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Exercise and Nutrition Guide for the over 60s
As we age, our bodies change. Being in your 60’s today is a lot different compared to 20 years ago and even 10 years ago. We are living longer and healthier lives nowadays. 60 is the new 40 after all. Staying active as you age is a great way to help maintain brain health and overall physical function.
What exercises work for those over 60?
When it comes to exercises go for what helps you stay active, strong, mobile and flexible and have a good balance of these exercises. Resistance training will help you maintain lean muscle mass and bone density. We have included a bodyweight exercise guide below for you.
Other activities such as yoga, aqua fit, swimming and cycling are the best activities for your age group as well. A personal trainer comes in handy if you’ve never done these exercises or resistance training before. See it as an investment in your health, not a luxury. At David Sisk Fitness we have seen people getting stronger and fitter in their 60’s doing more than they did in their 50’s, simply due to consistent and correct training. You only need 30min twice a week to achieve noticeable progress.
When it comes to nutrition focus on high quality, nutrient-rich food. In addition, focus on particular foods that can provide vitamins and minerals:
- Add omega 3 fatty acids to reduce inflammation and pain (Found in: fatty fish, walnuts, flaxseed, chia seeds).
- Add vitamin B12, probiotics, fibre – for better digestion (Found in: eggs, poultry, natural yoghurt, green veg, some fruit).
You might need to adjust your portions. It depends how active you are.
A Suggested Daily Food Intake
Porridge made with water, some berries, chia seeds, agave syrup or maple syrup to sweeten up
Or my favourite: Overnight oats with kefir, blueberries, linseeds, and some honey.
Go for a big plate of salad/veg with some protein (chicken or turkey), 1-2 slices of wholemeal, spelt or rye bread.
Grilled salmon, brown rice, broccoli.
Portion control is the key. The best guidance is your hunger, eat until you are satisfied but not stuffed.
Do a Circuit of these exercises, 2-4 times
Take 1-2 minutes rest after each round
Exercise 1: Squats – 15 to 20 repetitions
Beginners can use a chair for balance to start with.
Start with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart. Keep your chest up, engage your abdominals, shift your weight onto your heels as you push your hips back into a sitting position. Lower your hips until your thighs are parallel or almost parallel to the floor. You should feel your toes and gluteus (backside muscles). Pause with your knees over, but not beyond, your toes. Exhale and push back to the starting position.
Exercise 2: Bird Dogs – 20 repetitions
Begin on all fours with your abdomen drawn in and chin tucked. Slowly raise one arm (thumb up to ceiling) and opposite leg toe pointed away. Keep both the moving arm and leg straight while lifting to body height. Hold and return both the arm and leg slowly to the ground, maintaining optimal alignment. Repeat with the other side. Do 10 each side.
Exercise 3: Bridges – 15 to 20 repetitions
Begin by lying flat on the floor with your knees bent, feet flat, toes pointing straight ahead and arms by your sides, with palms flat. Activate your glutes (bum muscles) and lift your hips off the ground to form a straight line between your knees and shoulders. Hold and slowly return back to the ground.
Exercise 4: Bicep Curls – 12 to 15 repetitions
Stand holding a dumbbell in each hand with your arms hanging by your sides. If you are a beginner, start with 2kg dumbells. Ensure your elbows are close to your torso and your palms facing forward. Keeping your upper arms stationary, exhale as you curl up to shoulder level while contracting your biceps.
Exercise 5: Shoulder Press – 12 to 15 repetitions
Begin with your feet shoulder-width apart and pointing straight ahead with your knees over second or third toes. Stand with one foot slightly ahead of the other for stability. Hold the dumbbells at chest level with palms facing the body. Press the dumbbells overhead until both arms are fully extended with palms facing away. Arms should be slightly in front of the ears with abdomen drawn in. Slowly return dumbbells to chest and repeat.
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Get Vilma’s training guide for those cocooning here.