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Saturday, June 1, 2024

Workouts as We Age


As you go through life, some things are constant.  Working out is one constant: your body needs to work out, consume healthy foods, and get ample sleep every day of your life.  These things remain the same!

I have found that working out for strength and flexibility actually become more important as you progress into your 50’s, 60’s and beyond.  But the amount of stimulation your muscles need for strength decreases, while the stretching required actually increases somewhat.  

Actually doing a strength session can be very intense, and productive, in less than a half hour!  It is the intensity that matters most.  Also, recovery from an intense session of strength training needs to be longer than when you are younger.  

I have also found that really draining movements, like heavy squats and deadlifts need to be far less frequent.  In your senior years, you probably have all of the sheer bulk you would want, anyway!  To be strong and yet defined is far more desirable as you get older.

I have pretty much eliminated, at age 72, the barbell back squat, the deadlift, and the bench press.  Pushups on the gymnastic rings, along with flies and other movements are preferable to bench presses, and can be done at many angles.  Single leg or ‘sissy’ squats using the rings for balance are also much better for your knees, and take the emphasis off of your glutes and put it on to the front thigh.  Substitute the squats for these..

I also do kettlebell swings instead of deadlifts now, for high reps.  Quite exhausting, and targets the lower back without overstraining the nervous system to the point where recovery suffers!

Dips, pull-ups and rows are always good, and are improved by doing them on the rings as well.  As we age, it is great to avoid spinal compression by loading the body excessively by means of barbells.

Walk backwards, resisting with a heavy band anchored against your movement, and then walk forward.  I do this as my warmup before my strength sessions, for about 10 minutes- this will forestall knee problems very effectively.  Credit to the Knees over toes guy Ben Patrick for this!  Truly wonderful inspiration from him.

I used to work out for hours at a time.  I was young, and I was kind of stupid, well, uninformed at least.  Now I know better:

Workouts can be short, but yet intense.  Results do NOT suffer; in fact they can be BETTER!  

But, be sure to prioritize stretching.  Each morning I stretch, and do Virtual Resistance, first thing.  In front of the television= a win-win.  Wake up your body productively, and stretch it out for the day to come, and you are setting yourself up for a wonderful day.

Then, follow through with your diet: Eat protein, and make that your priority.  If you want some carbs, go with sour dough bread, but minimally.  Have a paleo smoothie (PLEASE) like I do daily- but now I consume a small one, of veggies, kefir, some berries and citrus, and sour cherrie juice that is spiked with iodine, vitamin D, and cod liver oil.  This is your “insurance” nutritionally speaking, and should be adhered to religiously!

These are the basics.  After these are fulfilled, just live a good, balanced life, as our founding fathers decreed.  Religion, conservative politics, and observing the golden rule along with your neighbors….

Life can be quite simple, and wonderful.  Just adhere to the basics of Western Civilization!!  All else is dross.

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