Much is said about the beneficial effects of regular activity on slowing down the aging process. However, when we think about the gym, we often imagine a place full of young and healthy people. Is age an obstacle here? Can you train regularly at a fitness club after sixty? Nothing could be more wrong - it is not only possible but above all worth it!
Researchers from Potsdam conducted a study on a group of people aged 50-70. During this period, people lose about 30% of muscle strength, whose maintenance guarantees mobility and independence in old age.
As a result of research, it turned out that regular strength training after 60 is a panacea for many problems. It not only increases muscle mass but also slows down muscle atrophy, strengthens bones, and ligaments. This means a solid, muscular body. We now know that exercises for healthy people over 60 are crucial. The question remains, how to go about it?
Senior at the gym
Fortunately, classes for seniors in fitness clubs have recently become very popular. It turned out that nowadays, people over 60 are really interested in regular training under supervision of experienced instructors.
Classes are organized by qualified instructors who are conscious of both the needs and limitations of older people. They do not push them in the battle for the best results, but rather focus on strengthening exercises that will allow them to maintain a healthy and robust body.
Don’t forget to go to pay visit to doctor before exercising in the gym (generally, it is worth doing regardless of age). If only to make sure that we do not develop any disease or degeneration that would hinder or prevent certain types of exercise.
For people over 60, the risk of their occurrence increases significantly, which is why doctors and personal trainers warn not to ignore medical consultations before starting regular visits to the gym. It is worth remembering that the record does not necessarily go hand in hand with biology, which is why sometimes it turns out that your body is younger than your peers.
After getting acquainted with your test results, the geriatrician will show you exactly what the indications or contraindications for movement are. Thanks to this, the trainer will write the correct training plan (you do not necessarily have to participate only in group classes, you might as well decide to train in the gym).
The movement must be adapted to your abilities. This is especially important in the case of seniors, because in old age during exercise, they are much more exposed to injuries, resulting directly from the weakened muscle housing. Therefore, you need to know your body very well so that movement is a form of rehabilitation and a chance to improve the existing situation.
Exercises for seniors - basic principles
The most important rule is - do not cause pain and do not worsen existing problems, regardless of whether they are post-traumatic injuries or degenerative changes resulting from old age. So if you feel short of breath, chest pain, or any limb, you need to ask your trainer to change your plan.
Seniors shouldn't train anaerobically. This type of exercise is a risk of high blood pressure, often struggling for people over 50. No static effort will be recommended for a person at this age, but it is excellent to play sports that guarantees a constant heart rate. For example, it can be a group fitness run by a trainer or physiotherapist trained in working with the elderly.
Do seniors only have specially developed group exercises? Not necessarily, although they are undoubtedly worth choosing (and their offer is becoming wider). For people over 60 years old, a stationary bicycle or a treadmill designed for seniors will also be the right solution, but also light training with the lightweight. It is essential to consult your personal trainer before starting the exercises. In this way, you can avoid injury and feel the difference faster.
Benefits of senior training
To find out more about the benefits of training in the gym for seniors, you need to step by step, look at what changes occur in the body during exercise. The most significant advantages of regular physical activity in people over 60 years of age can certainly include:
- Reducing the risk of osteoporosis due to increased production of cells rebuilding damage and hardening bone tissue, which is the result of a small but regular load.
- By improving blood circulation, reducing the risk of heart attack or stroke reduces the risk of deposits or clots.
- Reducing the risk of atherosclerosis due to an improvement in the elasticity of the blood vessels.
- Alleviating diabetes as a result of increased insulin sensitivity (it's essential to also have a healthy diet!);
- Weight reduction, which is more difficult in old age due to slowed metabolism.
- In the case of women: positive changes in the hormonal economy, visible mainly in the menopausal period.
- Improving well-being by raising the level of happiness hormones and reducing stress hormones;
- Improving sleep quality due to fatigue and increased melanin secretion.
- Better posture thanks to the strengthening of deep muscles that allow you to relieve the spine.
These are obviously not all the advantages of training after 60 years of age - but these should be enough to convince every healthy senior to regularly exercise in the fitness club/gym.