You might assume that if there is a type of exercise that really is the best, why would it be any different for Seniors?
That’s exactly what I want you ask yourself, because aging does demand that we be more deliberate in our methods, as well as our movements.
But, leaving aging factors out of the picture for the moment,
Cardio is King
Because cardio (at least 20 minutes of sustained aerobic activity) affects the most important body systems the most effectively, I rank it number one. Simply calling it ‘cardio’ is a really a very minimal description!
It’s like calling the GrandCanyon ‘a ravine’.
Here’s why: At the same time you’re getting your heart pumping faster (cardio) your lungs start to process massively more air (pulmonary) and your brain is changing its metabolic processes because of the increasing flow of blood (cerebral). You could easily call it, ‘cardiopulmonary cerebral’ exercise and it would still be superficial!
So How Does Aging Matter?
The answer to the question of ‘best type of exercise’ now depends on a mix of needs/risks/capabilities.
For the Senior who is mobile with limited strength and compromised range of motion, 20 minutes of sustained aerobic activity is likely not an option yet.
What are the risks?
With compromised range of motion and strength, the risk of a ‘slip and fall’ accident has skyrocketed. The most important type of exercise, in this case, becomes a combination of resistance exercises and flexibility training. After some progression, a neuromotor training program would be in order. At an extreme degree of need, such a person would most likely be under the supervision of a physical therapist and not a personal trainer.
Structure your workouts now to avoid this outcome in the future. There is, without a doubt, an exercise plan that takes into account your needs/risks/capabilities that is the best plan for you.
You can see from this example that as you age; cardio, resistance, and neuromotor training must all be number one on your priority list.
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