You may know that walking and stretching lead to a better quality of life as you age. Lifting weights and performing other strength training exercises can lead to benefits that add yet another layer of well being to your life as well. Working out with resistance bands of any kind will lead to stronger bones, better flexibility and increased strength.
After the age of 50, you lose approximately .4 pounds of muscle per year if you remain sedentary, according to the American College of Sports Medicine. Lifting weights an average of two or three days a week can add 2.4 pounds of lean muscle mass, which more than makes up for the natural loss. Beginning a weight lifting regimen early in life makes it easier to continue as you age and increases the benefits you derive from the exercises. Use free weights in sizes ranging from one to three pounds to do bicep curls, triceps lift and front flies, which will help you gain upper body strength. Lift free weights while standing or sitting. Add weight to your lifts as you gain strength.
Resistance bands are ideal for seniors because you can easily increase the amount of resistance you give your muscles as you gain strength. Resistance bands are wide, stretchy bands of rubber that you can tie around a hook or sturdy chair leg. Take the other end of the band in one hand and pull, hold the stretch and release. Tie one end around your ankle for leg strengthening workouts. Hold each end of a resistance band in each hand and pull it apart in front of your chest to build back and core strength.
You don't have to get on the floor and do military-style pushups to benefit from body-resistance exercises. According to the National Institute on Aging, wall pushups can work just as effectively for seniors looking to strengthen their arms, chest and shoulders. And you don't need any special equipment to perform the exercise. Merely stand facing a wall about an arm's length away and place both your hands on the wall about shoulder-width distance apart at shoulder height. Lean in toward the wall, bending your elbows. Hold for a second and push back. Repeat 10 to 15 times.
Getting in and out of a sitting position often becomes more difficult as knees and back begin to give out. The chair stand exercise is designed to increase strength in your thighs and abdomen to take some of the pressure off your back and knees. Sit near the edge on a sturdy, armless chair and cross your arms over your chest. Lean back and then lean forward, standing up while you extend your arms so they are parallel to the floor. Slowly sit back down and repeat 10 to 15 times.