Strength: Start with ;ve to eight pound weights, and do 10-12
repetitions ( 15 – 20 reps if using lighter weights); work on increasing the weights as you gain strength. Include chest presses, shoulder
presses, bicep curls, and triceps kickbacks; add in sit-ups and wall
squats, using the weight of your body.
Balance: Consider taking up tai chi or yoga. Or, balance on one
foot as long as you can, then alternate. Stand up from a chair without
using your arms (do three sets of ten with a brief rest between sets).
Flexibility: Stretch for at least ten minutes a;er exercising, since
your muscles are more pliable. Here’s a link with pictures of six full-body stretches from “Real Simple:”
Note: As you move through these two decades, you may need to
modify your moves due to arthritis or aching knees – perhaps using a
bike or pool instead of a track, treadmill, or steps, or using lighter weights.
But, continue to move, work with weights to build/maintain muscle, and
work on balance. “Use it or lose it” is so true when it comes to ;tness.
Your 70s and Beyond:
Cardio/Endurance: Do at least a 10-minute cardio workout
twice a week. Depending on your beginning ;tness level, this can
include walking (use a friend to help keep you “honest”), swimming,
Strength: If heavier weights aggravate your joints, switch to lighter weights (perhaps three to ;ve pounds), and do six to eight reps,
taking short breaks between sets. Use the same exercises listed above
for 50s – 60s, but modify them to ;t your level.
Balance: ;e primary reason people end up in nursing homes
is falls, according to the CDC, which reports a third of adults over
the age of 65 falling every year. So, think yoga, tai chi, or a stability
ball (like a BOSU ball – here’s a short YouTube video for instructions:
No equipment? No worries. Do the “sobriety test” walk: Use your
kitchen counter (in case you need support), and walk the length of
the counter with one foot in front of the other (heel to toe). Repeat
10 -12 times. Sounds easy, but it’s not as simple as it seems. And, try
to look straight ahead, and not at your feet.
Flexibility: ;is one is very important. As we age, our joints
sti;en as we lose ;uid, cartilage, and perhaps deposit minerals in
our joints. We need to stretch our muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
Consider yoga or tai chi (there’s a reason they’ve been around for
such a long time).
For your neck, simply tilt each earlobe to your shoulder, and hold
for 60 seconds.
Don’t like formal classes or hitting the gym? Work out at home
with a DVD from your library, download an exercise YouTube
video, or check out/buy a book on ;tness. Tune in to the “Sit and
Be Fit” exercise series on PBS (recognized by the National Council