By Jane Sandwood
Regular exercise is one of the cornerstones of healthy living, and older adults can benefit from a fitness regimen to increase strength and have better health.
According to the CDC, seniors who are 65 years or older need at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity and muscle-strengthening exercises at least twice a week. Older men who want to keep their bodies in good shape may think that strength training is just for younger men.
However, studies show that men and women in their 60s and 70s who began supervised weight training can build strong and developed muscles that are similar to an average 40-year-old’s muscles. If you’re a senior thinking about getting stronger and well-defined muscles, follow these tips to safely and effectively build muscle in the gym or at home.
Older men who want to build muscle should start every workout with a good warm up. To warm up effectively before lifting weights, do some dynamic stretching combined with general warm-ups like cycling or running on the treadmill. You can also increase or maintain your cardio on the days before you lift weights to keep your heart healthy and keep you fit. All of these can help prepare your muscles for weight training.
Get guidance from an experienced trainer
Getting guidance and being supervised by an experienced trainer, especially if you’re new to lifting weights, can help prevent injuries and falls.
When looking for a personal trainer, find someone who can motivate you to work out and who has experience working with older clients. You should also vet a personal trainer in order to see if he can help you achieve your fitness goals.
Don’t overdo it
Take care not to put unnecessary strain on your joints and ligaments whenever you’re lifting weights. Typical body workouts should consist of two to three sets of 8 to 12 repetitions to start with, and doing more may be detrimental to your health and well-being. Take things slowly and do each movement deliberately to achieve muscle growth.
Eat a balanced diet
Being on an exercise regimen doesn’t mean that you can eat whatever you want. A balanced diet that’s rich in protein is essential for building muscle. Eggs, fish, red meat, turkey, milk, and beans are packed with protein so include these in your diet but don’t leave out the greens, vegetables, fruits, and carbs in your daily meal. Keep in mind that moderation and reasonable portions are the keys to good nutrition and can help you build muscle.
Check out senior exercise classes
If you don’t like exercising alone or don’t think that exercising at the gym is appealing, consider checking out your local senior center to see if they offer strength and muscle building exercise classes for older adults. It’s a good way to be social and make friends as you keep fit and build strong muscles.
You can achieve fitness and have strong muscles at any age. Follow these tips to build muscle safely and have a strong body for your overall health.
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