You can get a full body workout at home without any equipment and without taking a lot of time. This routine uses your own body weight to get your strong and fit. Doing these three exercises twice a week will increase your strength and help you age more healthily. This workout routine is perfect for women over 50 who are just getting back in shape and for maintaining fitness as we age. Videos explain each exercise and keep you motivated.
In my post on getting in shape after 50, I mentioned that once you’ve made daily exercise a habit, you need to start incorporating other elements of fitness into your workout routine: cardiovascular training, resistance training, and flexibility training.
Fortunately, you can easily add a full body workout into your schedule in just 15 minutes twice a week with no special equipment. I’ve been doing this routine at home since the first of the year and I don’t even use a yoga mat or change into any special clothes. I just take 15 minutes right before I start dinner and go through these 3 exercises.
Why Do We Need to Strength Train After 50?
We can lose as much as 30%-40% of our muscle strength between the ages of 30-80 due to our sedentary lifestyle. You know, those frail people you see in nursing homes? That frailness is caused by loss of muscle mass. Strength training can truly be the difference between being able to live in our own home when we get older and having to live in an assisted living facility because we are too weak to live alone.
Strength training also builds bone density, another major reason for loss of independence in older people.
Not a bad deal for 15 minutes twice a week.
What Exercises Should We Be Doing After 50?
The exercises shown in the video: push-ups, squats, and planks work most of the major muscle groups of the body.
Here’s an overview of each of the exercises.
Push-ups work your chest muscles (pectorals), shoulders (deltoids), back of your arms (triceps) and your abdominals.
I Can’t Even Do One Push-Up
I hear you. Me neither. The good news is that you’re still building fitness even if you’re following a modified version of the exercise.
I’m committed to finally doing a real push-up in 2020 so I wanted to find a program that would get me there. After a lot of research, I settled on this plan that I’ve been following. It’s one of the few I found that had a range of options from could-not-be-more-of-a beginner to almost- but- just-not-quite there:
Squats work the muscles of the lower body and help increase our mobility, a big plus as we age.
If you’re thinking, “These squats are so easy, what’s the big deal?” you’re doing them wrong. Tense your stomach muscles before you start, look straight ahead, and as you go down, lean slightly back like you’re going to sit down in a chair. A personal trainer used to have me take a chair and slowly start to sit down on it until I was almost about to sit and then stand back up.
Don’t go down any lower than you can maintain good form. Your form is much more important for developing strength than how low you can go.
Planks strengthen the muscles in our core (including our hips and lower back) and help prevent back pain.
Once again, it’s more important to maintain good form than it is to hold the plank for a long period of time. Ten seconds of a plank using good form is better than a one minute plank where you’re checking. Plus, you increase the risk of injury.