SPRINGFIELD, Mo --- On this Fit Life, we're wrapping up our Fitness by the Decade series with a look at fitness in your 60's and beyond with Pamela Hernandez of Thrive Personal Fitness.
Here's what Pamela told us:
Your 60's and beyond are all about healthy active aging. The goal is to maintain strength and balance so you can keep doing all the things you want to do as well as complete the basic activities of daily life. That means focusing on functional training and balance.
For your cardio workouts, I recommend getting off the treadmill and getting outside. The uneven surfaces found in nature are a better training ground than the smooth stride of the treadmill or stationary bike. If you can't get outside, I would recommend classes like Zumba or Jazzercise that get you moving in all directions. Dance based movement will help with coordination and balance.
If you are not strength training, it is a must in your 60's. A simple way to add balance training to your workouts is to get off the bench or machine for upper body exercises like bicep curls and shoulder presses. Standing always engages more core and stabilizer muscles than sitting. If you are already sitting, try standing on one leg for an extra balance challenge.
You can also add balance training to lower body exercises by switching your weight from one leg to another. For example, you can add more balance work to a squat by alternating knee-ups. Step-ups are also another functional exercise that can challenge your balance.
The most important thing to consider is that it is never too late to start exercising. If you need to start strength training, find a certified professional who can start where you are and design a program based on your needs and abilities.