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Exercise For Mature Adults: What To Plan and What To Avoid

Mature adults need to have a consistent exercise routine in order to stay fit, healthy, and enjoy all of the mental and physical benefits. Of course, they also need to enjoy the exercise they are doing, or they won’t feel able to stick to it! Consistency is always more important than perfection or even the intensity. Knowing which exercises to plan and which to avoid can help a mature adult to feel more confident in the gym and get them used to moving their bodies regularly. 

A good exercise physiologist will always be able to recommend exercises for a mature adult based on their individual physiologist. Getting a plan from a clinical exercise physiologist is always safer than finding a plan online or getting a plan from a regular PT. An exercise physiologist will be able to take your needs into account, such as your age, any barriers that could stop you from reaching your goals, and the types of exercise that will benefit you most in the long run. 

Visiting an Exercise Physiologist

Visiting an exercise physiologist sydney will be the best way to get started on a regular exercise plan with peace of mind and confidence. Making sure the person you choose to visit is an accredited exercise physiologist is crucial – not everybody is qualified the same. Just because somebody says they can build a plan for you doesn’t mean they are qualified to do so. This is why checking out credentials is essential, as well as having a chat with the person to ensure they work to understand you as a person and your lifestyle, and want to help give you the tools to succeed with a plan. Some personal trainers who have done nothing more than a course over a few weeks or months will take your money and give you a generic plan then send you on your way. Somebody with an ndis exercise physiology won’t do this, and will take much more care. 

With this in mind, we’re going to take a look at exercises for mature adults, what to plan, and which exercises could potentially be avoided. The right plan will help you to enjoy benefits, such as decreased risk of heart disease, metabolic conditions such as diabetes, and high cholesterol. The right plan can also help you to keep any pain and chronic pain under control. 

Exercise For Mature Adults: What To Plan

Below is an idea of the exercise types most beneficial for seniors. 

Aerobic Activity 

Aerobic activity is a faster paced exercise activity that doesn’t include weights or resistance. It could be a zumba or dance class, for example, or even a jog. Aerobic activity can help to reduce blood pressure and high cholesterol, improve energy levels throughout the day, and 

improve mobility in the long run. Speaking with an exercise physio will ensure you know where your barriers may lay and give you an idea of how to get started when you’re not used to aerobic activity. 

Aim to start low intensity and you can work your way up. Walking for a while and then eventually working your way up to a jog could be the best plan of action. Don’t try to do more than what you have been prescribed and always keep in mind that slow and steady wins the race. You could also take classes to help build up your capability slowly. 

Water aerobics could make this type of exercise easier if you struggle with regular aerobics. Water aerobics can be great for arthritis and joint pain as it is lower impact and puts less stress on your joints. Your exercise physiology clinic will be able to tell you whether you should focus on low impact aerobic activity. 

Resistance Training For Muscle Strength

Resistance training helps you to build and maintain muscle strength, which can be essential for daily tasks like getting out of your chair, carrying chopping, and even cleaning the house. It helps you to become more functionally fit, but it’s important to note that building muscle takes a lot of time. Overdoing it won’t work, and this could cause issues in the long run! 

Mature people have to deal with muscle atrophy with age, but with regular resistance training this can be slowed down and muscle mass can be maintained. With a regular resistance training routine, you could find yourself improving functionality and balance, as well as improving range of motion – but your form does need to be correct. This is where an exercise physiologist can help you most. Form should come before everything else, as improper form causes injury and imbalances. 

Bodyweight exercises are a form of resistance training. This allows you to have the exercise as easy as possible before gradually making it more difficult as you improve your strength and confidence. For instance, you can begin strengthening your legs by using a chair and simply standing up and sitting back down for a number of reps. Do this for a number of weeks. When you’ve built up some strength and confidence, you can remove the chair and do air squats. When you have practiced this for a while, you could even add weights, or some resistance bands. Just take your time and don’t do anything before you’re ready. 

Push ups can be made easier by doing them against the wall for a number of weeks, then on some stairs, then on your knees on the floor, and so on. There are plenty of ways to make resistance exercises both easier and harder so you can find an alternative to suit your needs. 

Just pay close attention to any niggles as you work out, as this could either mean bad form or a potential injury.  

It’s totally fine to skip some exercises and find alternatives if you have pain, but you’ll need to do this with an exercise physiologist rather than working it out on your own. There’s good pain that you get from working out and pumping your muscles full of blood, and there’s bad pain that could mean straining your muscles too much or working towards some kind of injury. If you can’t get out to a gym, a mobile exercise physiologist may be able to help you. 

Flexibility and Balance

Flexibility and balance is another important aspect of any exercise routine, but especially if you’re doing resistance training. People who do resistance training alone, even young people, may lose their range of motion and flexibility if they don’t work on stretching and keeping their body supple. Yoga and pilates are great exercises for both flexibility and balance. Chair yoga is even a good exercise for those who may not be able to perform regular yoga to begin with. 

You could even focus on simple stretches each day and make sure you stretch out after a workout. Doing this before your workout can cause issues, as you shouldn’t really stretch cold muscles – it’s better to focus on dynamic warmups such as a walk or a gentle circuit. Stretching after your workout will help you to avoid tight muscles. An ndis registered exercise physiologist can give you an idea of the sorts of stretches you should be doing. 

Walking

Walking could be classed as an aerobic exercise, but it’s a good idea to incorporate even a gentle, short walk each day no matter what kind of aerobic exercise you are doing at other times. 

One study found that walking 10,000 steps lowered the ten-year outlook for mortality by 46%. 

You can adjust your goal based on your needs and what stage of fitness you’re at currently, so you don’t need to start off by doing 10,000 steps a day. To monitor your current step count, you could get a classic pedometer or a cheap activity tracker, but remember that some options are more accurate than others. When you have a rough idea of what you’re currently doing, you can add 1000 steps on and do that for a few weeks, or even a few hundreds steps. 

When you feel ready, you could focus on a moderate walking trail in a park, maybe even with an audiobook to keep you company during your walk. Walking can also be a great social activity if you join a walking club or go with a friend. An ndis exercise physiologist can advice you on step counters and how many steps you should aim for each day. 

Are There Any Exercises You Should Avoid?

If you’re over 65 then you may need to be careful about the exercises you include in your plan – although again, this will depend on where you’re at currently. Lifting too heavy may not be advised. Weights can be great, but pushing it too hard could prolong your recovery and make you not want to do it again. Powerlifting could be potentially dangerous, as well as activities like 

rock climbing that can present dangers. The only way to know for sure is to book an appointment with an accredited physiologist.

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