I can't stress enough just how important exercise is to your overall fitness and well-being. You always hear how critical it is to be physically fit. But do you often hear when workouts seem to be too much, it may be time to scale back or change things up a bit? As you move into your 60s, having an active, healthy lifestyle becomes more important than ever before. The reason for this is that as you age, you lose muscle mass. Additionally, your metabolism drops, and so does your daily fitness if you're not doing anything to properly maintain it. This is why both strength training and performing regular cardio are critical. There are, however, unhealthy workout habits you may be doing in your 60s that need to stop or be re-evaluated.
Backing up a bit, If you're not even close to your 60s and don't have an aggressive strength training and cardio workout, I recommend beginning as soon as possible. It's important to build healthy fitness habits, establish a strong foundation, and maintain a healthy routine as you age. It's never too late to start a solid workout regimen. Where to start? Well, that's simple. Just begin slowly with two or three full-body strength workouts each week. Mix in daily walks and cardio on the other days during the week, and you'll be on the road to a healthy lifestyle.
If you're in your 40s or 50s and you've been active for a while, kudos to you! Just as a caveat, you may have some unhealthy workout habits you may have to consider quitting as you move into your 60s. Here's what these unhealthy workout habits are, along with the modifications you need to make in your routine. And next, be sure to check out The 6 Best Exercises for Strong and Toned Arms in 2022, Trainer Says.
Skipping your warmup and stretches
The older you get, the more important joint health and flexibility become. If you decide to skip your warmup and stretches before workouts or physical activity, don't. Doing so can increase your chance of injury.
I strongly recommend taking 5 to 10 minutes before your training sessions to go through a series of mobility drills and stretches to open up your hips, upper back, and shoulders. This will prime you to be ready for performing your exercises safely.
Lifting too heavy
Although you do want to push and challenge yourself by lifting weights, your training should change a bit going into your 60s. Hitting heavy 3 to 5 reps can be done quite easily when you're younger, but as you get older, you want to lift higher reps (6 or more). This is because your joints endure a lot of wear and tear over the years, and you want to continue training pain-free and injury-free. I recommend that you continue to choose a weight that's challenging, but perform it at a higher rep range.
Performing exercises that hurt
Any movements you are doing that give you pain or discomfort should be replaced. I recommend swapping it out for another exercise. You may have been able to do certain moves when you were younger, but after the miles you've put on your body, it's not uncommon to find alternatives.
For example, if your elbows don't like skull crushers, modify that move to cable triceps extensions. If upright rows are giving you shoulder issues, try lateral raises. When in doubt, substitute the movement pattern for a cable or lighter version of some of your exercises.
Only focusing on one type of training
It's easy to continue doing what you like with your workouts. In fact, it's quite common! But as you get older, it's important to make sure you have all of your fitness bases covered. Are you lifting all the time? Consider adding in some cardio on your off days. Are you doing only aerobic work? Switch it up, and hit the weight room for some resistance training.
If you want to stay fit and healthy into your 60s and beyond, you need to have a good blend of strength and cardio endurance. Mix things up, and enjoy the variety!