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Seventy (70) Is The New Forty (40) – Exercising Your Total Body Is Good News For Baby Boomers
Seventy (70) is the new Forty (40). To many of you that sounds like a lot of BS as you sit there with aches and pains in places you never knew you had. I’m 70 so I know how you feel. As we age, our metabolism slows, muscle mass shrinks and our hormones and neurological responses decline. However, these facts being what they are, recent studies at the Center for Exercise Medicine at the University of Alabama (Role Tide) for you Bama Fans, have in fact verified the statement, that seventy (70) is the new forty (40) is. . Several of their studies show that muscle growth and strength can be achieved by us Baby Boomers, or seniors if you will. The key is consistent effort. If you make the effort to exercise consistently and follow a fitness schedule, you will see results. I’m not suggesting that you try to bench press New Jersey and run a Forrest Gump marathon, but that you follow a fitness schedule that consists of at least thirty (30) minutes three times a week. To see results may take a little longer to achieve, but the studies indicate if you are consistent, the results will be the same as when you were in your forties. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather have a body of a well-toned person in their forties than a muscle-sag person in their seventies or beyond.
As I mentioned earlier, I am 70 years old and have followed various workout regimens for over 50 years, long before it became fashionable mainstream. With that said my advice is to first, and most importantly, consult with your medical doctor and make sure he gives you the OK to start your fitness schedule. Once you are cleared to start your schedule, start with the basics, at a slow to moderate pace. Your workout schedule should be basic, but work your entire body.
Let’s start with some basics:
(SETS) A set refers to the particular exercise for the particular muscle group in your fitness regimen. Example Bicep Curls, Our goal is to do three sets of each body part minimum eight (8) reps, maximum twelve (12) reps. Once you reach twelve (12) reps, you should increase your weight. As with all exercises once you reach twelve (12) reps, without much resistance, increase your weight amount by 2 1/2 or 5 pounds. It’s a judgment call on your part.
(REPS.) Reps is short for repetitions or number of times you repeat a particular exercise movement. Example Eight (8) reps.
Shoulder Width – Place your feet the width of your shoulders.
A BASIC SCHEME:
1) WARM UP: First I like to take a short walk for about ten minutes, on a treadmill or in nature to get my blood flowing and loosen up all my body parts.
2) Push-ups: To start 5 to 10 push-ups. The idea is the movement, push-ups from a wall will still work your chest muscles and triceps.
3) Stretch Bans-: Grab the ban with your hands and put your elbows next to your sides, feet shoulder width apart. Pull the bands across your chest. Do eight (8) reps to start. When you buy tires, they come in different resistance strengths. Choose the ban that offers the least resistance first. Once you increase your reps to twelve (12), move to the next bar and start again at eight (8) reps. build back up to twelve (12) reps.
4) Shoulder exercise with dumbbells: Dumbbells come in different sizes starting at 2 1/2 pounds up. Bowflex has a convenient dumbbell system that eliminates having many dumbbells. It’s basically two dumbbells that you adjust to the desired weight you need. With that said, I would start with 2 1/2 or 5 pound dumbbells. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Press the weights up over your head, keep your feet shoulder width apart, and then bring them back down to the top of your shoulders; do eight (8) reps. Once you build up to twelve (12) reps increase your weight.
5) Bicep Curls with the help of Dumb Bells: Stand straight, feet shoulder width apart. Using ten (10) pound dumbbells, place them in your hands, arms by your side, palms facing forward. Curl the weights up to the top of your shoulders then lower them back to your side, always keeping your palms facing forward and your elbows in your sides. Start with eight (8) reps. and work up to twelve (12) reps.
6) Tricep Extensions: While holding a 2 1/2 or five (5) pound dumbbell in your right hand, bend slightly forward at the waist and at the same time place your left foot in front of your bent body, bending your left leg slightly. Rest your left forearm on your knee or upper body. Pull the dumbbell up along your right side waist-high the right arm straight back and then bring it back to the side of your waist where you started from. Do eight (8) reps working up to twelve (12) reps. Reverse this position and do the same for your left triceps. I know this sounds a little weird, but it’s a great exercise. Basically, you just bend forward and extend the weight straight out behind your body in a straight line.
7) Squats: For beginners I would just use your body weight. Stand straight, feet shoulder width apart, while you squat, push your buttock out bending slightly forward at the waist. I wouldn’t go past a half squat position. As with the other exercises in our fitness schedule, start with eight (8) reps and work up to twelve (12) reps. However, with this exercise I would increase reps to at least 25 before considering using weights.
8) Lunges: As with squats, I would start without weights. Stand up straight from your left foot, bend both knees at the same time and go down as far as you can, don’t push yourself too much, also keep in mind that you have to concentrate on your balance. Return to your starting position. Do eight (8) to twelve (12) reps. Repeat this for your right leg. I wouldn’t consider using weights for lunges until I could do 25 reps per leg.
Items I have found helpful are stretch bands, cable machines, such as (Bowflex), dumbbells and walking on a treadmill or just going out in nature.
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