February 2023: Strength Training For Over 50s | Mobility Exercises
Getting older, for some people, can mean becoming frailer and weaker, but with strength training and mobility exercises, you can prevent this from happening. Regular over 50s exercises can help to build core strength and increase flexibility and balance. In this article, we’re going to explore the many benefits of mobility exercises and strength training for those reaching their golden years. So if you want to maintain mental clarity and independence and embrace life as you get older, this one is for you!
Common Mobility Problems As You Age
As we age, most people will start to develop mobility issues that can make simple daily tasks like getting out of a chair, climbing stairs, or reaching for something on a high shelf more challenging. Let’s take a look at some of the most common mobility issues associated with ageing;
- Reduced range of motion and flexibility
- Muscle mass and strength loss
- Inadequate balance and loss of coordination
- Joint stiffness and associated pain
- Bone loss and osteoporosis
And while the above are physical side-effects of getting older, they can each play havoc with your mental strength, making you feel less capable of looking after yourself. But, with regular mobility exercises and strength training, you can take back control of your mind and body!
Mobility Exercises & Strength Training
Designed to reduce the impact of mobility problems, increase muscle mass and develop core strength, we’re going to reveal some of the best strength training and mobility exercises for those aged 55 or above. By practising these over 50s exercises on a regular basis, you’re going to experience a wider range of motion in your joints whilst feeling better both physically and mentally.
Mobility Exercises For Core Strength
Core strength is essential for good posture and avoiding lower and upper back pain. The exercises for those over 50s listed below can help you improve your core strength. However, listen to your body, and if you find any of the activities too difficult, don’t push yourself too much. Give your body time and start with gentle exercises before building up your physical ability. Before beginning any new exercise programme, consult with your doctor, especially if you have any pre-existing medical conditions.
Side planks: Lie on your side, legs straight, and elbows under your shoulders. Lift your hips off the ground while maintaining a straight body from head to heels. Hold for 30 seconds before switching sides.
Bridge: Lie on your back, knees bent, and feet flat on the ground. Raise your hips off the ground while keeping your body straight from your knees to your shoulders. Hold the position for 30 seconds. Use a cushion under your lower back for additional comfort and support.
Rotate Your Ankles: In a seated position, raise your lower leg off the ground by around 30cm. Gently and slowly rotate your ankle, one at a time. Do this daily.
Brisk walking: A couple of times a week, get outdoors and go on a brisk walk around your local neighbourhood. Put headphones on to give you the energy and motivation needed to keep your pace high. Take regular intervals if you need to.
Mobility Exercises To Improve Balance
A good sense of balance is essential for avoiding slips, trips and falls, which can be especially dangerous in the elderly. The exercises listed below can help you improve your balance:
Stand on one leg, holding on to a sturdy object for support if necessary. Hold for 30 seconds before switching legs.
Tai Chi is an exercise technique that combines slow, gentle movements with deep breathing and relaxation. It can help you improve your balance, flexibility, and strength.
Heel-to-toe walk: Walk in a straight line with one foot's heel in front of the other's toes. Rep for a total of 20 times.
Strength Training Tips For Over 50s
If you're new to strength training or haven't worked out in a while, start slowly and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts. Here are some pointers to help you get started with strength training:
Begin with light weights or resistance bands, gradually increasing the weight or resistance over time. Holding the weights in your arms, raise your arms out in front of you to shoulder height. Repeat 12 times. Rest for a couple of minutes. Now raise your arms from your sides to your shoulders with straight arms to work your upper arms and shoulders. Repeat 12 times. Last, holding the weights in your hands and at the side of your hips, just rotate your shoulders without moving your arms. Repeat 12 times.
Strength training two to three times per week to allow your muscles to rest and recover between workouts.
As you progress, try to include exercises that target all of your major muscle groups, such as your legs, back, chest, arms, and core.
To avoid injury and soreness, remember to warm up before your workout and cool down afterwards with some light stretching.
Regular strength training and mobility exercises can help improve core strength, flexibility and range of motion, and overall health, particularly in those over the age of 50. You can maintain your mobility and independence as you age by incorporating these exercises into your daily routine and following the tips outlined above.