Exercise Programming for Seniors
By 2050, the number of people aged 60 and up will have risen to 2 billion, up from 900 million in 2015. Many fitness professionals prefer to work with older people because they are rewarding to work with, and with the right exercise programming, these clients can improve their functional capacity and health significantly.
No one-size-fits-all approach to training older clients
Too often, we are told which exercises or training variables are “appropriate for older clients,” but great fitness professionals excel at meeting clients where they are, regardless of chronological age, which requires a shift in mindset from “age-based” to “capacity-based” program design.
A Definition of Healthy Aging
Healthy aging is defined as “developing and maintaining the functional ability that enables well-being at an older age,” according to the World Health Organization’s 2015 World Report on Ageing and Health. As fitness and wellness professionals, our goal should be to assist our clients in maximizing their functional ability.
What is functional ability?
Functional ability is the result of a complex interaction between a person’s intrinsic capacities and their environment. Intrinsic capacities include all of a person’s mental and physical capacities, while the environment includes everything in the individual’s external world, such as living space, community resources, and society as a whole.
PHYSICAL CAPACITY as it relates to training older adults
Physical capacity is the body’s ability to perform specific tasks; it does not “automatically” decline with age; however, some people experience a decline in physical capacity earlier in life due to the interaction of environment and intrinsic capacities (for more information, see www.physioethics.org).
ABILITY AND NATURE VERSUS NURTURE
Staying healthy and maintaining our functional ability as we age is not a matter of chance or a genetic lottery; rather, it is a matter of whether our physical and social environments provide us with opportunities to adopt a healthy lifestyle. According to some studies, genetics account for only 25%u201340% of healthy aging.
Exercise Progression and Functional Capacity for older adults
According to exercise physiotherapists in the United States, selecting exercise variables for an older person may require more creativity than for a young person.
What is the appropriate physical fitness program for senior citizens?
Seniors aged 65 and up should engage in at least 2.5 hours of moderate aerobic exercise (such as brisk walking) per week, which equates to about 30 minutes on most days of the week, or 1 hour and 15 minutes of vigorous exercise (such as jogging).
How do I start a senior exercise program?
How to Get Older Adults to Start Exercising
- Start slowly with low-intensity exercises.
- Warm up before exercising and cool down afterward.
- When exercising outside, be aware of your surroundings.
- Drink water before, during, and after your workout session, even if you don’t feel thirsty.
What activities provide good exercise for elderly adults?
- Water aerobics.
- Aerobic exercise classes.
- Bicycle riding (stationary or on a path).
What types of exercise programs are appropriate for adults over the age of 70?
Seniors’ Favorite Exercises
- Water aerobics has become a very popular form of exercise among people of all ages, but especially among seniors, in recent years.
- Chair yoga.
- Resistance band workouts.
- Body weight workouts.
- Dumbbell strength training.
How much sleep does a 70 year old need?
Sleep Changes in Older Adults. Most healthy older adults, aged 65 and up, require 7-8 hours of sleep per night to feel rested and alert. However, as you get older, your sleep patterns may change, which can lead to insomnia.
How many steps should an 80 year old walk in a day?
In general, older adults in good physical shape walk between 2,000 and 9,000 steps per day, which translates to 1 and 4-1/2 miles of walking distance, respectively. Increasing the walking distance by about a mile has health benefits.
Should seniors lift heavy weights?
Senior weight training not only increases strength, but it also improves motivation and self-confidence, allowing seniors to continue with the activity. It can also help older adults sleep better, be happier, and have better focus, as well as help prevent dementia and other degenerative diseases.
Is walking 30 minutes a day enough exercise?
Walking for 30 minutes a day can improve cardiovascular fitness, strengthen bones, reduce excess body fat, and boost muscle power and endurance, all while improving or maintaining overall health.
How much exercise should a 90 year old get?
The National Institutes of Health recommends that seniors engage in 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week, with strength, balance, and flexibility exercises thrown in for good measure.
How can elderly improve their balance?
Continue reading for a list of 14 exercises that seniors can do to improve their balance.
- Exercise 1: Single Limb Stance.
- Exercise 2: Walking Heel to Toe.
- Exercise 3: Rock the Boat.
- Exercise 4: Clock Reach.
- Exercise 5: Back Leg Raises.
- Exercise 6: Single Limb Stance with Arm.
Do exercise and activities needed necessary for the elderly?
Physical Activity is Important for Healthy Aging As an older adult, regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health because it can help you avoid many of the health problems that seem to come with age, and the more physical activity you do, the better your health will be.
Should seniors do sit ups?
Sit-ups and crunches used to be the go-to moves for keeping your core muscles in shape, but they aren’t as effective as we once thought, as they only strengthen a few muscles and can be dangerous for older adults. “They’re dangerous because you’re pulling on your neck,” says Boehm.
What is the best way for seniors to build muscle?
The two most effective ways to gain muscle mass as an older adult are cardio and strength training.
- Cardio is essential for overall heart health and metabolism, especially for those who lead a more sedentary lifestyle.
- Strength training is the key to muscle growth in older adults.
How should a 70 year old get in shape?
Get aerobic exercise: Most older adults need about 212 hours of aerobic exercise per week, or about 30 minutes on most days. Endurance exercises like walking, dancing, and playing tennis help your breathing, heart rate, and energy.
Can you build muscle at 70 years old?
Seniors Can Still Bulk Up On Muscle By Lifting Weights: NPR. Seniors Can Still Bulk Up On Muscle By Lifting Weights Our muscle mass declines at surprising rates as we get older, but researchers discovered that lifting weights can not only maintain but also increase muscle mass in people over 50.