As I write this post we are still in Lockdown and going to the Gym is not an option. I have also found over the last few years that exercise which was once easy is now very difficult and even painful. To avoid becoming a chunk during lockdown or as I age and to keep morale and mindset on the upside, I looked at what options might be available and what is advised to keep body and soul together.
I looked first at what is the Best Home Exercise Equipment and also what exercise I should and shouldn’t be doing
Medical Disclaimer: Please note that I am not medically trained and suggest you speak to your medical practitioner for personal guidance, if you need advice, have any personal concerns or medical complications.
What is the Best Home Exercise Equipment
Yoga Mat. Providing much-needed cushioning and traction as you exercise
Stationary Exercise Bike. Has many benefits, can boost your Cardio Fitness, build muscle strength, help with weight loss,
whilst limiting the impact on your joints. Unlike the mobile kind this bike can be used when outdoors weather is inclement
Bicycle (Mobile kind) Benefits both physical and mental Health, Cardio Fitness, muscle strength, core strength (helps with balance) & flexibility. Getting outside will benefit mental health, which in turn helps the mind the body and soul plus a good Dose of Vitamin D
Exercise Ball. Help with balance and core strength without putting any additional stress or pressure joints or bones. Good fun. Check out this video by clicking on the link.
Resistance Band. Good for core strength, balance, flexibility & helps fight bone loss and symptoms of arthritic pain. How does this work? Resistance training enhances muscular strength. During the exercise muscles are forced to move against tension provided by your own body weight.
You could also add Treadmill to this list but in all honesty a brisk or even gentle walk is both cheaper and better for the soul than running or walking on a treadmill. It is also a more social affair
How to Start Working Out When 60 +
It is unlikely you have never exercised, what is much more likely is finding the time or possibly the inclination. Now you have a little more time or a medical professional has said you could benefit from some form of regular exercise. Where to start?
If it has been a while since last you exercised, then it is suggested you switch back and forth between aerobic and core strength/ flexibility exercises.
Building your core strength has many benefits, first two being balance and stability. Many seniors (myself included) found as I aged that tripping and falling was and is a continual concern. No longer can I fall without injury or speedy reflex to correct my balance if I tripped. That being said once you increase your core strength you will find correcting your balance or indeed the impact of falling and subsequent injury is greatly reduced.
Finding something you enjoy is key. Walking, cycling or even swimming, or indoor exercises. This brings us to Best Exercise Equipment for Seniors
Tai Che, Yoga and Pilates are all good for building flexibility and core strength. They can be undertaken as a beginner through to advanced.
I personally suffer with Back Pain and other joint issues and have found huge success with Tai Che, it is simple and also a great technique for mindfulness and being in the present moment. Tai Che, Yoga and Pilates can all be used to some degree no matter your age. Attached is a 6 Min Beginner You Tube Video with Cindy
During this video she refers to a Stretch video which I have also attached
Benefits of using your Yoga Mat for these exercises will cushion your joints (when sitting or lying down). The mat also and helps with traction.
Switching to an Aerobic exercise on alternative days offers variety and keeps you motivated. Aerobic exercise is simply a way of increasing your heart rate to more than it normally does when resting. Your metabolic rate will increase, a release of endorphins and potentially help with sleep. Be ever mindful and seek professional advice if you have a medical condition which may preclude you from strenuous forms of Aerobic exercise. But apart from running and a gym class what are aerobic exercises?
Stationary Bike Is an Aerobic Exercise:
The variety of Bikes on the market is intimidating. You do not need an expensive all singing all dancing Bike (not in the beginning)
Benefits of Stationary Bike: You can exercise little and often, or you can start small and increase your strength and duration over time. Requires little if any skill and you can purchase these Bikes second hand both cheaply and easily whilst trialing this as a form of aerobic exercise. Your fitness level will increase even whilst watching the TV, it requires little if any concentration but you can up the level of resistance (like on a hill) to increase your work out result. This has the capability to offer both Resistance and aerobic training all in one “work out”
Bicycle: Is also an Aerobic Exercise.
In your youth you may have cycled lots, you may be apprehensive of getting on the saddle again. Speaking from experience. Start slow and ride on quiet roads before venturing onto the main roads. Slowly increase your duration and add in the odd hill. Even ten to twenty minutes every other day or so will give you many benefits and you will notice the change quickly.
