You've probably seen the Celebrex commercial that portrays a mature adult playing with his dog on the beach. The tagline, "A body in motion, tends to stay in motion", is a good takeaway when thinking of exercise and our aging body. bad knees, arthritis, or a reduced range of motion may make us feel old and throw in the towel but with a few tweaks and modifications, staying active is doable and more enjoyable!
REDUCE THE WEIGHT
This may seem obvious but sometimes we're overzealous because we want to see quick results. A simple solution is to use lighter weights or your own body as resistance. If hoisting 10-pound dumbbells is too heavy and you can't complete the reps, try 8-pound or even 5-pound. Or start with heavier weights but pyramid down in the following sets.
DIAL BACK THE INTENSITY
Jumping rope was great fun as a kid but if you can't belt out Miss Mary Mack while jumping anymore, you can save your knees and breath by simply jumping rope with one foot always on the ground instead of both feet leaving the ground to clear the rope. Exercises that call for running in place can be modified by walking in place. Eliminate the jump in jumping jacks by cutting the move in half and moving one leg at a time. Step-ups on tall blocks are intense but if you use a shorter block you'll still feel a good burn.
REPS AND REST ARE UP TO YOU
Interval, circuit, HIIT, and Tabata workouts aren't just for young peeps. Dial back the intensity and increase the recovery time if it's so brief that you don't even remember having one. Increase your rest time by 15-30 seconds. Or if the interval is 45 seconds and the rest is 15 seconds, decrease the interval to 30 seconds and keep the rest at 15 seconds. Decrease the reps and sets. Do three sets of 10 bench dips instead of three sets of 15. Start with heavier weights but pyramid down with the following sets. Options like these are plentiful and ensure these fat-burning workouts can still be fun and enjoyable.
CHANGE THE RANGE OF MOTION
Push-ups, planks, lunges, and squats are good examples of how changing the angle can modify an exercise. Instead of doing a push-up on your toes, try push-ups on your knees, or do wall push-ups. Plank with your hands holding the side of a chair seat or against the wall. Modify lunges and squats by not going as deep.
KEEP IT STABLE
Bosu balls, stability balls, and balance pods are excellent pieces of equipment for stability training but if you're not quite ready for a balance challenge, eliminate the equipment and seek a more stable surface like a chair, ballet bar, or floor. Unless you're advised not to, don't completely give up balance training, it's especially important to hone our balance skills to keep our core and back strong and help prevent falls.
GIVE YOUR KNEES A BREAK
Squats and lungs are tried-and-true for sculpting toned legs and glutes but #aging knees aren't so fond of them. Instead of traditional squats, try using a stability ball behind your back for wall squats. Knees balk at forwarding lunges but may give you less trouble when you do reverse lunges instead. Deadlifts are another swap for toning the #glutes. The knees are slightly bent and soft, while your glutes and abs do most of the work.
ALLEVIATE PAINFUL WRISTS
#Pushups are hardly a crowd-pleaser, to begin with, but doing them with painful wrists is nothing to cheer about either. Use #dumbbells placed shoulder-width apart, and grip them with your hands to keep your wrists straight instead of bent. Planks are popular but not wrist-friendly when you have painful wrists. A straight arm plank puts stress on your wrists but if you do a forearm plank or elevated plank (put your hands on a bench) it's much easier on the wrists. TRX or similar suspension systems keep wrists straight and virtually pain-free.