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Best Exercises for Aging Muscles

Aging is an unavoidable fact of life, and while the effects are most commonly related to wrinkles, gray hair and pain – staying active is one of the most important things you can do as you get older. Because your entire body ages, it also means your cells are aging. Cells do not regenerate easily and they become weaker as their mitochondria, which produce energy, diminish in vigor and number. Thankfully, you can mitigate some of the effects of aging by staying healthy through exercise and activity. While there are a variety of exercises and activities you can do to stay fit, these are just a few that have been scientifically proven to aid with keeping your body in its best possible condition.

Before You Start

If you have joint or muscles issues, you will definitely want to consult with a doctor prior to starting anything too intense. The good news is that you are already interested in keeping your body in shape, which is truly the first step to any exercise regimen! It’s important to get your heart pumping, but also use caution.

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

The term has become increasingly popular over the years, but HIIT workouts are by no means new. These interval workouts aid in the number and health of mitochondria, which generate energy for your muscle cells. HIIT is one of the best ways to burn calories and see results quickly. It’s also popular because it requires the least amount of time for the biggest impact. The workouts typically consist of short bursts of intense exercise combined with periods of rest or lower-intensity movements. It’s a way to charge your cardiovascular system and boost your heart rate to approximately 80 percent of its maximum capacity. The routines can differ vastly, so it provides a lot of variety if you’re incorporating this into a daily routine (i.e. you won’t get bored).

HIIT: How To Start

To start, there is a lot of research online, or books that can help you start a workout. You’ll want to divide the minutes you work out into “work” and “rest” periods. For example, if you’re a beginner, you might start with 30 seconds of work, followed by 30 seconds of rest. If you’re more advanced, you might do 45 seconds of work and 15 seconds of rest. You just want to make sure your work periods are at your maximum energy level to burn the most calories because while you are resting your body is still burning. You can find a lot of these workouts on YouTube, or there are a variety of apps for your phone that can provide you with a routine. Just be sure to have plenty of water and some comfortable shoes!

Tabata

Similar to HIIT workouts, Tabata gets the lungs working at capacity. The major difference between Tabata and HIIT is the length and intensity of the intervals. True Tabata training requires a tremendous amount of effort to reach maximal exhaustion in a short 4 minutes. HIIT training is more flexible. During Tabata, the respiratory process increases. Since the mitochondria are the cell power station, they get more than enough nutrients to create energy-rich molecules for the cell. 

The idea is simple. You’re supposed to perform high intensity exercise for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds, and then begin your next repetition. The exercise can be almost anything, and the benefits of Tabata can be spectacular.

Tabata Benefits

Tabata can slow down the progression of Parkinson’s, and even offer improved memory. High intensity exercises are more effective at accelerating metabolism, much makes them burn fat faster, and makes finding the best Tabata exercises for weight loss quite easy. Some forms of Tabata aren’t recommended for seniors because high intensity factor often involves high-impact exercises which are stressful to joints. However, there are still a number of Tabata exercises for seniors which can provide all the same Tabata workout benefits outlined above such as modified pushups, Russian twists, plank with a row, or just creating your own. 

Tabata Considerations 

For seniors and elderly adults who already have an established fitness routine, and who have been trained to exert themselves without causing injury, Tabata can be a great addition to an active lifestyle. Just make sure you are spending enough time warming up.

Weight Training

Weight training is an excellent complement to HIIT workouts because it builds muscle mass, which diminishes with age. On average, most people lose approximately six percent of muscle mass with each decade after forty. Interventions are imperative because they aid in maintaining a healthy weight, while keeping energy levels up. Muscle contributes to a healthy metabolism and helps us burn more calories at rest than fat does. Without muscle mass, we also lose strength and functional fitness, which can make daily life more challenging than it needs to be.

Weight Training: Diet Is Also Important

If you are new to weight training, it’s important to focus on your nutrition and make sure you have all the macro and micronutrients you need for a successful weight training routine. Things like protein, carbohydrates, fats and fibers are all vital for your body when lifting weights. Also recommended is attention to proper form and pacing. Don’t overdo it if you are just starting out, as that is the surest way to end up with an injury and will stall your exercise regimen completely. Begin with smaller weight that helps you learn and maintain proper form prior to moving on to heavier weights. You’ll be amazed at how quickly your body will strengthen and you’ll love the feel-good rewards.

Burpees

It is truly the weirdest name for a workout, but boy do Burpees produce results! This full-body exercise is considered strength training and aerobic. This squat thrust movement is typically performed in four steps. People love to hate Burpees because they make you sweat quickly, get your heart beating and work your body from head to toe. 

Burpees: How To Get Started

The best way to start doing Burpees is to watch a YouTube video, but essentially, it’s a jump to plank movement which you should be doing in one smooth motion (sounds so easy, right?). Burpees are a requirement of firefighters, professional athletes and anyone wanting to build muscular strength and endurance. The best part is that there is no equipment needed! It doesn’t require much space and your calories will burn rapidly. Just ensure you are using proper form so you don’t injure your back or neck. And there is no special limit as to how many you should do. You can perfect this movement over time so don’t be afraid to start slow and steady.

Conclusion

In reality, any physical movement – whether it’s walking, swimming, cycling or yoga – is great for your body. If you have particular goals you are trying to reach, you can always consult with a personal trainer or doctor. These are just the top-rated ways to activate your muscles faster so you can maintain vigor and health. Ultimately, it’s about protecting your body while increasing your fitness level. Your muscles will respond, you’ll feel better and you may notice some flattering body changes. As with any new lifestyle change, it’s important to make sure your nutrition is in sync and consult your physician if you are on specific medications that could affect your fitness routine.

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