3 Simple Tips for Exercising as We Age

  1. Keep it Functional:  There are functional moves of average daily living that we all need to incorporate into our workouts to stay mobile throughout our later years in life.  Think about what we do on a daily basis.  We are in and out of the car, grocery shopping, doing laundry, lifting up grandbabies, loading the dishwasher, jogging across a busy road and not to mention whatever we choose for our professions (past or present).  The movement patterns that we use on any given day are these seven:  push, pull, squat, lunge, twist, hinge, and balance.  We may not even realize that we are using these moves but now that we are, try to incorporate them into your daily exercise routine.  If you need more photos and descriptions of these movement patterns,  email me at [email protected] and I will send you my e-book The 7 Functional Movement Patterns of Average Daily Living.

  2. Add Resistance:  Bone density is typically a concern for the aging population because as bones get brittle, we have more chances of injury.  It is hard to imagine that bone is actually a living tissue, just like muscle.  When you work them, they get stronger?  It is known that after our third decade in life, we begin to lose bone density.  The one thing that can slow the progression is regular exercise with resistance.  This is especially important for those diagnosed with osteopenia (bones are weaker but not yet to the point where they are too far gone) or osteoporosis (a disease in which bone density and quality is already reduced).  Exercises that can minimize your risk for developing Osteoporosis are anything that works against gravity.  Hiking, climbing stairs, or lifting weights would be good examples.  Exercises that can help us maintain muscle coordination, gain strength and balance will also help us prevent falls and possible fractures.

  3. Walk: Don’t underestimate the power of our own stride.  Walking is the most functional exercise you can do.  Not only is it free, you can do it anywhere with no equipment needed.  It helps keep us functional and works against gravity.  Boom…this is an all-inclusive exercise to enhance health and graceful aging! The benefits of walking are so many but to name a few: improves heart rate, improves mood, aids in weight loss, decreases blood pressure, improves balance and coordination, prevents dementia and osteoporosis, boosts energy…and the list goes on.  My suggestion would be to walk anytime you can.  Park far away from where you are going.   Get a few extra steps in every day.  Take the stairs.   I have worked with clients who do not have the simple act of walking as an option so my point here is; don’t take it for granted.  If you can walk, get going.  Your life is waiting.

Savvy Blog Contributor:

Jenn Benson

Jenn Benson is a Certified Personal Trainer, Corrective Exercise Specialist, Weight Loss Specialist, and Group Fitness Instructor, Jenn has been able to help countless people discover their passion for exercise. Over the years, her motto of K.I.S.S. (Keep it simple stupid) has allowed her to excel in the ever-changing field of fitness. When Jenn is not traveling around teaching or training, she is spending her free moments running around with her two boys and adventurous husband.

Check out her book Dear Couch, We’re Through! for some more resources to help you get started, stay motivated, & have fun with your exercise. You can also visit Jenn at www.jennbenson.com

Opinions expressed by Savvy Women blog contributors are their own, and may not express the opinions of the Savvy Professional Women Network.