The older we get, the more that time tends to catch up with us. Gravity sets in, our metabolism slows down, and the rate at which we use energy accelerates at a faster pace. However, just because the aging process is inevitable, doesn’t mean that it should defeat us. There are plenty of workout programs that are suited for those over the age of 45, and you’d be surprised at how well your body will adapt to them. Not to mention, your body will appreciate you for it! Our list will take you through the muscle workouts, gym programs, and outdoor activities aimed to please the physique of anyone over 45!
Basic strength training is an important part of anyone’s exercise routine, regardless of age. But after the age of 45, it’s difficult to deny that the health benefits of light lifting are extremely important. Building up muscle strength protects your bones and improves advanced body mechanics. It also prevents weight gain and deters chronic disease development.
The following strength training workouts are sure to add fuel to your burning fire…
The Slingshot Squat
The slingshot squat targets muscle strength in your glutes and your hips. The elastic band serves as a resistance force, allowing your hip abductors and external rotators (in your knees), to remain pushed out. This will improve your stability. Simply slip the band over your legs, and take long strides.
Crunch And Press
The crunch and press is designed to strengthen your triceps and abs simultaneously. Place yourself in the abdominal crunch position, right after looping an elastic around the width of a stable object. Instead of placing your hands behind your head like you would with a standard crunch, raise your head and shoulders off the ground while holding the loose ends of the band. After some time, you should notice a difference in the firmness of your arms and stomach.
The triangle press is going to tighten those shoulders right up! This press is similar to a side lunge, except for some minor adjustments. With your starting foot turned outward, you’re going to bend your knee into a side lunge and raise the opposite arm over your heard, and stretch towards your shoulder to the point where you feel comfortable. Slowly release, turn to the other side, and repeat.
The half curl is is simple exercise that goes a long way. This easy maneuver will tone your biceps, increasing your upper body strength. You can either use weights or a resistance band. If you choose the resistance band, use your feet to anchor it down to the ground before beginning. Slowly bend your elbows and raise them to a 90 degree angle, then, once they’ve reached that point, lower your arms and repeat at a steady pace.
A bench press doesn’t need to be as intimidating as most bodybuilders make it seem. If you aren’t comfortable with using a bar bell to do this exercise, than a resistance band will work just fine. If you do use a bar bell, it’s important to have a spotter. If you use a band, loop the band underneath a flat surface that you can lay on top of, and then firmly grasp the ends of the band. Slowly pull up your arms in a repetitive motion until you’re comfortable enough to up your game with some weights.
The seated row is great for those who are developing back problems or for those who already have issues. It will strengthen the lower back and help motivate good posture. Simply sit straight with your back properly aligned, and pull your elbows in a backward motion to increase stamina in your back.
The leg press is a favorite exercise of many. This workout targets your thigh and butt muscles, giving them some solid definition where it counts. If you prefer to use the machine at the gym, simply sit with your back properly aligned against the back of the chair, and push the floorboard until your legs are hyper-extended. Repeat at a slow, steady pace. If you opt for the resistance band, loop it around the bottom of your foot, and extend your leg into the air. Laying on your back, create the same motion with as you would with the motion.
Lateral Pull Down
The lateral pull-down is meant to tone and firm of your entire back. All it requires is a repetition of up-and-down arm movements, beginning overhead and ending downward, arms shoulder-width apart. This specific exercise is more effective when using a machine, but using a resistance band to get comfortable with the movement before adding weights is also recommended. Simply loop the band overhead (using a sturdy object; a tree branch would do), and perform the same motion described above.
A proper bicep curl is sure to strengthen the mass of your upper arm muscles. Position your arm at a 90 degree angle, and at a comfortable pace raise your arm up until it reaches the height of your shoulder. Slowly lower, and repeat. If you’ve chosen to use a dumbbell, starting with a lighter weight is recommended to avoid muscle strain.
Metabolic Strength Circuit
Now that we’ve covered the best strength training exercises, the metabolic strength circuit is perfect to discuss. Dividing your muscle workouts up throughout the week is an effective exercise strategy, but if you prefer to incorporate each exercise into one complete program, then the circuit is a great option as well. Usually positioned in a circle, with a minute clock overhead, you can pass through each exercise in a planned sequence. After becoming acquainted with each exercise individually, creating a routine of your own or using your local gym’s set-up might be the next step!
