generally short-lived. The second is balanced dieting – controlling your calorie intake against the amount of calories you burn during the day. Creating a calorie deficit is said to result in weight loss. The third is metabolism boosting. Your metabolism is the process by which your body turns food into energy. A slow metabolism leads to your body storing food as fat, while a fast metabolism burns through food more quickly. So which approach is best?
1.) Extreme dieting is nonsense.
You might see short term results, but it is generally completely unsustainable. Put it out of your mind.
2.) Balanced dieting vs. working on your metabolism?
Proponents of both are often quick to disparage the benefits of the other. The reality is a balanced diet and boosting your metabolism really go hand in hand. Keeping both in mind is the best way to approach weight loss.
There are many ways to boost your metabolism, but the most important is to make sure you are eating enough of the right foods. Severely reducing your calorie intake slows down your metabolism, making weight loss even more difficult. In order to lose weight, you need to maintain your calorie intake. This is being aware of just how many calories you are taking it, and how you are getting them. By substituting fatty, high-calorie foods for greater portions of healthy, low-calorie foods, you will speed up your metabolism and lose weight more quickly.
Another aspect of dieting and metabolism is exercise. Aerobic exercise burns calories, but by increasing your heart rate you can encourage your metabolism to work faster, greatly increasing the benefits. A good way to increase heart rate is to introduce high-intensity periods to your exercise. Joggers can break out to a sprint and walkers can increase to a jog —30 seconds every few minutes.
The truth is there is no definitive answer to the question of dieting vs. metabolism. A balanced diet (not a severe calorie cutting diet) will naturally improve your metabolism. Similarly, foods and activities to boost your metabolism will result in a more balanced diet. The key is in understanding your body. Understand the foods it needs and what positively impacts your metabolism. Keeping both in mind can you see sustained, permanent weight loss.
For many, growing older seems to involve an inevitable loss of strength, energy and vigor—but that need not be, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Frailty and decreased energy associated with aging are largely due to muscle loss due to inactivity. And when it comes to muscle, the old saying is true: “Use it or lose it.”
What To Do: One of the best ways to keep muscles healthy and strong, the CDC advises, is through exercises called strength training.
Why Do It: Regular strength training builds bone, muscle and helps to preserve strength, independence and energy. These exercises are safe and effective for women and men of all ages, including those not in perfect health. In fact, people with health concerns, such as arthritis or heart disease, often benefit the most from lifting weights a few times each week. Strength training can also reduce the signs and symptoms of:
- Arthritis—reduces pain and stiffness and increases strength and flexibility.
- Diabetes—improves glycemic control.
- Osteoporosis—builds bone density and reduces the risk for falls.
- Heart disease—reduces cardiovascular risk by improving lipid profile and overall fitness.
- Obesity—increases metabolism, which helps burn more calories and helps with long-term weight control.
- Back pain—strengthens back and abdominal muscles to reduce stress on the spine.
What’s more, studies have shown that people who exercise regularly sleep better and have less depression, more self-confidence and self-esteem, and a greater sense of well-being. Fore more details please visit https://www.mdlaserandcosmetics.com/
Fortunately, strength training exercises are easy to learn and have been proven safe and effective through years of thorough research. What’s more, you may be relieved to learn, there are ways to train without undo strain, aches, and pains.
- A few minutes (2-3 times a week) to maintain general fitness. 3 or 4 five-minute bursts of activity such as walking or stair climbing.
- 2-3 more minutes a day for yoga breathing and movements for body maintain balance, usable strength, flexibility, and muscular restoration.
- Another few minutes every day and before any vigorous exercise doing calf stretches and forward bends.
- Stay hydrated before, during and after your workout.
- Reduce risk of muscle soreness after exercise; consider massage, Epsom salts bath or intermittent hot and cold showers, and proper stretching and cooldown.
- Signs you should look for alerting you to rest your muscles and avoid overtraining are a higher than normal resting heart rate, disrupted sleep due to an elevated heart rate, muscle cramping, and muscle twitching. All signs of muscle strains and pulls.
- Eat right. In addition to lots of fruits and vegetables and a few lean meats, consume foods with magnesium, which helps fight inflammation, and with vitamin B12—especially if you’re over 50—such as fortified cereals. Drink three cups of fat-free or low-fat milk throughout the day or consume the equivalent in yogurt, cheese or other dairy products. Consider an anti-inflammatory diet—cut out sugar, potatoes, tomatoes, and eggplant.
- Topical pain relievers such as creams, gels, and patches work locally. Lidocaine is a highly effective pain reliever and its unique non-narcotic and nonaddictive properties make it a benign alternative to opioids, without the risks and devastating side effects of opioids.”
People have a hundred and one reasons why they don’t start working on getting fitter today, most are not valid, including not having enough time, a common excuse. Everyone can find the time to exercise and eat right. It is just the motivation to get moving has to be greater than the excuses not to.
Usually some event, like a health scare, happens that creates the desire to start getting fit. But in the process, you’ll see these other benefits:
To lose one pound of weight in a week, you have to burn 3,500 more calories than you eat in that week. Most people get in trouble with their weight because they are eating far too many calories for the number of calories they burn. Excess calories are stored as fat.
If you break that 3,500 calories per week down into a daily amount – 500 calories – it is more manageable. Eat 250 fewer calories per day and burn off 250 more calories by doing some exercise. Skip the latte in the morning or the can of pop loaded with sugar and you probably reduced your calorie count by at least 250. Walk at 3.5 mph for an hour and you burn 298 calories. There is your 500 + calorie deficit with just those two small changes.
Strengthen your bones
As you age, you start to lose bone density at the rate of 10% by age 50 and if sedentary, another 10% every 10 years thereafter. By including some weight training into your exercise program, you can help slow bone loss as you grow older.
Tone up muscles
With toned muscles, not only will you look better, but your balance will be better and you’ll maintain flexibility in your joints. Weight training can help build muscle which will then help you burn more calories even at rest. And if you burn more calories, you’ll have an easier time maintaining your weight.
Reduce your risk for certain diseases
Your risk to develop heart disease, Type II diabetes and some types of cancers, including colon and breast, increase significantly if you are overweight and out of shape. As your Body Mass Index increases, so do your risk of a heart attack or stroke due to narrowed or blocked arteries.
And if your heart has to work harder to pump blood through narrowed passages, it increases your blood pressure, which causes health issues of its own.
If you already have Type II diabetes and you are overweight, the effects of diabetes will diminish (or in many cases go away entirely) if you lose weight. At the very least you’ll have to take less medication. The best case scenario is you can get off medication altogether.
You can make a change in your fitness level. But you have to start today; tomorrow may be too late.