Fit for life: tips for your 60s and older

As a person reaches their 60s and older there can be a rapid decline in muscle mass and metabolic rate. Even if you are aerobically active, you will still lose muscle mass.
However, if you combine strength training into a healthy lifestyle that will help improve the muscle mass you can keep or even improve the muscles.
Using dumbbells, functional trainers or other types of resistance training are excellent ways to tone your muscles.
Another growing trend is for seniors to use Accelerated Vibration training, in which people stand on a machine such as the Power Plate or 3G Cardio Accelerated Vibration Trainer to get a great muscle workout with low impact on the joints.
Strength training also helps improve bone density.
Once a person starts moving better, it can trigger a positive cycle in their health and overall wellbeing.
When people say “use it or lose it” it’s most true about fitness.
Senior citizens who work out with free weights, machine weights or resistance machines improves many areas:
* posture stability
* prevents falls by improving balance
* strengthens bones and reduces risk of fractures
* improves muscular endurance and lets people better control symptoms of arthritis, osteoporosis, diabetes, back pain and even depression.
* Working out can even improve your overall outlook on life and make you feel better. If you maintain fitness levels in your golden years, it can help you keep a healthy, independent life much longer.
Weight training tips for seniors
While the benefits are proven time after time of working out with weights for seniors, it’s important to also be smart about it.
* Consult a doctor before beginning any significantly different fitness routine than you’re used to.
* A good stretching program is as important as any aspect of physical training, especially for seniors. It can take a lot longer to heal the older you are.
* Don’t be in a hurry. Take your time and use correct form.
* Ask a doctor or trainer for correct weightlifting techniques and how to set up a weekly routine. One of the most basic tips is to keep your head up and looking straight ahead for standing lifts and use your legs instead of your back to avoid strains.

At Home Fitness consultant Aaron Dorksen’s blog deals with a variety of fitness topics, ranging from workout tips, motivational ideas and feature stories on how exercise impacts people’s lives. E-mail him with comments, questions or ideas for future blogs at