Fitness for Seniors ~ Tips for Better Golf
Preparing for Ski Season ~ Safe Lifting Techniques
FITNESS FOR SENIORS
Evidence shows that if you keep physically fit by exercising regularly you increase your chances of living a healthier life, staying mobile and independent.
Exercise increases the heart rate and increases oxygen supply to the body. Exercise helps prevent stiffness in the joints and builds up the strength of surrounding muscles.
Am I Too Old?
Nobody is too old for exercise. The degree of exercise differs depending on an individual's level of fitness and if there are any health concerns.
Where Do I Start?
You will need an exercise program tailored to suit your needs. Before starting a fitness program it is recommended that you see your doctor for a physical examination.
What Is Best?
Simple forms of activity are important.
- Check your pulse rate regularly
- After exercise your pulse rate should return to pre-exercise level within 5 minutes
- Be careful not to overheat or dehydrate
- Proper rest is essential
- Do not overdo it
A common problem for older women is osteoporosis - a condition that involves a loss of bone density. It often affects the spine, causes shrinkage in height, poor posture and aches and pains, specifically in the back. Research shows that exercise is integral in helping to prevent osteoporosis.
Consult With a Physical Therapist
Physical Therapists are trained specifically on physical aspects of the human body. They are highly qualified to advise you on a work out routine on an individual basis.
The general tone of your body improves with exercise. You feel firmer; more fit, and it increases your energy level. Exercise can also improve your ability to cope with stress and improve your quality of sleep.
TIPS FOR BETTER GOLF
Golf related injuries are usually caused by little if any preseason preparation. Preseason preparation includes: a warm up, stretching, and aerobic conditioning. Injuries can be prevented through proper techniques.
The Preseason Golf Routine
- Cardiovascular endurance is an integral part of any preseason routine.
- Cardiovascular activities include: walking, swimming, biking, running and aerobics.
- Aerobic activity should be performed 20 minutes 3-5 times a week.
- Stretching should be fun, relaxing, and easy. The benefits of stretching occur quickly.
- Each stretch should be held for 20 seconds, NO pain should be present with stretching.
If you have any health concerns consult your doctor before proceeding. If you feel any pain or any sensation out of the ordinary STOP IMMEDIATELY and seek medical advice.
20 second hold, Repeat 10
These exercises are fun, relaxing and easy. Once the correct techniques have been learned, especially when combined with a regular fitness program, the benefits occur relatively quickly. The results will enable you to achieve a more fluid swing, with less muscle tension thus decreasing your chance of injury.
- Forearm Stretches - With elbow straight out in front of you and the palm up, gently pull fingers back with other hand. A comfortable stretch should be felt on the inside of the forearm. Now turn hand palm down and repeat, a comfortable stretch should be felt on the top of the forearm.
- Shoulder Stretches - Hold a towel or your golf club behind your back. Slowly pull the club up with your other hand until a comfortable stretch is felt, repeat with the other hand.
- Groin Stretch - Place feet 2-3 feet apart. While keeping back straight, slide your hips sideways to let yourself feel the stretch in the groin region. Repeat to the other side.
- Low Back Stretch - Lying on your stomach, place hands under your chest as to do a push up. Press-up your chest keeping hips and legs in contact with the floor. Important to use your arms keeping your back relaxed. Perform 3 groups of 10.
PREPARING FOR THE SKI SEASON
Are you ready for the slopes? If not, you still have time to prepare. There are a few sport specific exercises, which are designed to help every snow fan from snowboarders, to snowshoes, to downhill and cross-country skiers.
Downhill Skiing And Snowboarding
Here are some exercises designed to help build muscular endurance in the thighs. Both the quadriceps and the hamstrings are heavily involved in skiing and snowboarding. If you have ever tried these exercises, you might want to start out only using your own body weight for resistance. You may add resistance by holding dumbbells in each hand, dangled by your sides, close to the wall. Another opinion would be to increase the length of time you spend in each paused position.
If you have any health concerns consult your doctor before proceeding. If you feel any pain or sensation out of the ordinary STOP IMMEDIATELY and seek medical advice.
Advanced skiing exercises
- Wall Squats - Start with feet about 2-3 feet from the wall, lower yourself about 6 inches, and hold this position for 5-10 seconds. Repeat 10 times.
- 1 ¼ Dumbbell Squats - Keep feet close together; back flat, chest lifted, and dumbbell in each hand. Squat down as low as your range of motion will allow you to go. If possible try to keep heels flat on the floor. Repeat 10-30 times.
- Lunges - Keep knees behind toes. Repeat 10-30 times.
SAFE LIFTING TECHNIQUES
- Vertical Jump - From squat, jump up and out, swinging arms overhead. Land and immediately repeat. Repeat 10 times per set. Rest 30 seconds between sets. Repeat 3 sets.
- Cone/Cane Jump - Stand to side of cone/cane jump over and return immediately. Repeat 10 times per set. Rest 30 seconds between sets. Repeat 3 sets.
Lifting injuries are a common cause of back pain. You can protect yourself against injury with good lifting habits, both at home and in the workplace.
How Lifting Can Injure Your Back
Why Fitness Helps
- Twisting or jerking while lifting
- Lifting while bending forward will increase the stress placed on the spine
- Holding the weight of the load too far away from your body
Stiff joints and muscles can reduce your ability to keep your back in a safe position as you lift. If your leg muscles are not very strong, you may find it hard to squat down, thus stress and/or strain is placed through the back by bending forward.
Make Your Work Easier
- Back injuries are most likely to occur when the spine is bent forward and twisted at the same time.
- Discs are composed of a jelly-like core, surrounded by a fibrous ring. With repeated unsafe lifting, the fibrous ring or its' supporting ligaments may tear or rupture.
Always Remember This
- Always check the weight of the load.
- Get help if necessary.
- Whenever possible, repackage heavy articles to reduce the size and weight of individual loads.
- Wear comfortable clothing and flat, non-skid shoes.
- Store loads that you move regularly at waist height so you don't have to bend your spine or lift overhead.
- Make sure that your pathway is clear.
- Proper posture.
- B - Broad base of support. Check your footing. Your feet should be apart to give you a broad base of support.
- A - Align yourself. Get yourself lined up. Keep your back bowed in, your shoulders back and chin up.
- C - Close to object. Get close to the object to be lifted.
- K - Knees bent. Bend the knees and hips. Lift with your legs, not your back.