What My 60+ Strength Training Routine Looks Like
My strength training routine has become a matter of focus for me. I feel that when it comes to cardio, that’s the type of workout I’m most likely to do. I keep it up regularly. Same thing can be said for my work on balance and flexibility, as I practice yoga and tai chi on a steady basis. When it comes to maintaining muscles, the activities just don’t seem to naturally fit into my life, so I’ve decided to make them something I choose to do. Yes, they’re a chore, but they’re a necessary one.
Why I Focus on My Strength Training Routine
Aside from overall fitness, my strength training routine is a part of my life because I want to age well. I retired a bit early, but I don’t want to look at my golden years as only the first few that I enjoyed after leaving my career behind. I want to be able to keep up the lifestyle I am now enjoying for as long as possible.
A great strength training routine will, I hope, help me to keep up my fitness, stay independent, and reduce my risk of various health conditions. At the same time, it will help to reduce the symptoms of those that I already have.
I’m not bodybuilding of course, but after the age of 50, we lose about 1 to 2 percent of our muscle strength every year. After the 60-year mark, that decline increases to about 3 percent per year. That is a lot of loss, and it adds up very quickly. With my twice weekly strength training routine, I plan to slow that as much as I possibly can.
The good news is that this does actually work. The right strength training routine, kept up on a regular basis, helps the body to feel and act more youthful. In fact, some researchers believe that it could shut down certain chromosomal aging processes. As a result, these workouts can help to slow or even stop age-related weight issues while boosting mobility, shrinking bone loss, and even working against cognitive decline and depression.
Exercises I Often Include in My Strength Training Routine
I try to give range of motion strength training the biggest priority. I don’t need tons of heavy gym equipment. Instead, I focus on bodyweight exercises and hand weights. Since I’m already doing yoga and tai chi, I feel that the balance and flexibility component is already taken care of. So, my strength training is all about keeping those muscles strong.
The types of exercises I have been doing include the following. Some are typical versions, while others are modified to suit my fitness level. I’m not in this to hurt myself after all.
- Squats – With a chair or wall next to me for balance
- Lunges – Including forward and side lunges, some with a bend
- Push-ups – I usually do these against the wall, but I will often do a couple from my knees at the start.
- Shoulder presses – For the first few, I’m holding 1-pound weights, but the latter sets are with empty hands.
- Bicycle crunches – Usually about three sets of 16