Seventy (70) Is The New Forty (40) – Exercising Your Total Body Is Good News For Baby Boomers
Seventy (70) is the new Forty (40). For many of you, sitting with pain in places you never knew you had sounds like a lot of BS. I’m 70 so I know how you feel. As we age, our metabolism slows, muscle mass shrinks, and our hormones and neurological responses diminish. However, facts as they are, recent studies at the Center for Exercise Medicine at the University of Alabama (Role Tide) have actually validated the proposition for you Bama fans that seventy (70) is the new forty (40). . Several of their studies show that muscle growth and strength can be achieved by us baby boomers, or seniors, if you will. The key is consistent effort. If you make an effort to exercise consistently and follow a fitness plan, you will see results. I am not suggesting that you attempt to bench press New Jersey and run a Forrest Gump marathon, but that you follow a fitness regimen that lasts at least thirty (30) minutes three times a week. It may take a little longer to see results, but studies show that results are the same when you’re in your 40s if you’re consistent. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather have the physique of a fit person in their 40’s than a muscular person in their 70’s or older.
As I mentioned earlier, I’m 70 years old and have been following various exercise programs for well over 50 years, long before it became fashionable mainstream. With that in mind, I advise you to consult your doctor first and foremost and make sure they give you the OK to begin your fitness regimen. Once cleared to start your program, begin with the basics at a slow to moderate pace. Your training plan should be simple but train your whole body.
Let’s start with some basic terms:
(SETS) A set refers to the specific exercise for the specific muscle group in your fitness plan. Example bicep curls. Our goal is to do three sets of each body part with a minimum of eight (8) repetitions and a maximum of twelve (12) repetitions. Once you’ve reached twelve (12) reps, you’ll need to increase your weight. As with all exercises, once you’ve reached twelve (12) reps without much resistance, add 2 1/2 or 5 pounds to your weight. It is a matter of discretion on your part.
(REPS.) Reps is short for repetitions, or the number of repetitions of a specific exercise movement. Example Eight (8) repetitions.
Shoulder Width – Place your feet shoulder-width apart.
A BASIC SCHEME:
1) WARM UP: First, I like to go for a short walk of about ten minutes, on the treadmill, or in nature to get my circulation going and loosen up all parts of my body.
2) Push-ups: Start with 5 to 10 push-ups If you can’t do regular push-ups, you can do them standing up by pushing yourself off a wall. The idea is the movement, push-ups off a wall will still work your pecs and triceps.
3) Stretch Bans: Grasp the bans with your hands and place your elbows by your sides, feet shoulder-width apart. Pull the straps across your chest. To begin, perform eight (8) reps. When you buy bans, they come in different resistance levels. First, choose the ban that offers the least resistance. Once you’ve increased your reps to twelve (12), move on to the next ban and start again with eight (8) reps. Build back up to twelve (12) repetitions.
4) Dumbbell Shoulder Exercises: Dumbbells come in a variety of sizes, starting at 2 1/2 pounds and going up. Bowflex has a convenient dumbbell system that eliminates the need for numerous dumbbells. It’s basically two dumbbells that you adjust to whatever weight you need. With that in mind, I would start with 2 1/2 or 5 pound dumbbells. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Slide the weights over your head, keeping your feet shoulder-width apart, and then bring them back down onto your shoulders; do eight (8) repetitions. Once you’ve built up to twelve (12) reps, increase your weight.
5) Dumbbell Bicep Curls: Stand tall with feet shoulder-width apart. Using ten (10) pound dumbbells, place them in your hands, arms at your sides, palms facing forward. Roll the weights up to the tops of your shoulders, then lower them back down to your side, always keeping your palms facing forward and your elbows tucked at your side. Start with eight (8) repetitions. and work up to twelve (12) repetitions.
6) Tricep Extensions: While holding a 2 1/2 or five (5) pound dumbbell in your right hand, bend slightly forward at the waist while simultaneously placing your left leg in front of your bent body while keeping your bend left leg slightly. Rest your left forearm on your knee or thigh. Pull the dumbbell up along your right side at hip height, extend your right arm straight behind you, and then bring it back to the side of your waist where you started. Perform eight (8) repetitions and work your way up to twelve (12) repetitions. Reverse this position and do the same for your left triceps. I know this sounds a little weird, but it’s great exercise. Basically you just lean forward and extend the weight in a straight line directly behind your body.
7) Squats: For beginners, I would just use your bodyweight. Standing straight, feet shoulder-width apart, as you squat, push your buttocks outward and bend slightly forward at the waist. I wouldn’t go over half a squat. As with the other exercises in our fitness scheme, start with eight (8) repetitions and work up to twelve (12) repetitions. However, for this exercise, I would increase the reps to at least 25 before considering using weights.
8) Lunges: As with squats, I would start with no weights. Stand up straight, straighten your left foot, bend both knees at the same time and go down as far as you can, don’t overdo it, also remember to focus on your balance. Go back to your starting position. Do eight (8) to twelve (12) reps. Repeat for your right leg. I wouldn’t consider using weights for lunges until I could do 25 reps per leg.
Items I’ve found useful include stretch bands, cable machines like (Bowflex), dumbbells, and walking on a treadmill or just going for a walk in nature.
Thanks to V Landry