The urge to work out at home may stem from any number of reasons for young adults. Perhaps they're trying to save money by avoiding costly gym memberships. Or maybe they're trying a new exercise like zumba and would prefer perfecting the moves in privacy before taking in-person classes. When you're an older adult, however, getting your exercise in the home is sometimes more of a necessity than a preference.
If you struggle to climb stairs, open doors, or carry groceries, the idea of going to a gym full of young, healthy adults can be intimidating. The good news is older adults can get just as good of a workout at home as they can in a gym setting to help maintain body weight, muscle mass, and flexibility. Here, we explore four components necessary to an effective workout, so you can design a fitness program ideal for your fitness and skill level.
According to ACTIVE.com, the purpose of a warm-up is twofold: to enhance workout performance and prevent injury. A warm-up like an easy walk around the house or a slow pace on a stationary bike slowly elevates your heart rate and increases blood flow, both of which help your body achieve a better workout.
Cardiovascular (Aerobic) Workout
There are a number of benefits of cardiovascular exercise for older adults. It can strengthen your heart and lungs, give you more energy, sharpen your mind, help you manage your weight, and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, according to About.com Exercise. The key to successful cardiovascular exercise at home is to choose activities that not only fit your needs, but you find enjoyable, too. Challenge your body and keep your routine interesting by switching up your cardiovascular exercise every few weeks.
Resistance (Strength-Building) Exercises
Resistance training with elastic bands or free weights can help improve muscle strength, balance, coordination, flexibility, and range of motion while fighting bone loss and easing symptoms of arthritis pain, according to Discovery Fit & Health. Even better, with regular resistance training, you'll notice everyday tasks like carrying groceries from the car to the kitchen becoming increasingly easier.
Every workout should include a cool-down, no matter how strenuous the exercise that comes before. According to fitday.com, a cool-down is important to help reduce muscle soreness and allow for blood to circulate throughout your body, ridding it of toxins. According to Harvard Health Senior Living, stretching is the best way to maintain (or regain!) muscle and joint flexibility and reduce general muscle tension. As part of an effective cool-down, stretching helps alleviate the soreness of post-workout muscles. If you're looking for new and exciting stretches to incorporate into your fitness routine, explore yoga, which has been shown to be an effective way for older adults to build core strength, balance, and flexibility.
Want even more tips for keeping fit in your home? Download our free guide Remaining Active: How to Begin a Regular Exercise Routine today!
Photo Credit: Nicole Lee