Research supports an exercise program sequence for older adults and seniors.
Exercise has always been a BIG part of my life which is why I used to belong to a gym, run in my spare time or bike along the beach. I’d schedule my fitness classes based on my exercise plans for the week. It was easy to decide whether I’d take an aerobics class (spinning for an hour), resistance training with weights and bands or take a well-deserved stretch class. Balance classes weren’t offered, but fortunately, there was always an element of balance I’d incorporate into my routine.
Clear guidelines that connect specific types and amounts of exercise for particular conditions are not fully documented. However, this DOES NOT MEAN that exercises in any order are not effective. As a fitness professional, my decision on how to order exercises in a routine is based on an initial (evidence-based) assessment that ultimately will lead to designing programs for my older adult and senior clients. I will re-assess if a client has have had had a setback which requires medical intervention, then re-start a program, if necessary.
After an assessment, which gives me information about the client’s strength and weaknesses, I usually begin with warm-up exercises for specific parts of the body to prepare them for their program of the day. Perhaps there are flexibility exercises to increase hip range-of-motion before resistance or balance practices. Conversely, doing an aerobics/cardio exercise prior to resistance training will result in greater caloric expenditure both during exercise and afterward. Depending on the client’s goals, the order can be different each time. Either way, I encourage people to follow the current evidence-backed guidelines from ACSM if they are uncertain how to start on their own.
If you are a senior, or feel as if you are, I can help design a specific exercise program for you to do at home. We specialize in osteoarthritis, Parkinson’s disease, post stroke, balance, mobility, menopause, pre- and post-rehab. You can contact me at 818-620-1442 or visit our Facebook page, LinkedIn or follow our exercises on YouTube for important research and fitness updates.