If you’re the type of gym-goer who appreciates a planned class or regular schedule, then there are plenty group programs that suit your age-specific exercise needs! Selecting your preferred level of intensity that coordinates with your peak level energy during the day makes going to the gym much more convenient.
Let us introduce you to some great group classes that will get your blood pumping!
Before venturing out into the world of group exercise, it’s essential that you stretch beforehand. Warming up your muscles and loosening up your limbs with improve flexibility, and gradually improve the motion of your joints. The most important part of pre-workout stretching is the prevention of bodily injuries; you don’t want to push yourself and get hurt!
Step aerobics are making a huge comeback! The flashback workout is known to burn about 500-600 calories in just one hour, and tones the calves, butt, and thighs in a way you wouldn’t believe. Did we mention it’s also fun and enjoyable?
Zumba is and has been all the rage for the last five years. Gym enthusiasts are going wild for the dance craze that improves body coordination, relieves stress, and builds endurance. If you’re the type of person who enjoys a buddy when you workout, then this dance class is definitely for you.
The health benefits of swimming have been researched and studied by many universities throughout the years. It’s been proven that swimming maintains your blood sugar and its pressure. It also improves your lung capacity while promoting a steady, strong heart rate which improves your cholesterol levels. It’s no wonder why swimming is a fan favorite!
The anti-gravity treadmill was a primary tool in rehabilitation therapy, but has since become a method of exercise for the average gym-goer. A standard treadmill can place a lot of unnecessary pressure on the joints in a runner’s knees, whereas the anti-gravity treadmill alleviates such stress during the workout. It’s also terrific for weight loss, shedding pounds and preventing risk of injury for beginning runners.
Pilates is a great class to participate in if you’re looking to improve your muscle elasticity and joint mobility. Your body strength will improve and with time, you’ll notice a change in stamina. Elongating not just your muscle strength but the longevity of your energy levels is key to a healthy lifestyle.
With many different styles of yoga to choose from, it’s impossible to resist the appeal of such a phenomenon. Yoga has become a global sensation, known for increasing muscle tone, improving personal vitality, and balancing metabolic rate. Yoga has also been proven to improve blood circulation, and contributes to an overall, positive mindset!
Intervals On The Elliptical
The elliptical is often the immediate go-to when a person enters the gym. It’s effective, fun and and doesn’t damage your knees in the way that a treadmill can. However, the elliptical can become ineffective if not used properly. Interval programs have the greatest health benefits and will allow you to see the change in your body over time. Interval exercises help slow down the aging process, reduce body fat and wrinkles, and will increase your energy levels. After acclimating yourself to peak intervals on elliptical, you’ll also notice a much better quality of sleep!
Stair climbing is the perfect activity for cardiovascular improvement. It decreases mortality and heart attack risks, while straightening out the musculoskeletal system. What’s the greatest benefit of stair climbing? We bet most people would answer the impressive effects the workout has on the booty!
Balance training is too often ignored. Most people don’t realize that this type of workout increases body awareness and stabilizes the joints in your arms and legs. After trying these training techniques out, you’ll begin to notice a positive change in your reaction time, agility, and overall strength.
These next few workout moves will really make a difference in your life…
Boards are frequently used by training athletes, but that doesn’t mean you can’t also! They help restore balance and coordination, and depending on which body part you want to focus on, you’ll rejuvenate any body muscles lacking mass. Accumulating more strength and coordination in the same workout can really boost your confidence level.
The plank pose is a go-to for obvious reasons. It strengthens your core conditioning, exercises your hamstrings, and improves standing posture. Adding this to your weekly workout schedule will enhance the other components of your exercise routine, and you’ll notice your endurance increasing gradually.
Perfecting the leg raise can provide you with a good stable base. The move will keep you out of harm’s way when you’re practicing more complex exercise movements, and it will also give your lower abs the attention they deserve. Leg raises can be done laying down or standing up, depending on your personal preference.
Toe stands are frequently used in yoga nowadays, and they are a key factor in improving your balance. Perfecting the toe stand will help you ward off any unwanted knee pain, andit will also stretch out the neglected muscles in your feet. After all, your tootsies do a lot walking and can use some TLC, right?
The curtsy salute has the potential to challenge almost every muscle in your body. It’s not very common to spot this exercise at the gym, but then again, not many people practice it often. Simply place yourself in the curtsy stance, and as you bend your knees in a downward motion, raise your arm straight out in front of your body. You’ll be a pro in no time!
