Workouts for Senior Men
|Nick Slade • 11/16/12|
I don’t have any studies to back it up, but I’m pretty sure 100 percent of women prefer to date men who are alive. They also look for men who will stay that way for a while, which means they want an active man with a positive mindset.
The paradox is that the older we get, the more we want to relax, but at the same time, our vital organs and muscles need to be reminded more often that they still have a lot of work to do.
Our workouts don’t have to be as vigorous, often and exhausting as they were in our younger days, but it is more important than ever for us to just keep moving.
Why should senior men work out?
About 13.5 million Americans have been diagnosed with coronary heart disease, and the lion’s share of them are senior men. Thousands more have not been diagnosed, and 1.5 million Americans have heart attacks each year.
Exercise cannot turn back the clock, but it can keep our heart strong, just as it keeps our other muscles strong.
When our heart is robust and pumping properly, this helps to keep arteries supple, too. A weak heart and hard arteries is a recipe for disaster.
Activity has many other advantages, too. It can help keep blood pressure levels and cholesterol under control. Our lungs work better and can fill themselves more completely.
Bones and muscles stay stronger and more resilient. We burn away more fat and reduce toxin levels that are linked to some kinds of cancer.
Our immune system, which deteriorates with age, keeps working more efficiently to ward off bacteria and disease.
And our joints stay more flexible and get more help from increased muscle and cartilage strength, which can even help prevent arthritis.
Perhaps the best reason of all to exercise is the psychological and lifestyle benefit. A healthy, vibrant body gives a man a more optimistic outlook on life and a boost of self-confidence to go after the lifestyle and the woman he really wants.
Exercise releases endorphins into our system that make us feel happy and combat depression. And our heightened endurance and energy level allows us to take advantage of our improved outlook on life.
How should senior men work out?
The kind of workout you choose depends on your age and your physical condition. If you haven’t been very active, you will have to start slowly.
The main thing to remember in setting up a regimen is to be realistic. Don’t plan on going to the gym two hours every other day if that routine will only last a week before you give up. And don’t expect immediate results.
“The important thing is to keep
your body and mind energized.”
1. Find your motivation.
You need a reason to succeed. Maybe there is a lady you would like to ask on a date, but you just don’t have the confidence to do it.
Your body image is suffering and your mood is one of defeatism. Let a revived dating life motivate you through all of your workouts.
2. Set a goal.
Every successful routine must have a goal. Your goal right now might be as simple as being a more vibrant, confident man who can be successful with the ladies.
You need to have a strong heart, tone up some muscles groups, and get that sparkle in your eye and the bounce of confidence back in your step.
3. Know your limits.
The best workouts include working some muscle groups and doing some cardio or aerobic exercises to strengthen your heart and lungs.
The rule of thumb is that your maximum heart rate is equal to 200 minus your age. So, while a pulse rate of 160 or 170 beats per minute may have been the norm a while back, you should check your pulse often while exercising and make sure it stays in the 120 to 150 bpm range, depending on your age and health.
Check with your doctor to make sure what exertion level is right for you. You can work out your muscles for muscle mass or muscle tone. For most senior men, muscle tone is the most important.
For big muscles, you want to use a lot of weight and a few repetitions, but for well-toned muscles, it is better to use smaller weights and many repetitions.
For a workout you can maintain for your whole life and do right at home, I recommend the following:
1. Inclined pushups.
The higher your torso, the more repetitions you will be able to do, but you need to make it a bit of a challenge.
The edge of the bathtub is much more difficult than the bathroom vanity, for instance. I like to use both at various times.
You might do a few sets of 10 or 20 pushups on the tub every morning and several sets of 20, 30 or even 40 pushups from the vanity each night.
This will strengthen and firm up your triceps and your chest. Don’t get your heart rate too elevated at night or you might have trouble sleeping.
2. Arm curls.
Keep a small dumbbell next to your favorite chair when you’re watching TV. You can find one at Target or Walmart.
Seven to 10 pounds is all you need. Remember, you’re not trying out for Mr. Universe. You just want biceps that have enough tone and firmness so you are comfortable and confident when your date takes your arm.
Do several sets with each arm throughout the evening. Just don’t strain yourself or overdo it. Find a number of repetitions that works for you, and gradually increase it every week or two.
3. Crunches and leg raises.
The old-fashioned sit-ups we did in gym class aren’t really necessary. Just the middle “crunch” part of the sit-up is all you need.
You can do these on the floor while you’re watching TV or before you get out of bed in the morning. It’s great for your abs, and a few leg raises will tone the lower part of your abdominals, too.
Abdominal workouts aren’t for everybody, so understand your abilities and needs.
4. Walking and cycling.
If you are only going to do one kind of exercise, do something that will benefit your heart and lungs. Walking, biking and swimming are the best aerobic exercises for a good cardiopulmonary workout.
If you have a place to swim, that is the best overall workout, as it also exercises almost all of your muscle groups as well as your heart. But swimming requires a special time commitment, whereas you don’t necessarily have to set aside time for walking and biking.
When you go out for the mail, take a power walk to the convenience store or gas station for a cup of coffee and some conversation. Ride a bicycle to run your errands instead of driving, and try to keep around your maximum pulse rate for 20 to 40 minutes if possible.
If you’re out of shape, don’t try to do too much too soon. Any activity is better than none. You never want to run out of breath or push yourself beyond your limits. In fact, don’t even get close to your limits. Just do what is easily manageable for you.
A treadmill or stationary bike at home is also a great way to get the aerobic exercise you need while you’re reading or watching the news. If you have the time, energy and determination to go to the gym regularly, that is a great way to stay in shape and meet people, too.
But the important thing is to keep your body and mind energized enough to have a happy and fulfilling life. So turn on, tune in, and limber up. An exciting world filled with promise and possibilities awaits you.