Sunday, July 27, 2014

Beginner core workout: Exercises for seniors

By John Fisher

I've lost over 40 pounds by using UNICITY's Transformation Program, which includes following some simple to do exercises.  The program for beginners includes three sets of exercises: the core workout, lower body workout, and upper body workout. Here is a description of the beginner's core workout.

UNICITY's beginners core workout is designed to to be done with real intensity so the exercise coaches seen in the following YouTube videos suggest you don't rest between exercises.  If you are a senior like me you may have some other things besides just weight gain working against you. You may need to take it easy and build your strength over time. While your goal should be to get a good cardiovascular workout by keeping your heartrate in its target area, your body may tell you something different. Listen to your body and recognize when enough is enough. Overtime you may be able to build up your body strength so you can do the exercises the way the experts recommend.  (If you have health problems, you should get a physician's advice before beginning any workout program.)

If you can get your heart rate into your target area throughout the workout, you will be able to burn calories and also gain cardiovascular strength. The American Heart Association provides an explanation of heart rates on its website. Click here.  The average heart rate is between 60 and 80 beats a minute. Because I'm over 65 years old my target heart rate at 50 to 85% is 78 to 132 beats per minute. The higher I get the better my workout.

The beginners core exercises can be repeated three times to get a good workout. I've found repeating the set of exercises three times takes about 20 minutes. Or you can do them three separate times throughout the day. I do them in my street clothes and, if I do them three separate times, I don't shower after each time.  My preferred time of day is to exercise in the morning before breakfast.

The first exercise is called the PLANK.  You will see in the video that it can be done from the toes or from the knees.  I started by doing it from the knees and do 15 repetitions or about 30 seconds before starting the next exercise.  My goal is to eventually do the exercise from the toes. Click here to watch the video for instructions about how to do the PLANK exercise.

The PLANK is done for 30 seconds or 15 repetitions.

A modification of the PLANK is the SIDE PLANK. Again, you can do this from your feet or knees. It should be repeated 15 times on each side for a total of about 60 seconds. Watch the video for instructions about how to do the SIDE PLANK.

Repeat the SIDE PLANK 15 times on both sides. 
The REVERSE CRUNCH is performed 15 times. Click here to watch the video. I made the mistake of lifting my head off the floor when doing the Reverse Crunch, but your head lies flat on the floor with your hands at your side. I'm not quite as flexible as the woman in the video so I can't bring my legs as far back as she does.

The REVERSE CRUNCH is repeated 15 times.  
The FLOOR BRIDGE provides an opportunity to stretch and relax some of those muscles. Be sure relax and blow out your air when you go down the floor each time you do a repetiton. Tighten your muscles and hold your breath as you go up.  Click here to watch the video demonstration. Do 15 repetitions.

Repeat the FLOOR BRIDGE 15 times. 
MARCHING IN PLACE is done at the end of every beginner's circuit. I count to 60 as I raise my knees and arms high 60 times. If you need a little more workout to get your heart going, you can jog in place. Click here to watch the video. At the end of each set MARCH IN PLACE or jog for 30 seconds.

MARCH IN PLACE or jog for 30 seconds.
Rest for 30-60 seconds and repeat the exercises for a total of three times each.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Thanks for sharing the tips. Indoor exercising might be the best option for seniors. Exercise bikes may give them the flexibility to workout indoors. Take a look at these exercise bikes for senior citizens.