Training Tips for Your Retirement Years
As we age, we start to lose some of the strength and flexibility that we had in our younger years. If you lead a relatively sedentary lifestyle, you may begin losing around 3% to 5% of our muscle mass each year starting as early as your thirties. Staying active during your senior years can help you to maintain muscle mass and avoid common health conditions such as heart disease, arthritis, and even dementia. Working out in your sixties isn’t quite the same as working out in your twenties, however. You need to be wary of your physical limitations and make sure that you avoid overtraining. Here are some tips on how you can train safely as your start stepping into your retirement years.
No matter how old you are, jumping into a new exercise routine without proper preparation is a recipe for disaster. You can pull muscles, strain joints, or even overwork your cardiac system. It’s best to gradually build up from a light to a moderate workout before trying anything too intense. If you’re just starting out, stick to exercises such as walking several times a week, senior dancing classes, tai chi, or yoga. When it comes to strength training, keep weights light.
Go Easy on the Joints
A natural part of aging is the degeneration of the joints, and unfortunately, there’s not much we can do to halt the process. A lifetime of movement wears down the protective cartilage protecting bones, leading to chronic inflammation in the joints, and in severe cases, arthritis. This painful condition affects around 54 million adults in the US alone and can severely impact quality of life. When exercising, especially in your senior years, you should treat your joints gently to avoid speeding up the degeneration of cartilage.
Eat Plenty of Protein
We need protein to keep up muscle mass, especially in our older years. Without enough protein, your body is unable to build, maintain, and repair muscle. You should check with your doctor to ensure that your daily protein intake is high enough for your activity levels. It’s best to avoid red meats, which can lead to high cholesterol, and stick to lean proteins such as poultry and fish. Seafood has the added benefit of supplying your body with omega-3 fatty acids, which can reduce inflammation in the joints and help to slow the progression of arthritis.
Staying active as you age can help to keep your mind strong and your body sharp well into your retirement years. The keys to a successful exercise routine as a senior are persistence and moderation. By taking proper precautions before you train, you can prevent accidental injuries and make the most out of every workout.