Let’s face it! Your body isn’t what it used to be. Your 20’s with all of its youth and vigor seem to be a distant memory. Aches and pains are starting to abound in your daily life. Your trim waistline now looks more like a four-lane highway. You may even feel helpless as you officially stamp your card for the 40, 50 or 60 plus club! But there’s hope!
Exercise is still a major factor in delaying the aging process. But, does the thought of exercising make your heart beat faster and beads of sweat form on your forehead? Maybe your body isn’t as flexible as it used to be; it hurts to reach for the top shelf in your cabinet. Nor or you as strong; you’re struggling to carry multiple bags of groceries from the car to the house and find you can only get a grip on one at a time.
Even though you know it’s good for you, you may still feel overwhelmed by the thought of exercising. But, you’re not alone. Some of my clients were sweating over the thought of starting an exercise routine, too. They were afraid they couldn’t keep up or worse, they might injure themselves in the process. I get it. That’s why I’ve put together a list of ways for you to modify your exercises. Remember, some exercise is always better than no exercise.
1. Use a chair.
As we age, balance becomes a major challenge, especially if you have trouble walking or have already fallen. Doing balance and strength exercises will decrease your risk of falling. Using a chair will help you to stabilize yourself during these exercises. Make sure the chair is tall enough for you to comfortably and firmly grip while standing behind or beside it.
Sitting is also an option to modify an exercise. If you’re unable to perform standing exercises, sit down on the chair. You will still be able to effectively strengthen and stretch your muscles.
Sample exercises: squats, leg raises, lunges, triceps, biceps, leg stretches
2. Use the wall.
Yes, you read that correctly. You may not be able to get on the floor to do a push-up. You may not be able to stand on one leg to stretch without assistance. But, you can use the wall. Simply place your hand(s) flat against the wall and lean on the wall to support your weight and balance your body.
Sample exercises: wall push-ups, leg stretches, arm stretches
3. Don’t jump.
Bone density decreases with age. This leads to osteoporosis and bone loss. Whether you have already experienced some bone loss or not, reduce impact pressure on your bones by simply extending your legs during exercises that require jumping. For example, when doing jumping jacks, don’t jump up in the air. Simply extend your left leg to the side and raise your right arm at the same time then bring them both back to center stance. Do the same on the other side by extending your right leg to the side and raising your left arm.
Sample exercises: chair jumping jacks
4. Walk, don’t run.
According to a study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, running is hard on the heart. Walking is gentler on the body. It can lower your risk of muscle injury and long-term damage to your heart.
Don’t let aging stop you from having the best body and living the best life you can live. Try these modifications and let me know how it’s working for you in the comment section below. Do you have tips that are working for you?