The benefits of a Bicycle: Has lots of hidden and not so hidden benefits. From the outset this will offer a dynamic upgrade to your core strength and obviously balance. When travelling on an (even a small) incline the bike will move into resistance and the act of peddling will increase the level of aerobic exercise, it will build muscle and offer a real feel good factor, especially on a fine day. The hidden benefits are often related to physical and mental well-being. In addition, cycling to the shops has a double benefit of feeling smug because you left the car at home.
This also has the capability to offer both resistance and aerobic types of work outs.
Downside, if you live in a rainy or cold climate (like the UK in the winter) then this is not such a “feel good” exercise. Never the less on the spring and autumn days, nothing can beat a ride around the country or cycle along the seafront
Stability Exercise Ball:
This is a simple yet fun way to build your core strength, balance and flexibility. You need to practice when first you start, but you will very quickly get the hang of it. A wonderful way to stimulate body with minimal stress to your joints or bones.
Keeping balanced and bouncing is a great deal of fun and yet all whilst knowing this is working on flexibility and balance is a little minor miracle.
The Benefits are almost limitless with this little ball.
- Your balance and alignment will improve very quickly.
- The stability ball is very reasonably priced can purchase quickly and easily
- Improvement to balance is noticed quickly and over a very short time, in as little as a week you will notice improvement
Check out You Tube link for an excellent workout on the stability Ball (specifically for Seniors) with Cindy
Working With A Resistance Band:
Adding variety to your workouts keeps your motivation going, you need to diversify to stop spirits lagging and this is one for the list and why its in my “Best Exercise Equipment For Seniors.
The Benefits of a Resistance Band.
- They are dirt cheap to purchase, limited outlay,
- Can modify and adapt for all fitness levels,
- Builds core strength and flexibility,
- Can work the whole or any part of the body,
- Easy to learn.
- Takes up minimal (if any) storage, the latter is huge benefit is space is limited
Click on the link to watch a workout with Cindy specifically for seniors
How much Exercise Should I be doing in My 60’s
Any amount of exercise is a good place to start, but if you are able to regularly walk or swim then adding additional aerobic and resistance will give you a lift both with mental health and physical health.
From my perspective I will try and do between 20 and 30 minutes per day, however I also try and keep my steps over 10,000 per day. This may not be possible for many but don’t let that stop you continuing with resistance.
I will add a link from the NHS, click here for additional information on what you should and should’shouldn’t be doing, this link will offer some guidance. They include things like Mowing the Lawn and a brisk walk as moderate exercise, and making a cup of tea as light exercise. If you are from the US, click on the link from the Harvard Medical College for additional information
Over 60 what Exercise Should I Avoid
A lot will depend on your own medical circumstances, we are all vastly different in terms of flexibility and fitness. You may also have a pre existing injury which needs care. Some obvious exercises like any extreme sport (unless you are already super fit) nor any exercise which jars the back or joints.
Long runs are not recommended nor is lifting a dead weight. If you are about to venture into the Gym then talk to the Gym instructor and let him/her know exactly your restrictions and your age. It is likely he will suggest you do not perform lateral neck pull downs, or pull ups. Trunk Twisting and abdominal crunches & leg presses
Stair Lifts, (In the Gym) are also a bit of a danger especially if your balance and core strength is poor. Falling is the worst possible thing you can do so try and ensure nothing you do will exacerbate this risk.
Additional ideas click on the post I wrote called Hobbies for Older Women and things you may enjoy
Your own two legs offer much by way of exercise, in addition and to assist and build core strength, flexibility, muscle strength and of course increase your fitness level, you do not need all the above but the best exercise equipment for someone in the 60s and above is:-
* Yoga Mat
* Stationary Bike
* Bicycle (Two wheel variety)
* Gym or Stability Ball
* Resistance Band
Thank you very much for reading thus far, I would love to heart your experiences of exercise, is it new to you, have you been doing it for ages and what works for you.
I have added links to a resource page which will take you to the option to purchase any or all the above.
I would like to give a “shout out” to the wonderful photographers who created the images on this post.
Feature Photo : Cycling for Two – Tandem Bike By Annie Spratt on Unsplash
Thumbnail Stationary Exercise Bike – Artbox by Pixabay
A shout out to Cindy on You Tube who’s You Tube Videos I have embedded into this post
Speak soon and stay safe
Founder of Hey Spring Chicken