September 1, 2018
In this newsletter . . .
Now as an advanced senior, my two favorite pieces of exercise equipment are kettlebells and resistance bands. Here is why.
First, though, if you are a young senior and still lifting the “Big Iron,” keep doing it for as long as it works for you and feels right. Workouts like the following samples may be appropriate: Workout A; Workout B; or Workout C.
But as you grow older there will come a time when adjustments to resistance training should be made. Your mind and body will provide you with plenty of
hints, as that time gets closer. Don’t ignore the hints when they come. Aging happens.
Changes to consider.
Athletes of all ages lift kettlebells. But as we age the unique way in which they are lifted (when lifted properly) makes them good options for older people. Kettlebell lifts tend to encourage a natural full range of motion in their execution, an important factor as we age and become less flexible and more susceptible to strains and pains. Another feature (for those at any age) is that they are just plain fun to lift. But note that kettlebell lifting is somewhat different than hoisting barbells or dumbbells. Proper instruction and form is a must for beginning users. Learn more about that here.
And then there are resistance bands. Just as
they do using kettlebells, athletes of all ages use bands. Former pro-football great Terrell Owens used them during his playing career, and New England Patriots quarterback, Tom Brady, uses them today. One reason is that bands build muscle while being easy on tendons and ligaments. And that is exactly why resistance bands are good not only for top athletes whose bodies take a beating but also for seniors. Personally, bands have played a greater role in my workouts as I’ve aged. I believe in them.
* * *
My doctor, normally a cheerful person, seemed somewhat subdued at an appointment. So I asked how things were going. She told me that a good friend and medical school classmate was just diagnosed with lung cancer. He is only 40 years old, and he never smoked.
When I mentioned this later to a friend, he said, “That’s just as I have always believed. You can avoid health hazards and be struck down anyway. So why not
smoke if you enjoy it?” There’s some twisted logic there; but he is right about one thing: Regardless of having good health habits, there is no absolute guarantee of a long, disease free life. But there are good odds and there are bad odds.
In 2011, thieves got into our home while we were away. They stole computers, electronics, jewelry, money, and family heirlooms. We live in a low-crime-rate area, always lock our doors when we leave, and we had a good watchdog. (They drugged and abused her.)
Our neighbors were kind and helpful. But, surprising to me, some told us they never bother locking their doors or taking precautions when they leave. “If burglars want to get in, they will,” one said. “So why bother?” I agree that some thieves, if determined enough, will get in no matter what precautions are taken. But there are good odds and there are bad odds.
When I was younger and feistier, I’d get into debates about exercise. The arguments with the “health nut”
usually included someone's story of a relative or acquaintance who smoked a pack a day, boozed it up a lot, and yet lived a long time. They didn't want to hear about Jack LaLanne. But they liked the story of Jim Fixx, a well-known fitness buff and author who checked out fairly early in life. It does happen. There are no guarantees. But there are good odds and there are bad odds.
The good odds are that your lifespan and, more importantly, your health span will be longer if you live a fitness lifestyle. Smoke, booze it up a lot, get fat, and/or use drugs, and the odds greatly favor the onset of diseases brought on by self-destructive habits. Go with the good odds and take care of yourself. The good odds are that you will feel better throughout your lifetime and you will last longer.
P.S. Lock your doors, too. It won’t stop every thief out there; but it will cull the criminal herd. Most of
them look for the easiest entries. Unsecured entries are like putting out the welcome mat.
Sincerely yours in health and fitness,
Senior Exercise Central
If you like the newsletter, we're making it easy to share it . . .
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 web site contain advertising and marketing links. Naturally, I am compensated for these.
The newsletter and web site 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.
The Gray Iron Fitness Newsletter