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Weight Loss Exercises for the 60-Year-Old

By Wendy Ferguson

Here you are, in your sixth decade of life, the kids are gone, you are probably looking at retirement soon, and want to be in the very best condition you can. Being slender and fit is crucial to staying independent and free of debilitating and dangerous illnesses as we age.

Weight Loss Exercises for the 60-Year-Old

Weight loss is a pretty simple concept. Calories go into your body through the foods you eat, and they are used by your body for energy through activity. When more calories are taken in than are used, it results in the storage of fat. Using that model, the solution is burning those extra calories by moving more. As we age, our metabolism slows considerably, so be aware that your weight probably won’t change like it did at 20, 30 or even 40 when we simply gave up that extra glass of wine at night to lose 5 lbs. With this in mind, you are going to have to work extra hard to lose those same stubborn pounds. Before beginning any new exercise programs, run your ideas by your doctor first just to be sure that your medications and conditions warrant any modifications to your regimen. The next step is to think about the kind of activities you really are passionate about and think you will maintain an interest in so that you aren’t frustrated. This should be fun and enrich your life; after all, you’ve worked hard raising family and juggling careers. The quality of your life should be optimum. Aerobic exercise (also called cardio) is critical to maintaining your heart health and is the quickest way to burn fat. When you bring your heart rate up, it uses energy and is more likely to dig into the fat stores. According to the Centers for Disease Control, as little as 2½ hours a week of moderate aerobic exercise has great benefits. The good news is that you can break that up into smaller segments of as little as 10 minutes at a time as long as it is moderate to vigorous. Using a 10-point scale, where sitting is a 0 and working as hard as you can is a 10, moderate-intensity aerobic activity is a 5 or 6. You should be able to talk normally, but not sing. Walking is a very beneficial aerobic activity and can be done anywhere such as a park, in your neighborhood, on a treadmill or even a shopping mall. Some malls have walking programs for folks to participate in and you can do it rain or shine. It can be very beneficial if you have regular days and partners to support you, and time goes by fast when you mix a little small talk with your jaunt. Water aerobics is super fun and perfect for people who have joint issues. Most YMCAs and gyms have these classes at all times of the day or evening when it suits your schedule, and almost all of them have programs for older patrons The class consists of a warm-up time of about 10 minutes, some moderate movements for ½ hour and then a cooling-down period. Done correctly and regularly, you can burn up to 270 calories per hour. It’s easy on the joints and highly recommended for those who have degenerative bone conditions. Strength training in tandem with aerobics is the perfect pair to slim down and shape up. It not only burns calories but protects the bones and maintains muscle mass. The key to this kind of exercise is resistance; using either hand weights, circuit training or rubber resistance bands. Remember though, as you work this kind of training into your routine, you may not see a great loss in weight, but rather results in a slimmer waistline, as muscle weighs more than fat. Yoga, believe it or not is an excellent way to burn calories if done regularly. You get a two-for-one punch with this practice, as it builds both strength and weight loss capability. Not only does it burn fat, but it builds core muscles, the ones that control balance and keep us from falling. Its sister sport is Pilates, which is a bit more strenuous but still works the core muscle region. Be diligent in taking lessons before enjoying this activity, as proper positioning is critical and can cause serious damage if not done correctly. Whatever you choose, do it with joy and enthusiasm and your results will be a new, slimmer and happier you.

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