Do you huff and puff when you walk up a flight of stairs?
If you do, that’s okay. Everybody needs a starting point. And that’s all it is–a start. The start of something good.
We can all use more endurance. And the good thing is, it’s never too late to get it.
An ABC News contributor reports on her 83-year-old father, who radically increased his endurance without even setting out to do so. The elderly gentleman moved into an apartment complex with a small gym including a treadmill and an exercise bicycle. He started using the gym, hoping to improve his strength and fitness. He began with tentative, 10-minute exercise sessions and, according to the report, worked himself up to about 30 minutes a day before he even realized it.
Stories like this aren’t uncommon. Many elderly Americans, hoping to improve their fitness but wary of setting their sights too high, begin senior workouts, catch the fitness bug, build up more endurance than they might have thought possible, and never look back. Supplementing their senior cardio and senior endurance workouts with a sound senior diet low in fat, sugar, and salt and high in nutrients, fiber, and calcium, they often find it doesn’t take long until they can go and go and go.
How did they get there? Often by starting from where you may be right now.
For most people over 50, walking is the best way to start building up endurance. For some that means walking for only a few minutes … then doing it again a few hours later … adding a minute or two when they’re able … and so on. The goal should be 30 minutes or more of endurance work you can handle about three or four times a week. Many if not most experts recommend skipping days between workouts–at least if you’re exercising to your capability.
Once you can comfortably handle a brisk walk on a flat surface, you may set your sights on stationary cycling, swimming, low impact aerobics, or other senior cardio and endurance activities that you can do safely. As long as your doctor agrees, you should set a goal of elevating your heart rate to between 60% and 70% of your maximum heart rate. Your maximum heart rate equals 220 minus your age, so , for example, if you’re 80, your maximum heart rate is 140, and the heart rate you should try to reach, and sustain for a time, ranges from 84 to 98.
You may not be there yet. But with a little sweat and determination, you should get there before you know it.
Have you started workouts to increase your endurance? Leave a comment letting us know how your efforts are paying off!
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Senior Fitness – Endurance Training © 2012 MedicareMall.com