Strength Training

Yes Grandpa (and Grandma) You Can Lift Weights!

There are some things that are going to happen as you get older and a loss of strength and endurance starts from the time you are 25. Depending on how much you have kept in shape as you are aging will determine whether you still have been able to maintain muscle tone. Strength training is an activity that is never too late to start as part of healthy aging, even if you are grandparents.

An Important Part of Healthy Aging

Grandparents usually have young grandchildren that want to play with them, and grandparents are often asked to baby-sit. This is going to demand being able to hold them from the time they are babies and only weigh a few pounds, until they want to be picked up and carried around the zoo when they may weigh 40 pounds. These tasks can seem too much for grandparents who are out of shape, and you may need to build up strength for when those sort of occasions arise. Strength building is a way to keep you feeling younger and better able to keep up.

Before you start any kind of exercise or strengthening activity, it is important that you are checked by your doctor for any conditions such as arthritis, high blood pressure, osteoporosis or heart disease, which could limit the types and amounts of exercises you should do. After that, it is important to start out slow and warm up, to avoid any damage or undue stress to parts of your body that could actually cause damage or injury.

You will want to focus on lifting little or no weight at all to begin, such as using exercise or resistance bands, or light dumbbells. Do not attempt more than 2 non-consecutive days per week, and do each exercise around 15 times. Try to focus on all the different muscle groups and be sure to warm up with light exercises.

You may first want to start cardio exercising, with an activity you enjoy such as walking, jogging or yoga to help with your flexibility and get blood flow going, and also start building some muscle tone. The best strength training for grandparents may involve combining walking, with some weighted wristbands on the help build arm muscles, while building leg strength and get the cardio system pumping. It is recommended that you do at least 30 minutes of cardio exercise for a session.

Once you have started a routine that you enjoy and have made into a habit, you can add strength training sessions to it in increments. Some seniors have weekly shopping mall walks they attend, and many of the malls encourage this activity, which can also help spur window shopping by seniors.

You can purchase resistance exercise bands very cheaply, and these help strengthen muscles through resistance, and you build your way up on the resistance bands. This strength training option is good for grandparents because it does not put the strain on back muscles that traditional weight training does.

Water aerobics can be a fun way to add strength to cardio training, and many senior centers or local YMCA’s may offer these courses at a nominal cost. It is based on resistance training, as the aerobics are almost painless and the resistance is not felt as easily since it is based on fighting against the bouyancy of the water. Many seniors prefer this workout since it can be as simple as walking laps around the pool and performing simple exercises in the water.

Whichever method you decide on, strength training can help improve your flexibility, cardio condition, and balance and make it easier to keep up with the duties that many grandparents have. You may be able to find an activity where your grandchildren can be involved, such as trips to the zoo, or walking around the park.

There are grandparents that have kept their body and mind in the shape of a 40 year old when they are in their 60’s, and the reason is a healthy, well-balanced diet, with the right amounts of exercise. It is easy to start and stay motivated if you make it an activity you enjoy and that is not so strenuous that you dread doing it. Strength Training - Yes Grandpa, you can lift weights, and Grandma can too!


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