Aging takes a toll on your body, but if you have muscle pain, it doesn’t mean you have to live with it and suffer through the pain. We’ve come up with some effective exercises you can do on the daily—but like anything, not all exercises are equal. Pick and choose the ones) that make the most sense for you, your lifestyle, and your level of discomfort. Adjust and exercise accordingly!
As you age, you naturally lose your muscle mass—which is why it’s so important to keep up a low-impact strength training workout. Strength training can even halt or delay some aging symptoms and discomforts! Those who remain inactive lose up to 5 percent of their muscle mass per decade after the age of 30, but strength training can actually change the genetic signature of your aging muscles (which has been called ‘gene shifting’.) If that’s not enough of a reason to start a resistance training program, we don’t know what is! Here’s how to do it:
- Choose some light weights first. The goal is to get stronger, without encountering an injury. Start with 5 lbs. weights, and lifting them up to your shoulders from the starting position, see how you do with 3 sets of 15 reps each. If you aren’t struggling but it’s a challenge (you’re panting), that’s a good place to start. If it’s a real struggle (you’re feeling dizzy or gasping for air), reduce your weight.
- Take a self-paced class. There are so many great strength training and resistant training classes available. The hard part, is choosing one! You may want to start with a Pilates or yoga class geared for seniors. These classes are known for strengthening your core, and offering a full-body workout, no matter what your fitness level is like.
The 60+ Cardio Workout
When age, comes the unfortunate aches and pains associated with carpal tunnel, past injuries, and arthritis. This doesn’t mean you need to limit your movement. In fact, limiting your movement can make the pain worse (because your body continues to tighten and stiffen). Begin by walking daily, either by yourself or with a spouse or friend. After a few weeks of the walking habit, work your muscles gently by walking with traditional weights, kettlebells or a wrapping a weighted belt around your waist. If you prefer the gym setting but are concerned about placing too much strain on your joints, choose a low-impact cardio machine such as the elliptical or the bicycle. Both of these machines will allow you to stay fit while reducing your risk of joint injury.
No matter what your fitness level is like or what your ultimate health goals may be, you can remain strong and resilient—while even delaying some symptoms of aging—when you commit to a weekly workout plan.