When we begin to talk about exercise for living healthy after 60, we always hear the question, where?
Do we exercise at home? Or do we go to the gym?
Two great questions, and we’ll try to answer them. The good news? You’re not asking why.
Lets start with a gym. A place to go where all the equipment is waiting for us. Generally the gym is staffed with experts ready to show you the proper use of their equipment.
Normally the managers are not there to recommend or help you pick the routine you need. That job belongs to a personal trainer. There are often trainers ready to work with you on picking an appropriate routine to meet your goals.
They come at a price.
In selecting the right place for your work out, a couple of things need to be considered.
First is probably budget. How much to spend.
Have you ever heard of Silver Sneakers? It is a fitness program offered through many health plans. If you are on Medicare with a supplement, there is a very good chance you’re eligible.
If your health plan offers a Silver Sneakers membership, you can likely join a participating gym at no cost to you. I have a Medicare Advantage plan that includes Silver Sneakers. I can go to the gym as often as I want at no cost. My health plan picks up the expense.
For those not eligible for ,Silver Sneakers, there are plenty of gyms offering a variety of membership plans.
A word of caution. Watch out for contracts. I recommend not joining a gym with a membership that requires monthly dues for a specific period of time.
Locked into a two year contract and then having health changes where a gym is not appropriate, is an expense none of us need. Places like Planet Fitness offer no contract plans as low as $10 a month.
Then there is location. How far are you willing to go to workout?
Working out at home
The question brings us to the concept of working out at home. If you live in a rural area and a gym means driving several miles, the home workout may be best.
Exercise is a routine. If you are spending hours a week driving to and from the gym, you are far more likely to quit then the guy going up the street.
This same thinking may include living in snow and ice. You are not likely to keep the commitment to drive to a gym just to workout.
Maybe a home gym is your answer. If so, what equipment will you need?
The machines you see on television are expensive. Often several hundred to several thousand dollars. It’s my suggestion that you approach the decision to buy expensive equipment very carefully.
Heavy weights are generally not what seniors, (we are talking about those over 60 here) need to stay healthy.
I want to stress these workouts, whether as home or in a gym, are generally stretching exercises. The repetition of the workout creates muscle tone and increased stamina. Strength training is often accomplished by more frequent workouts or longer workouts.
When working to lose weight, the calorie burn of exercising, combined with reduced calorie intake, will give you the results you’re looking for.
Be cautious about exhaustion or pains in joints and muscle strains.
To finish up on the home workout. Products using stretching bands are very affordable and can be put away easily between routines. Generally, equipment like bikes eventually end up as a place to hang clothes.
The least expensive form of exercise is simply to take a healthy walk.
Thinking about some home equipment? We did a review on a wonderful exercise bicycle that is not only a healthy choice but it is also affordable. The review includes stretching band for muscle tone. Read it here.