Staying in shape after age 60 not only keeps you looking and feeling good, it also helps you avoid age-related illnesses like heart disease and diabetes, and injury from falls. Despite persistent stereotypes, being a mature man doesn't limit you to golf and light gardening. A variety of exercises, including weight lifting, cycling and tai chi, provides safe yet challenging workout options for men 60 and better.
Balance and Flexibility Exercises
Good balance and flexibility reduces your risk of falls and makes tasks that involve reaching easier. To work on balance, stand on one leg or walk heel-to-toe. For improved flexibility, gently stretch a muscle group, such as your calves or shoulders as far as you can without pain, and hold the position for 10 to 30 seconds. Taking up tai chi, yoga or Pilates can also help you stay limber and maintain good balance.
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Walking, dancing and aquatic exercises like swimming or water aerobics help keep your heart and lungs in shape. If you're in good condition, you might also try jogging, cycling or tennis. Frequent social dancing, unlike many other endurance activities, has the added benefit of reducing risk of dementia, according to a study published in the "New England Journal of Medicine" in June 2003. Try to get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity endurance activity at least four days a week.
Strength Training Exercises
After age 40, men experience an ongoing drop in testosterone that contributes to loss of muscle mass and bone density. Regular strength training can slow this muscle and bone mass loss. Working out with exercise machines, resistance bands and light free weights are all options for mature men. Exercises like wall push-ups, back and side leg raises and knee curls let you work out at home without weights. Aim for two 30-minute strength training sessions weekly, but never work the same muscle group two days in a row.
Before starting any new exercise routine, consult a healthcare provider about the type and intensity of exercise appropriate for you. As an older man, you may be more sensitive to cold and heat and less likely to notice thirst, so take care to dress correctly for the weather and stay hydrated. If you experience chest pain or pressure, difficulty breathing, lightheadedness or nausea, stop exercising and consult your healthcare provider.