Exercise – We all know it.  Exercise is good for you but, if you are over 60, breeze on by the advertising that touts ‘buns of steel.’  Recent research indicates that moderate exercise will give you as much protection from disease as the extensive exercise regimens touted by those much younger than you.

Experts now tell us to use a two-part exercise program that includes aerobic exercise like walking or bicycling to condition your heart plus strength training exercises such as calisthenics and low-intensity weight lifting to build muscle and cut fat.

To begin you should only exercise two or three times a week but should work toward at least five times a week. Easing into a routine like this gradually should be your goal.  By age 60 almost everyone has some degree of osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, joint irritation or lack of flexibility.   Exercising lightly will not aggravate these conditions, but will actually help them. Exercise will also keep your heart young, drive down high blood pressure, build up good cholesterol, improve balance, enhance sex life, increase mental acuity, elevate mood, control diabetes, decrease cancer risk, strengthen bones, ease joint pain and much, much more.

Get started properly.  Get a physical so you know that your body’s systems can handle additional physical stress. Warm up for at least 10 to 15 minutes using slow-walking, stretches or light calisthenics.  As you get older you body need to ease into exercise gradually because your system is down about one third and takes longer to warm up and cool down. Exercising more than 30 minutes at a time will help you lose weight if you do it three to five times a week and follow a proper diet. But if you don’t need to lose weight, three 10 minute sessions each day will be beneficial for protection against disease.

Schedule a regular workout time.

Have plenty of water along so as not to dehydrate.

Half of your exercise routine should include aerobics and the best aerobic exercise is walking, especially if you are over 60.  Start out by timing yourself and gradually increasing the distance over time.  Keep your pace constant, slow down on hills and track the temperature.  If it’s hot or humid your workout will seem harder.  As you become more comfortable with your routine, try some variation like shortening steps, trying weights or swing your arms as you walk.

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Here are some basic guidelines to follow for strengthening exercises:  Keep it slow – perform exercises slowly spending two seconds in the lifting phase of each exercise and four to six seconds in the lowering part.  Moving too fast reduces the benefits and you could actually hurt yourself. Always inhale before lifting, exhale while lifting and inhale as you lower the weight to get the best benefit. Select just a few exercises to begin with, a few for the upper body and a few for the lower body.  You can always increase as your routine helps you to gain stamina. Use music to help establish a rhythm.

Dress for comfort.

Pick the right kind of shoes.  Walking or running shoes absorb the shock of your stride because of a slightly elevated heel that also helps prevent injuries to leg muscles and tendons.  Tennis and other types of athletic shoes absorb impact of sideways movement and quick turns.  Buy new shoes often even though they may last for years.  That is because the shock absorption only lasts for a few months.

Wear loose fitting clothing for comfort, don’t drink coffee or any diuretics before or while exercising and exercise vigorously enough so that you can’t talk and exercise at the same time!

Did you know that HealthStatus.com has video workouts that you can access anytime on your computer? Visit workout @ HealthStatus to find out how easy it is to have over 150 workouts available anytime right on your computer and no wasting money on gas to go to the gym.

HealthStatus Team

HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our health risk assessment, body fat and calories burned calculators.The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years.
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8 thoughts on “Exercise over 60

  1. Mike Wright

    Your articles on senior fitness are priceless. Check out greatamericanworkout.com for the super-fit over 60 crowd. Lots of info.
    Keep up the good work.

  2. Mike Logan

    Hello All,

    Great article, sage advice, and I exercise at my local YMCA with several folks in their 80’s so don’t stop and don’t forget that exercise is good for your brain’s neuroplasticity and neurogenesis. Mike

  3. Bob Cooley

    It strikes me that us over 60’s generally set the bar far too low when it comes to exersize and weight matters. I know that luck plays a part in avoiding getting a totaly debilitating condition by the time we reach 60, but for those who have managed to what is the limit that can be achieved?
    None at all as far as I can tell.
    This Sunday coming I will be competing in my 3rd triathlon of the year. I know I won’t win it but I feel pretty damn good about just being able to take it on. And that is a major part of the motivation for me, just being able to do it. The best athletes will be 20-30 minutes quicker than me, and the worst will be 20-30 minutes slower.
    We haven’t reached an age barrier, we have reached a mental one.
    The skin and bones that make up our physical presence can do almost anything (albeit slowly), it is our tired brains that drag us down.
    So stop dithering, procrastinating and making excuses, set a decent target, prepare for it and amaze yourselves.

  4. Peter Wignell

    I am seeking a suitable strength, conditioning and aerobic exercise regime. I am a 64-year-old man with a long history of quite intense physical activity. I have been a Rugby player, American Football player and competitive powerlifter. For the six months prior to this month on 5 to 6 days a week I had been doing an MMA style intense conditioning routine with light (25kg) weights and bodyweight exercises supplemented by cycling for about 45 minutes 5 days a week. I think I might have been overdoing it. I have recently been diagnosed with an inguinal hernia (actually two, both on the same side). Since diagnosis I have just been walking (about an hour a day). I am planning to have the hernias repaired asap and would appreciate advice on an appropriate post-recovery exercise regime that would allow me to maintain cardio conditioning and strength, without giving me any more hernias. Any advice appreciated.



    1. tom

      I’m over 60 with a stent and no lasting damage…recently bought a concept2 rowing machine…its low impact…exercises 85% of muscles and will five a great cardio and strength workout in 30-45min or less….build up slowly and have fun!

  5. mot hoople

    which system is down a third??



  7. Ed

    Can you suggest a strength and conditioning programme for me a 60 old. Healthy

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