When it comes to fitness for seniors, I’m interested because: a) I’m a senior b) these are the results of my own research and trials c) my kin degree is 40 years old but it give me a basic way to understand and test out different theories of weight loss and fitness. (It’s also a refresher on the anatomy and physiology courses) 🙂
But Is It Better Than Sex?
You’re kidding right? This thought comes from Jonathon Fields in his book How To Live A Good Life (Amazon) when he suggests the only way to keep doing something is to make it adult play. We exercised regularly as children when we ran, jumped and skipped our way through a regular day. Our objective as seniors is to find something that excites us to move as much as we used to do when we were children. If you can find something like that, it has to be better than sex. 🙂
My Own Research
I started researching and bringing myself back up-to-speed about fitness in the summer of 2016 while I was building stone walkways and walls. Moving several hundreds pounds of rock a day seemed to be making a decent difference to my fitness and strength level and I was extremely happy with that. But I knew that as soon as cold, snowy weather arrived, I wan’t going to be outside hauling rocks around. I needed another option.
What I didn’t want to do was spend the winter down south and return next spring totally out of shape and unable to work with the stone. I wanted to return and be strong enough to handle the work of building walls and gardens.
I also decided that being a senior citizen, there was a minimum level of fitness I wanted and it was going to take work to both improve my fitness and maintain it.
Let’s be honest, I’m a certified senior citizen and I’m not as strong as I used to be when I was 25. Heck, I’m not a lot of things (other than smarter and better looking – those have improved ) than I was when I was 25.
Basic Muscle Growth
A muscle only gets stronger when you work it past its current state of fitness. If you do the same exercise day after day without varying the frequency, work load or time, then your muscle strength doesn’t improve. It may not become worse but it won’t improve.
What Do We Normally Measure In A Workout
- recovery time
Workout Theories and Styles
The combination of those things is what makes the critical differences between workout styles. But every style must change at least one of those things if you’re going to improve your fitness and/or muscle strength past its current state.
What’s Fascinating About Improving Strength
As it turns out, strength training for seniors (or those of any age) is correlated to a significant number of positive health changes. From better cardiovascular health such as lowered blood pressure, to weight loss, to better balance and mobility, and delaying Alzheimer’s, the research is crystal clear that strength training is as important to seniors (of both sexes) if not more important than it is to younger people.
Let Me Lead With My Biggest Problem.
I hate exercising.
It’s not that I don’t believe the research, it’s not that I don’t want the benefits but I’ve never been a fan of strength training. That started back in my athletic days when we were expected (demanded actually) to work out regularly. I played competitive intercollegiate volleyball – we went to the All-Canadians twice – and at the Senior A level for the city for Provincial-level championships. It was simply an expected part of playing that we’d work out. I hated it then and I hate it now.
Pushing weights for the sheer delight of pushing heavy objects around isn’t an activity that made much sense to me. What I wanted was something short and sweet but effective. I found it and here are the results of that work with only 12 minutes a week spent on the weights. (Note: it worked and I’m stronger but I quit.)
And then I decided to get back into jogging. That did not go well. Here’s why
I’m going to report on my experiments to find the system that’s easy on the joints while increasing fitness. And if I find one that’s better than sex, you’ll be the second one to know about it. 🙂