Women over 60 who exercise for at least 30 minutes three times per week have the heart, lungs, and muscles of a woman ten years younger. The kind of exercise that you do depends on what effect you want to see. Stretching promotes flexibility, makes movement easier, and decreases the risk of muscle injury; strength training promotes muscle strength and builds up bones; endurance exercises strengthen the heart and improve overall fitness. The best workouts will combine all three types of exercise.
UPPER BODY EXERCISES:
These promote :
- Flexibility of the shoulders, neck and back, and
- Alleviate problems such as headaches and painfully knotted muscles in the neck and back.
- They also improve your posture.
Starting with your chin on your chest, slowly roll your head around to your right shoulder. Hold this position and then slowly roll your head back, and around to your left shoulder. Repeat 10 times and change sides.
Throwing off back and shoulder tension
Let your arms hang loosely by your sides, and let your head drop forward. Throw your right hand over your left shoulder as if you have a ball in your hand. Repeat this on the other side.
Hanging back in a circle
Make a circle, hold hands with the person next to you, and lean backwards. If you do this with a mirror behind you, bend back so you can see your face in it. You can do this with one other partner.
IMPROVING FEET AND LEG MOBILITY:
Maintaining mobility and flexibility in your feet and weight-bearing joints is important as you get older. Devices like this can help as you get older but exercise will help to prevent debilitating physical conditions such as arthritis.
Kicking your boots off
Kicks not only increase articulation in the knees and hips, they also relieve anger and tension. Support yourself by holding on to a door frame and kick forwards, as if you were kicking off shoes. Do this several times with each leg.
Stand with your feet parallel and slightly apart. Lift your arches and bounce gently up and down without bending your knees. This improves strength and flexibility in your feet and calves.
Lie on your back, raise your right knee and place your left palm on your right kneecap. Gently bend and stretch your leg. Now move your foot round and round in a circle, keeping your knee still. Repeat with the other knee.
Resting in a squatting position increases flexibility in your knee and calves, and strengthens your thing muscles. Make sure that your feet are parallel and that your knees are on either side of your body. If you cannot stay in squatting position, hold on to a table leg to stop yourself falling backwards.
Stepping up and down
Stand on a soft mat with your feet slightly apart and kneel down on your right knee, followed by the other knee. Now, leading with your right foot, and keeping your spine vertical, go back to a standing position. Repeat until your thigh muscle gets tired and then repeat with your left leg. This is the way that you should stand up after you have been sitting or working on the floor.
Sit on the floor with your legs straight, and support yourself with your arms behind you. Flex and point your feet as many times as feels comfortable. Now slowly rotate your ankles, first clockwise and then anti-clockwise. This loosens joints and discourages puffiness.
WAIST & LOWER BODY EXERCISES:
After the menopause, fat distribution changes so that more fat is laid down on the waist and abdomen. These movements will help to keep your abdominal muscles toned and your hip joints loose and flexible.
Following the four steps indicated below, kneel on the floor and shift your weight on to your bottom on the right-hand side of you. Bring your knees up and over on to the left side. Return to a keeling position, then lift up your bottom and sit on your right-hand side again. If you repeat this movement, lifting your bottom over your feet, you should move around in a complete circle. You may need to use your hands to help you at first.
Full hip circling
Following, the three steps indicated below, lie on your back on the floor and slowly bring your right knee over to touch the floor on the left side of your body. Bring your right knee up towards your chest and hug it with your arms. Lower your bended leg to the floor, keeping it at right angles to your hip. Now slide the leg back into the original resting position. Repeat with the left leg.
Bottom and thigh toner
Lie on your front and cross your ankles. Keeping your knees straight, raise both your legs a short distance off the ground and hold them there for a count of ten. Now cross your legs in the other direction and repeat. Note: Avoid this exercise if you suffer from back pain.
Practicing this simple exercise regularly will keep your buttocks toned. Sit with your legs straight out in front of you and move forwards on your buttocks as fast as you can. Keep your arms stretched out straight in front of you.
Standing spiral twists
This straightforward exercise will help keep your spine supple. Stand with your feet apart, your arms loosely by your sides, and twist at the waist as far as you can. Now twist in the other direction and increase your momentum. Let your arms swing under their own gravity.
Before you begin any type of exercise program, make sure you consult your doctor, especially if you are over the age of 60.