The following subjects are common questions or concerns many seniors have.
Let’s begin with . . .
Testosterone: Sometimes senior men ask about low-testosterone levels: “If I supplement testosterone will I regain youth, muscle, and strength?” Or, “Will supplementing increase my sex drive?” I’m not a doctor and always suggest talking with a medical doctor if you think you have below-normal testosterone.
However, generally speaking, resistance training or high intensity (HIIT) exercise does tend to elevate testosterone levels to some degree. But my knowledge of the subject doesn’t go much beyond that. And I’d be very careful about researching the subject online, where erroneous or exaggerated information is common. Talk to your doctor.
Burpees: Athletes may dread them and
say they hate them, but secretly it is love and admiration. Well, at least admiration. The question is: are burpees okay — meaning safe — for seniors?
Burpees are highly regarded as a full-body exercise that can leave you huffing and puffing like a steam engine. That’s fine if you’re in top-notch condition. But going all out may not be very smart if you are way out-of-shape or suffer from certain medical conditions.
At the burpee beginner level, however, they can be good low-intensity, full-body movements — even for senior beginners. Speeding them up to the intermediate or advanced level can present a real challenge, even for the already fit. Burpees are meant to be challenging.
Here is a short video and burpee explanations at beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels: Take a look.
Rectus Abdominis (aka Abs): With apologies to Alfred Lord Tennyson, spring is the time when
a man’s (or woman’s) fancy turns to rectus abdominis. Yes, that’s right. Our abs. Tight, taut abs. We all want ‘em. Maybe even a six-pack, if you're young enough and want to go all the way.
Summer is upon us and of course nobody wants a belly drooping over one’s belt line. However, you don’t need an actual six-pack to be firm and fit. The path to firm and fit (or even a six-pack) is right here. If you work at it, you can have them. And the information on how to go about it is free.
If I stop exercising will my muscle turn to fat? Muscle and fat are two different things, so that’s impossible. However, muscle does shrink when it is not used. So if you stop exercising but continue consuming the same daily calories, you will gain fat because you are not burning as many calories as you did before. But muscle cannot transform itself into fat. It just doesn’t happen.
morning workouts best for burning fat? There may be some advantage in losing more fat by working out before your first meal of the day, as your body must tap into more of its reserves. But this is fine-tuning (and controversial). If it is convenient and you have the energy at that hour, try it. Overall, though, the best time to work out is a time when you can most consistently fit exercise into your day. Consistently is the keyword.
If any of the above have been in your thoughts, I hope my answers helped clarify any concerns.
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 86 years old now. Though I remain active, I am no longer nearly as muscular as I was 16 years ago. —LF
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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.
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