While it may get more difficult as we cross the 50- and 60-year-old barrier, exercise remains just as important as it did in our younger years. In fact, it can play an even bigger role in our overall wellness as we try to stay fit and mobile.
Strength training just two days a week helps combat natural muscle loss and can improve balance, helping to prevent falls, which is one of the largest health risks to seniors and can have debilitating—and even deadly—consequences.
Essex Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing has five of the best exercises you can do after turning 60, rotating through by performing three to four sets in order to make up one strength-training session.
- Dumbbell Squat
Holding a dumbbell close to your chest, push your hips back into a squat until your hips are parallel with the ground. Use your heels to power yourself back to a standing base. Do 10-15 reps per set.
- Side Plank
While on the ground, put one leg on top of the other into a side plank. Lean on one elbow and raise your other arm straight into the air, rotating your shoulder blade, then return to the starting position. Do 10 reps on each side per set.
- Band Pull-Aparts
Resistance bands can be great for strength training. For this exercise, simply take a light or medium band at shoulder-width apart. Then stretch it so your arms are completely stretched from side to side. Hold for one to two seconds, then return to the starting position. Perform 20 reps per set.
While keeping your core tight and leaning forward slightly, lower yourself until your back knee touches the ground and bend the front knee at a 90-degree angle. Use the heel of your front foot to propel you back to your feet. Do 10 reps on each leg per set.
- Push Ups
Be sure to perform a proper push up—keep your body in a straight line going both down and up. If you need a modification, you can start by doing them on your knees instead of your toes. Do 10-20 reps per set.
To learn more about Essex Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing and all of the services they offer, visit http://essex-center.facilities.centershealthcare.org.