Saturday, 3 August 2013

Seniors Exercise

As I have mentioned in a previous blog, the Paleo diet is closely associated with Crossfit and Crossfit is pretty hardcore and intense when you are a 60+ baby boomer and have been leading a pretty sedentary lifestyle. Remember my young (under 30) office colleague who threw up on his first Crossfit workout - it was so intense.  I don't think that is for me and it probably isn't what you are looking for either.

I think the key to senior fitness (not as a fitness expert, but only saying what works for me), we just have to get moving whether it is a walk every day (even ten minutes), gardening for an hour or so, cycling (my favourite right now), swimming (I can't swim and am afraid of water - sigh!) and, as touted by current research, some form of strength training.

So, what are "Paleo" exercises?  According to Get-Fit Guy...ancient man did not likely (you think??) have access to pilates machines or other fancy weigh-lifting machines or a posh gym membership.  Although there are certainly advantages to these modern fitness conveniences, it is possible to build a very impressive and fit body using a range f movements that are called "functional" or "multi-joint" exercises.  These Paleo exercises incorporate the same types of movements our primal ancestors would have had to perform in order to survive in an unpredictable environment, whether being chased by a lion, throwing a spear, moving heavy logs or rocks or fighting.

How to exercise like a caveman

Paleo exercises can be broken down into the following seven movements:squatting

  • bending
  • lunging
  • pushing
  • pulling
  • twisting, and
  • running and other gait exercises.
A sample Paleo workout

Simply move from one movement to the next with little or no rest and attempt to complete three to five circuits of the following:

Squatting:  Hold a weight (i.e. a large can)to your chest and complete 10 squats (keep your back straight).
Bending:    Hold two weights overhead or at your side and bend from side to side, 10 times to each side.
Lunging:    With a weight held on your shoulders, step up onto a bench or chair twenty times, alternating legs with each step. [I don't have a barbell at home, so I think I will just do the stepping.]
Pushing:    In a standing position, holding an exercise band, push it forward in a punching motion 10 times with one arm and then switch arms and repeat.
Pulling:     Repeat the same motion with each arm, with the exercise band, but this time pull instead of push.
Twisting:  Now grab the exercise band with both arms, hold the arms straight out and away from the body. and twist 10 times to each side.
Gait-related exercises:  Get on a treadmill or walk outside and walk quickly for 30 seconds, then jog for 30 seconds, sprint for 30 seconds, then walk again for 30 seconds.

For all baby boomer females with "bat wing" upper arms, give this a try.

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