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Working Out for Retirees

Stew Smith, CSCS

I am a 61-year-old retired officer and used to be in good shape but after a desk job for the past several years you can imagine the rest. Do you have any weight loss / fitness advice for some one like me?

Thanks for your career of service sir. I do have some advice for you that will help you get rolling again in a safe way that is not too aggressive, yet will be effective for your goals.

As we age, we still need to stay active in movements, especially functional movements that are required in everyday life: Sitting, standing, walking, picking up something and carrying it, etc. This requires movement practice, flexibility / balance training, and some form of cardio vascular training.

Here is what I recommend for other folks, as well as myself, as we age:

1 – Less impact: Decrease running and add more bike, swimming, elliptical gliders, rowing etc., for cardio, to burn fat and calories, and to keep your heart and lungs functioning at optimal levels. For many who ran hard in the earlier years and picked up several pounds along the way, the knees are screaming at you now. A common phrase I use for immediate benefits is “Just Add Water”. Drink more than you do now – at least the minimum recommended amount of 80-100 oz a day – and get physical in the water and try swimming, water aerobics, or even aqua-jogging.

2 – Calisthenics and stretching based exercises mixed with some weights in dumbbell exercises for muscle tone and flexibility. If you have never taken a yoga course give a beginners class a try. I thought I was flexible until I took a yoga course. These exercises assist with overall well being as well as balance, muscle tone, and flexibility. See Lower Back Plan below.

3 – Smarter Eating – Eat less fatty foods / sugary foods / high cholesterol foods – see diet plan below.

4 – Balance – Practice standing on one leg to work balance muscles of the lower leg and work up to performing some regular dumbbell exercises while standing on one leg too.

I have a ton of information to help you in the articles at Everything from avoiding injury, pushups, circuit training, weight loss, etc. can be found in the training article section.

For some free starter plans check out the links:

Lower back Plan – Great for building the core of fitness and health

Food Plan – To help with eating habits / weight loss (basic ideas on how to eat)

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