5 Exercises All Seniors Should Avoid
As you grow older, you will realize that age isn’t just a number. Unfortunately, as the years add on, you will notice that your body just isn’t capable of doing things it once was. For individuals who like to stay fit, this tends to be a problem. You want to continue to hit the track or the gym like you used to but your body just doesn’t let you do certain things anymore. This is why we have listed five exercises that anyone over 50 should be wary of attempting due to the danger they pose.
Squatting with weights
Squats with just your body weight is a great way to keep your legs in top shape as you grow older. It also helps you improve stability. However, your joints, especially the knees, aren’t as youthful as they once were. So, if you are thinking of using weights while squatting, you may want to reconsider. The additional weight will exert even more pressure on your knees which puts it at risk of an injury.
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Knee problems become common as you age, you don’t want any issues with your knees intensified by squatting with weights. Instead, you can do bodyweight squats and slowly increase the number of reps you perform. If that is too hard, you can try a form of chair exercise that works with squats. In this, you squat on to a chair, pause for a second, get back up and repeat.
If you are an avid runner, you know the importance of adding stairs to your run. It helps change the momentum of the run and adds an extra level of difficulty to it. Like with squats, running up and down the stairs puts your knees at risk of an injury. As you run up the stairs, with every step, you exert tons of pressure on the knees. Not only that, but there is also the chance of you tumbling over a step and falling, injuring multiple parts of your body.
Instead of running up and down the stairs you can jog on a treadmill, steadily increasing the incline after every 2-3 seconds or just use the stair master in the gym.
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Yoga is all the rave and it will help you stay flexible as you age. But you want to stick to low-intensity yoga which means Bikram yoga should be off your radar. Bikram is an intense form of yoga that leads to a lot of sweating and has numerous difficult positions for people with age to try to get into. All the sweating can lead to dehydration while difficult positions can lead to an injury.
You want to stick with light yoga which incorporates a lot of stretches and aids your body to remain flexible.
The bench press is a staple exercise that anyone that goes to the gym does. You don’t have to be a pro to know the benefits bench press has on your upper body. But keep in mind that as you age, your muscles aren’t as strong as they used to be. If you aren’t a regular weightlifter, your muscles deteriorate and lose strength. Which is why bench press isn’t ideal for you as you grow older. The slightest issue with form can lead to pain from the wrist to shoulder joints.
Instead of bench press, try doing push-ups with your knee touching the ground. Building your way up to doing them without the knees off the ground.
Cardio is a great way to get exercise. However, you don’t want to overdo it by running long distances. Running in itself puts a lot of pressure on your overall body. You want to run with intervals of walking and make sure you do it on a soft surface. Otherwise, you will exert pressure on your knees and risk an injury.
Don’t run for a long distance at a time, do it in short intervals and mix it with jogging and walking.
Growing old doesn’t mean you completely give up on exercise. Through exercise, you can help maintain your body. Just be wary of the exercises you choose and make sure they aren’t too dangerous.
Joseph Jones has been writing senior care and aging-related articles for years. He got his start while writing for a personal blog before he was offered to work at California Mobility in 2018 as the Content Marketing Manager, creating highly informative guides and health awareness articles for aging adults.
He’s currently contributing to a variety of blogs in the senior health industry in hopes to spread information about taking care of seniors and what to expect in the aging process.