So, you decided to join the gym, great move toward better health in your senior years! Smile Senior Care would like to offer a few tips and hints about gym culture. These ideas will help to keep you healthy as well as those around you. As always, before starting a fitness routine, please consult with your physician.
Seniors and Cardio Machines
Keep your heart in great shape with the cardio machines. There are a few different machines to choose from, depending on your needs and level of comfort. Seniors may feel comfortable on a recumbent bicycle, you will lean back on this bicycle instead of sitting up. If you prefer, the treadmill is always a good option for seniors that prefer walking. If you have problems with your feet but prefer to stand, you can try the elliptical machine. It allows you range of motion without the stress of walking on your feet. Make sure to utilize the heart monitor to keep track of your heart rate if you do not have your own tracker.
All of the cardio machines at the gym will allow you to customize your workout. It will be tailored to the type of workout you want, such as fat burn, cardio, random, etc. You will enter in your age, weight and time. The machine will give you a target heart rate to achieve. You do not want to exceed this number unless instructed by your physician for your safety.
Please be observant of people waiting to use the cardio machines. If the gym is fairly empty, no need to worry. However, if the gym is very busy and people are waiting to use the machines, please try to limit yourself to 20 minutes.
Seniors Lifting Weights
Weight lifting is very important for seniors. As we age, we lose muscle mass, which in turn lowers our metabolism. Strength training can help to counteract this and strengthen bones as well. We encourage our seniors to develop a strength training routine with their physician or fitness trainer.
When lifting weights, be mindful of people waiting to use the equipment. Always be sure to rest between sets but please do not take too long if people are waiting for you to finish. If you are working out with your home care aide or a buddy, you may want to trade off during sets to keep the pace going. Be sure to wipe down the machine after you are finished. It may be a good idea to wipe down the machine before you get started, as well, just in case someone forgot to do so.
Locker Room Etiquette
If you decide to use the shower facilities at your gym, there are a few rules you should follow. Never leave your things overnight, even if you have a lock for your belongings. Most gyms provide lockers for the duration of your visit only. Anything left overnight may be thrown away. Your lock may be cut and the contents of the locker will be emptied.
You may want to purchase flip flops or shower shoes for the showers to prevent slips and little bacterial and fungal surprises lurking in the gym. Be sure to thoroughly dry your shower shoes after every use.
Be conscious of the area you are using in the locker room. Make sure not to spread your belongings too far and push other patrons out of the way. Try to get dressed in a timely manner to allow others to get ready as well.
These are just a few tips on gym culture and how to survive in that atmosphere. If you have any questions, comments of more tips, please leave them in the comment section. Happy lifting!