By Muscle Media
“No Pain, No Gain” is not a good rule for senior health and fitness! For seniors who already have pain they are trying to heal, purposefully adding even more pain and discomfort makes physical exercise seem like a bad joke and totally unreasonable. The idea that we should feel pain after exercise may be appropriate for military boot camps wanting to create soldiers out of young men. But, as seniors, there should be ways to work around extreme exercise and pain.
Here is a useful mini guide explaining ways to safer, pain free senior fitness. It will show how you can actually enjoy your daily physical exercise in your senior years…
Swimming is popular activity that is highly recommended for no pain, with gain exercising. Being in the water relieves muscle tension, pain and swelling from arthritis. It lets your body perform resistance exercise with little pressure on your joints. It’s still possible to overexert yourself and feel sore the next day. But, the water makes the chances of a successful and pain-free workout much more possible. Some hospitals have even built swimming pools or co-opted with gyms for pool use. Swimming is such a beneficial way for seniors and those undertaking physical therapy to regain strength and fitness.
There are a few ways to make sure that you are in the right environment to engage in a no pain with gain workout. Professional gyms that employ certified instructors are a great place to start. Senior fitness classes are now becoming very popular.
Silver Sneakers offer classes made specifically for seniors at various levels of fitness and ability. Most instructors will also offer modifications for exercises. If the modification information is not readily available, ask the instructor or fitness manager for it. As long as your doctor has approved the activity or class, the instructor should be able to offer ways to keep pressure off the knees and wrists. They can even recommend alternate exercises for those using walkers or wheelchairs.
Wellness centers and weight rooms should have personal trainers on hand that can recommend the proper weight for circuit training and lifting weights. If a fitness instructor does not have this information, then consider taking a different class or going to another gym.
Luckily, many doctors and fitness enthusiasts are beginning to support seniors by re-examining the old no pain, no gain approach. Yoga, for example, advertises that no one is supposed to feel pain during any of the postures being used. In other words, a posture done within your own abilities will not be painful. After all, yoga exercises are designed to improve the body, not to cause injury! The benefits derived from the different types of yoga are numerous. Not only does it help improve your flexibility, focus, and stamina, it also helps maintain your overall general health.
Besides finding places that can offer you the proper modifications to their facilities, finding something enjoyable that you like that is physical will also diminish any pain perception. If you pick a physical activity that you consider fun, you are not likely to associate it with a need to create discomfort. For instance, if you go dancing, you should end the night feeling both rejuvenated and exhausted by the fun, not the pain. Even just taking a little walk can do wonders for your fitness general well-being, and mental wellness attitude. Not only does it revive you, it may motivate you to continue exercising. A potential drawback to doing something that you enjoy is that you don’t think about how much you are working during the exercise. Try to keep tabs on how it’s feeling. When your body tells you it’s had enough – stop and rest!
As gentle and safe as the new workouts for senior fitness are, a little soreness can still result from any physical exertion. Counteracting soreness with some yoga or stretches will help take away some of your knots and kinks. Drinking plenty of water before, during and after exercise also helps to keep sore muscles at bay. The traditional, tried and tested remedy of a relaxing warm bath is still a favorite way to help your body. It can alleviate any soreness until it gets accustomed to your new pain-free senior fitness program.