Welcome 2024: A Senior's Guide to Health and Fitness Renewal - Henderson Edition


by:  Carolyn Vanzlow

Are you ready to embrace 2024 with a renewed commitment in health and fitness?

It’s never too late to begin your journey in senior fitness and wellness.

Have you been thinking about things you would like to improve? As father time marches on, we tend to change our health and fitness goals as we age.  Stiff and sore joints makes it difficult to do the things we love.

You might want to keep a few things in mind while creating a successful plan to improve your fitness and wellness.

Here are some ideas to ponder on that can provide great success and keep you moving, whether on the golf course, pickle ball, walking, weight training, cardio classes and many other forms of movement.

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I think it’s important to spread things out and do more than one type of moving. A very famous performance coach stated he would have his athletes doing a lot of cross training and work them in their specific sport twice weekly. They were stronger, they had more endurance, healthier, less pain and injury and they won more often.

Let me share what I like to do and see if any of this is a fit for you.

Breathing is huge. Women tend to hold their breath more, which does not feed oxygen to your muscles. I always start with some deep breath work. If you tend to take short breaths, it will limit your oxygen and it also tends to create neck tension.

Lay on the floor or bed with your knees bent and take deep breathes into your low abdomen without raising your shoulders. This could take some practice, but I believe you will get a big burst of energy from doing this daily. Do 40-60 deep breaths and enjoy moving your belly and getting some fresh oxygen.

I recently decided to take up walking twice weekly. There are some wonderful parks available to us with nice trails. You could combine your deep breathing while walking and get twice as efficient. I like this park that has stairs. I don’t like stairs, but it’s a great way to exercise my heart. I walk the stairs and get my heart rate up to a certain point, then turn around and go back down. Once my heart rate drops I turn around and go back up the stairs and repeat coming back down.
Take your time, if you are not in good condition, start with two to five minutes and increase when your body is ready. Make sure you recover before you go walking again.

Bone loss is a concern for seniors.
Strength training is excellent for challenging your joints and muscles. Form is very important. You may want to work with someone who can teach you how to implement good form.

Stretching. Very important. The biggest complaint I hear from seniors is they feel stiff and sore. You must stretch. You can go to my YouTube channel and select some of the postural exercises I have available for shoulders, hips, neck, back and knees. Keeping our joints flexible and moving is crucial to avoiding pain and injury.

If you have a sport like golf, swimming, or pickle ball. Try doing these one to two times per week.

If you are following some of these suggestions, you will notice your sport will improve and so will your overall strength.

I won’t start preaching about food; however, I will suggest you stay out of processed foods. They create inflammation which can increase your blood sugar, blood pressure, and affect your lab work. There are lots of goodies out there that are healthy and support optimum health.

Enjoy your time creating a healthier you.

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