We know that gymnastics rings seem a little hardcore, but these fun workout tools aren’t just for Olympic athletes. If you’re interested in developing your upper body, taking on this workout regimen will give you the tone you’re looking for. All you need are two large-sized rings and you’re ready for action.
Here are a few basic level ring workouts you’re sure to enjoy!
Stationary lunges without support can place a lot of unwanted pressure on your knees and ankles. You can practice this move with the gymnastic rings in two ways: planting your feet and the ground while gripping the rings for support, or exercising one leg at a time with one foot in an adjacent ring.
Ring Knee Push-Up
A modified push-up can easily be done with a pair of gymnastics rings. Simply position the rings as close to the ground as you can (unless you prefer to set them on the ground and grip them from the top), and perform a push-up with your knees firmly planted. When you’re ready, feel free to lift those knees and try a standard push-up!
A mountain climber on the rings can be a fun move to master! Slant your body at a 30 degree angle while gripping the suspended rings, and move your legs in a bicycle motion. Go at the pace in which you feel comfortable. There’s no need to get out of breath the instant you begin.
Outside Of The Gym
Being stuck inside the gym isn’t necessarily ideal for everyone, especially if it’s a beautiful day outside. There are plenty of outside activities that can immensely improve your physical health while you experiencing the world. Choosing to exercise outdoors won’t just provide you with vitamin D-enriched skin, but it’ll also keep you in touch with Mother Nature and all that she has to offer.
The next activities are crowd favorites for exercising outdoors!
Walking is one of the best ways to stay in shape at any age. You’d be surprised at the significant effects taking a stroll has on your health. Walking not only maintains your weight, but it improves your overall mood and quality of sleep. Doing some swift, measured walking decreases your chances of developing heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Hiking can almost be described as the big brother to walking. You get those great benefits of outdoor exercise, but hiking helps achieve a tighter and much stronger muscle tone in your lower body. Core conditioning is very important as you navigate the great outdoors.
Playing tennis lowers your blood pressure and body fat. When you jump on the court to play a match you can expect to increase your body density as well, as you inherently develop a quicker reaction time. What’s the best part about tennis, you ask? Well, you can bring a date with you to make it even more fun!
Learning to use an exercise ball is an entertaining experience, but once you’ve become familiar with its movement it’s a blessing in disguise. Exercising with this large, elastic ball will do major favors for your spine and can help eliminate any back pain. Better yet, it doesn’t just expand your muscle mass — it instills muscle balance as well. It’s a two-for-one!
Cycling may be an intense sport when taken to an extreme level, but did you know that even just the casual bike ride can boost your health in the same way? Bike riding is the best way to achieve cardiovascular fitness effects without running or depending on the elliptical. A change of scenery each ride will provide you with a new adventure every morning!
If you’re an avid yoga enthusiast then maybe it’s time you gave Tai Chi a shot. It’s effects are similar to those of meditation, except for body remains in a calm motion for the duration of the exercise. Learning a new skill that doesn’t just provide you with physical reward, but with mental as well, is really worth the effort.
Most people view rollerblading as a fun activity, but they never stop to think about the health benefits associated with it. Your muscular endurance will soar through the roof and you’ll witness an expansion in lung capacity. It’s also a great activity if you’ve chosen to begin a weight loss journey, if you’d like to keep eating whatever you want and maintain!
Paddle-boarding (as with most water sports), gives you a full body workout in just one session. Stand-up paddle-boarding is the most effect in terms of exercise, as you utilize your legs for balance and stability, while your arms do the ‘muscle’ work. This low-impact physical activity is great for reducing stress levels and for rehabilitating an injury.
If you’re looking for a way to relive your childhood memories, then jump roping should do the trick. Jumping rope as an exercise routine should be implemented with intervals, just as you would with an elliptical machine. High intensity to low intensity is more challenging for your body — just remember to hydrate when outside.
Rock climbing doesn’t just do the body good, it’s great for the mind as well. It improves mental strength and induces logical thinking, which is especially necessary for survival situations. The exercise is a combined effort of cardiovascular fitness and strength training, so you’re getting a great two-for-one deal here. If you consider yourself an adrenaline junkie, outdoor rock climbing could be the ultimate workout for you!