Easy at home workouts for over 60s

Feb 06, 2023
With easy at-home workouts, you can stay active and improve your physical fitness without having to leave the comfort of your own home. Source: Getty Images.

If you are 60 or older, exercise is critical for ensuring optimal health and maintaining independence while ensuring you have the energy to do more of what you love, like keeping up with the grandkids.

Exercise not only promotes an active lifestyle but also lowers the chances of acquiring diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis in addition to boosting your mood and strengthening your immunity.

Given the amazing advantages that come with exercise, it’s surprising not everyone is flocking to the local gym. Now that the new year is well and truly upon us, there’s no better time to strive towards your fitness goals.

However, Clinical Psychologist and Fitness Trainer at Love Your Life Over 60, Penelope Lane highlights that “as people get older, gyms can become intimidating and unwelcoming places”.

“These negative assumptions pivot around the belief that gyms only cater for younger people. And that they are not fit enough or strong enough to walk into a gym and workout there. They won’t be able to do the exercises and will make a fool of themselves- embarrass themselves,” Lane explains.

The perfect remedy to such concerns and an enticing alternative to the gym when looking to take care of your health and fitness can be at home workouts.

Benefits of working out at home for over 60s

Source: Getty Images.

Despite the popularity of gyms, working out at home can be a great option for those over 60 who still want to stay active but want to avoid the heaving crowds that can be a regular fixture at gyms, particularly for those who would prefer a more peaceful environment.

In addition to personal preferences when it comes to one’s health and fitness, Personal Trainer and  Founder of Everflex Fitness, Michael Hamlin further highlights some of the benefits that come with breaking a sweat in the comfort of your own home.

  • Price: Working out at home can be super affordable for those that aren’t making any more income after retirement. Instead of monthly gym payments you can instead focus on buying a small amount of equipment and saving your money.
  • Reduced risk of exposure to illnesses: By avoiding crowded gyms, there is a reduced risk of exposure to illnesses such as the common cold or flu.
  • Convenience: Working out at home eliminates the need to travel to a gym and saves time that can be used for other activities.

Getting set up for your at home fitness routine

Source: Getty Images.

Whether you are chasing an array of fancy new equipment or just want to rely on simple body weight exercise, getting set up to exercise at home can be a simple process that can be tailored to an individual’s specific needs and abilities.

Over 60s can start by determining their fitness goals and choosing exercises that align with those goals. A few common equipment options include resistance bands, hand weights, a stability ball, or even just using one’s own body weight for resistance.

Group & Personal Training Specialist Daniel Munday from DPM Performance is all about “keeping things simple” when it comes to getting your daily dose of exercise in.

“The main thing to remember is you don’t need any equipment. Sure you can use things like weights, or treadmills or exercise bikes or whatever, but why make things harder for you? I’m about keeping things simple and doing exercises using your own bodyweight,” Munday says.

“Make sure you are doing the right exercises that take into account whatever injuries or conditions you may have. Speak with your doctor about what might be appropriate for your current situation, especially if you haven’t done anything for a little while.”

Hamlin suggests the main areas of focus when getting ready to exercise at home include:

  • Equipment: Over 60s can invest in equipment such as resistance bands, dumbbells, a stability ball, a yoga mat and if they really want to splurge they can buy a stationary bike or treadmill.
  • Space: Setting up a home gym requires enough space to comfortably move around and perform exercises. Think about all of the movements you will be doing first and then you can start to dream up your little fitness space. You may start with wanting to do yoga movements only but eventually want a little space for moving around later. Think about today as well as the future so you always have a space to train in.
  • Budget: The cost of setting up a home gym will vary based on the equipment chosen but starting with more inexpensive pieces of equipment and working up is a good way to begin for someone in their 60’s.

While setting up your equipment and space to exercise at home can be an exciting prospect, Hamlin also suggests the following precautionary measures to avoid injury:

  • Warm up properly: Before starting any physical activity, take 5-10 minutes to warm up with light cardio or dynamic stretching. The body isn’t as limber as it once was. Warm up really well to prevent injury
  • Consult with a doctor: Consult with a doctor before starting a new exercise routine, especially if you have any pre-existing health conditions.
  • Start slow: Begin with low-impact exercises and gradually increase intensity and duration over time. Think low and slow to start!
  • Focus on balance: Incorporate exercises to improve balance and stability to reduce the risk of falls.
  • Use proper form: Ensure that you are using proper form when exercising to avoid injury. This can include maintaining a tall upright posture for many different exercises. Speak with a professional if you are unsure what this looks like.
  • Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water before, during, and after exercising to prevent dehydration. Hydration is important for performance of most movements especially as we age.
  • Listen to your body: If you experience any pain or discomfort, stop exercising and seek medical attention if necessary.
  • Stay safe: Make sure your exercise space is clear of any obstacles, and use proper equipment if necessary.

Easy to do exercises for optimal health and independence

Source: Getty Images.

Knowing how to put together an arsenal of equipment for your at home workout needs is one thing but knowing what exercises to do to ensure optimal health is another.

Whether it be grunting away under the weight of a barbell or some simple body weight exercises to improve daily function, there are a myriad of at home exercises to choose from.

When it comes to exercises to do at home to maximise your health and fitness and maintain independence, Hamlin suggests the following:

  • Resistance training: This includes lifting light weights, using resistance bands, or doing bodyweight exercises like push-ups and squats. Ageing doesn’t mean you should lay off the resistance work. It is more important to include resistance work as we age so that we don’t lose muscle mass as quickly as we normally do throughout the ageing process.
  • Balance exercises: This includes heel-to-toe walking, standing on one foot, and tai chi. I’ll even run some of my clients through speed ladder work to keep them agile as they age.
  • Aerobic exercises: This includes light walking, cycling on a stationary bike, and step aerobics using a low step.
  • Stretching exercises: This includes yoga, Pilates, and gentle stretching to improve flexibility. We lose some of our flexibility as we age and it’s important to maintain it to be able to continue living a high quality of life.
  • Chair exercises: If you are much older than 60, a great way to start is with chair exercises. This includes seated chair squats, arm curls, and leg extensions using resistance bands or weights.

Above all Munday advises that “the main thing is to do things that are right for your body.”

“We all have niggles or conditions that might stop you from doing what others might consider the perfect exercise. That doesn’t mean it’s the perfect exercise for you,” Mundy explains.

“But assuming there’s no injuries, you can do plenty of bodyweight exercises that don’t need any equipment. Things like a wallsit (holding a squat against the wall), plank variations on your toes or knees for your midsection, to push ups for your upper body, or wall push ups if you can’t manage ones on your knees or toes.

“You can even do 1 arm push ups standing away from the wall or a door frame.”

Maintaining a regular exercise routine is essential for maintaining good health and well-being, especially as we age.

With these easy at-home workouts, you can stay active and improve your physical fitness without having to leave the comfort of your own home.

IMPORTANT LEGAL INFO This article is of a general nature and FYI only, because it doesn’t take into account your personal health requirements or existing medical conditions. That means it’s not personalised health advice and shouldn’t be relied upon as if it is. Before making a health-related decision, you should work out if the info is appropriate for your situation and get professional medical advice.

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