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The Gray Iron Fitness Newsletter, Issue #357. Easing Off (?)
October 01, 2023

Easing Off (?)

Years ago, I led cardio-kickboxing classes at a local health club. It was great fun and getting paid while exercising is always better than paying gym dues. I did it for three years or so, and was pushing age 70 when the series ended.

Later on, my wife and I worked out together for a few years at a different health club. We were steady but tapered off the high-intensity work we were doing when leading kickboxing classes. That’s what I mean when I say be age appropriate, as the years pass.

Nowadays, Patty rides a Peloton stationary bike or goes to Zuma classes for her cardio. I’m well into my 80s and take daily 30- to 40-minute walks with our family dog, Emma. It’s great and nothing tops being outside in fresh air.

Patty’s Peloton programs also provide some resistance work and stretching, as well as cardio bike rides. For my own resistance exercise, I use resistance bands or do modified pushups and pull-ups. Again, it is a senior adaptation to working out.

On the other hand . . .

Are you, personally, still young enough and fit enough for high-intensity workouts? If so, even the Tabata format of repeating 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest, then 20 seconds more, rest, and so on, may be appropriate.

For fit, young elders, here is a sample of a typical Tabata routine. Twenty intense seconds of each exercise, followed by 10-seconds rest; then on to the next exercise, 20/10, et cetera.

  • Run in place (high knees)
  • Shoulder Press (use resistance bands or dumbbells)
  • Squats (bodyweight only or with resistance bands)
  • Rowing (with resistance bands or dumbbells)
  • Pushups
  • Plank
  • Rowing (with resistance bands or dumbbells)
  • Run in place (high knees)

Once completed, that counts as one Tabata. It takes only four minutes to run through it once. Have fun but ease into it. At any age, don’t go all-out the first time you do it.

If you’ve put in a serious effort, you’ll be huffing and puffing. Don’t feel that one Tabata is enough? After a short breather, do another one, or two, or three more Tabatas.

Important Notes: 1) Please first read my page on Interval Training. Then at the bottom of the page, access the free online Tabata timer to take the guesswork out of your session. 2) Remember, Tabata is not for beginners. Senior beginners should start off with a starter program, before doing Tabata or other HIIT workouts.

Stay healthy. Stay fit.


Senior Exercise Central

Photographs: Subscribers have asked when the newsletter photo at the top of the page and my website pictures were taken. The photos were taken when I was a mere 70. I’m almost 87 years old now. Though I remain active, I am no longer nearly as strong or muscular as I was 17 years ago. —LF

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Newsletter Policy

The Gray Iron Fitness Newsletter is a free publication sent twice monthly to subscribers. The purpose is to provide honest and realistic fitness information for people age 50 and above.

I have never been paid or received compensation of any kind to write a positive review or endorse a product. If I say that I personally use a product or service, it is because I find value in it and have paid for it with my own money.

Like newspapers, magazines, and television, this newsletter and my website contain advertising and marketing links. Naturally, I am compensated for these.

The newsletter and website provide information to help users establish and maintain a fitness lifestyle. But fitness information is not the same as fitness advice, which is the application of exercise and dietary practices to an individual's specific circumstances. Therefore, always consult with your physician for assurance that fitness information, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate for you.

Your comments and questions are always appreciated. Simply click on the "Reply" bottom.


Logan Franklin
The Gray Iron Fitness Newsletter

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