If you’re in your 60’s, you need to start performing these exercises ASAP!
In the past, we assumed that frailty and weakness were natural consequences of the aging process.
Now, however, we see people maintaining incredible levels of muscular strength even into their 90s!
While it may be harder to exercise as we get older, it’s imperative that we get some movement in every day, regardless of any limiting or complicating factors.
In this article, we will review three important exercises that everyone in their 60s and beyond should perform every day.
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Top 3 Exercises for Those Over 60
Naturally, there are many exercises that are suitable for improving health later in life. The following exercises are simply some of the most common ones that I tend to prescribe for individuals in this age group.
The important thing, when selecting exercises for improved health later in life, is to cover all of the crucial concepts that lead to improved longevity.
These concepts are: balance, strength, and proprioception (awareness of your body’s position in space).
Beyond these areas, you should also strive to improve or maintain your cardiovascular health as well as your flexibility.
These areas of health can easily be addressed through the use of walking, performing light stretches or yoga, and many other different methods. Truthfully, it doesn’t take much to remain healthy later in life.
Now, let’s take a look at the top three exercises for those over 60!
1. Single Leg Balance
The single-leg balance exercise can almost be considered a panacea, especially when modifications are made to increase the difficulty. This exercise improves balance, strength, and proprioception in the lower body.
By improving in these areas, one can reduce the chances of falling or becoming injured during daily tasks involving standing or walking.
How to Perform:
- If you’re a beginner, ensure that you perform this exercise close to a stable surface, such as a wall or a secured railing.
- Shift all of your weight onto your right leg, lifting your left foot off of the ground.
- Attempt to balance on your right leg for 10 seconds, for 3 repetitions, every day.
- Repeat this same process on the left leg.
2. Bird Dogs
Bird dogs are an incredible exercise for increasing balance, core strength, and proprioception.
This exercise forces you to use your whole body actively and encourages core muscle activation. Best of all, bird dogs are easy to progress by adding weight, increasing isometric hold times, and manipulating other variables.
How to Perform:
- Begin by positioning yourself on hands and knees on a soft, yet stable surface.
- Kick your right leg behind you, in line with your body, as you simultaneously extend your left arm in front of you, also in line with your body.
- Hold this position for 10 seconds and then return to the starting position to complete the rep. Perform 10 repetitions per side, for 3 sets per session, 1 time per day.
3. Prone Snow Angels
This exercise does not necessarily increase balance, as the other two do. However, it is a superlative exercise for improving rotator cuff strength and shoulder stability.
The shoulders can often become worn as we age. Therefore, performing regular maintenance exercises can help to decrease the chances of experiencing a rotator cuff tear or a similar injury.
How to Perform:
- Lay down on your stomach, with your arms down by your sides.
- Slowly raise your hands off the ground, ever so slightly.
- With your hands elevated off of the ground, bring your arms up high, in an arcing motion, above your head.
- Without returning your hands to the ground, reverse the arcing motion until your hands are back in the starting position.
- Repeat this motion for 10 reps, 3 sets per session, 1 session per day.
There are few certainties in life. However, one thing we can all count on is that we will get older as time goes by. That being said, there are many preventative measures that can be taken to reduce the chances of becoming frail and injured later in life.
By performing a few simple exercises, you can greatly improve your health and decrease the probability of falling and ending up in the hospital. No matter what age you are, it’s never too late to start exercising!
- Langhammer, B., Bergland, A., & Rydwik, E. (2018). The Importance of Physical Activity Exercise among Older People. BioMed research international, 2018, 7856823. https://doi.org/10.1155/2018/7856823
- Han, J., Waddington, G., Adams, R., Anson, J., & Liu, Y. (2016). Assessing proprioception: A critical review of methods. Journal of sport and health science, 5(1), 80–90. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jshs.2014.10.004