Champaign, IL (WCIA)
As we age, many of us tend to slow down a bit. But, keeping fit can also help you avoid other challenges later in life.
In this week Best reviewspersonal trainer and “Serious Fitness” founding expert, Judd NeSmith, shares with Gary the essential products that people over 50 need to stay in shape.
The products that 50 year olds should have to stay in shape
By Allen Foster
As we age, we tend to slow down. In many ways, it’s natural. However, there is a huge difference between slowing down and stopping. In fact, if you stop working out just because you’re turning 50, it could compound the challenges you’ll face later in life. Knowing what workout equipment you need and how to use it is key to maintaining your fitness level as you age.
BestReviews’ Judd NeSmith, NASM-CPT, SPE joins Gary Gelfand to discuss the essential products people over 50 need to stay fit.
Products the over 50s need to stay in shape
It doesn’t matter if you’re young or old, all bodies build muscle the same way. When you exercise, you damage muscle fibers. After exercise, your body repairs the damage by fusing these muscle fibers together and thickening the strands to create muscle hypertrophy (muscle growth). As you age, this process still works, but it becomes less and less effective.
To stay fit as you age, you need to exercise regularly, using low-impact, muscle-strengthening equipment, such as an exercise ball, resistance bands, exercise bands, and dumbbells. Plus, you can promote recovery and reduce soreness by using a foam roller and massage gun. Together, these devices can help keep you physically active and healthy over the years.
A exercise ball is a sturdy inflatable that provides limited stability during training. Although it may seem like a downside, maintaining your balance during an exercise actually engages more muscles, making the workout more beneficial. You can use an exercise ball to strengthen your abdominal muscles, back muscles, leg muscles and more. It is ideal for increasing body strength to eliminate problems such as back pain while increasing balance to protect against falls.
As long as you don’t have any injuries or underlying medical conditions, a foam roller is a great fitness tool. According to NeSmith, it can also be used to treat tight quadriceps muscles that can pull on the patella and cause knee pain. You can use this device after workouts to reduce inflammation and decrease delayed onset muscle soreness that can occur up to three days after a workout. Additionally, there is evidence that using a foam roller can improve flexibility.
Dumbbells are some of the most versatile pieces of fitness equipment out there, not to mention that they are beginner-friendly. “They’re great for upper body exercises,” says NeSmith, “especially for arms, back, and chest.” You also don’t need to use heavy weights to get a good workout. When used correctly, even five-pound dumbbells can work these muscle groups effectively.
A massage gun is like having your own masseuse or personal masseur. You can use it to target trouble spots deep within your muscles. Repeated strokes increase blood and lymph circulation to deliver more oxygen and nutrients to your muscles. They can also help release tension and fluid, helping you move painlessly and extending your range of motion.
Loop bands are like large, flat rubber bands that you wrap around your arms or legs to increase the resistance and intensity of your workout. The beauty of loop bands is that they come in a variety of resistances, so you can take it to the next level whenever you feel ready. Loop bands help increase strength and elevate your fitness level. Since loop bands don’t provide a stable grip, they can also engage stability muscles for an added benefit.
The exercise bands that we use have handles that allow you to get a better grip. They are very similar to loop bands and offer nearly identical benefits. However, you can dramatically increase the intensity with exercise bands by connecting multiple bands to the handles. A quality exercise band set will also include hardware that allows you to attach the band to a stationary object to greatly increase the range of exercises you can perform.