No Pain. No Gain – is so not the rule for good senior health and fitness!
For seniors who already have pain that they are trying to heal, the prospect of purposefully adding even more pain and discomfort makes taking physical exercise seem like a bad joke and totally unreasonable.
The idea that we should feel pain after we exercise may be good for military boot camps that want to create soldiers out of young men, but as seniors, there should be a way to work around extreme exercise… and there is!
Here is a useful mini guide explaining ways to safer, pain free senior fitness how you can actually enjoy your daily physical exercise…
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, and lets your body perform resistance exercise with little tension on your joints.
It is still possible to overexert yourself and feel sore the next day, but the water makes the chances of a successful and painless workout much more possible.
Some hospitals have even built swimming pools or co-opted with gyms for pool use because 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 and senior fitness classes are now becoming very popular.
Silver Sneakers offer classes made specifically for seniors at various levels of fitness and ability. Many 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, or recommend alternate exercises for those of you 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 in the re-done no pain, no pain approach. Yoga, for example, purports that no one is supposed to feel pain during any of the postures being used.
In other words, a posture done within a person’s own abilities will not be painful – after all, yoga exercises are designed to improve the body not to cause self-injury!
The benefits derived from the different types of yoga are numerous: not only does it help you improve your flexibility, focus and stamina it also helps maintain your overall general health.
Besides finding places which can offer you the proper modifications to their classes and machinery, from a mental wellness attitude, finding something enjoyable which you like to do and that is physical will also diminish any pain philosophy.
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 then you should end the night feeling both rejuvenated and exhausted by the fun, not the pain, you have experienced.
Even just taking a little walk can do wonders for your fitness and general well being… not only does it revive you it may motivate you to continue exercising.
The only potential drawback to doing something that you enjoy is that you tend not to think about how much you are working your body during the exercise. Try to keep tabs on how it is feeling and remember 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 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 alleviate any soreness until it gets accustomed to your new pain-free senior fitness program.