The ten changes every man should make after the age of 60 includes how to exercise, exercises to avoid, what foods to eat more of as we get older and which ones to avoid.
1. What is the best way for men over 60 to exercise?
First, it depends on how active you are and how active you want to be. If you are just starting out, you may want to get a medical consult first. The American College Of Sports Medicine recommends 30 minutes of moderate physical activity “most” days of the week. With school, work and kids, I could only manage to exercise for about one hour three to four days a week for most of my adult life. However, in 2010 I cut my work hours back to only 20 hours a week of dentistry to make time for charity work and entrepreneurial endeavors. As a result, I am now able to exercise daily for 60 minutes and have been doing this for the last ten years. I can honestly say I am in better shape today than I was in my twenties because I have the time, knowledge and diet to maximise my results.
At 60 years old the main focus needs to be strength training to prevent bone and muscle loss. In addition, it is paramount to incorporate flexibility and cardiovascular activity into the mix. If you can shoot for two to three days at the gym and three to four days of cardiovascular workouts such as aerobics, swimming, walking, jogging, biking or rowing you will be set. For cardio and gym days I always start with five to ten minutes of stretching. This helps to avoid injury and strains.
I have noted that generally it is not convenient for most of us to work out with a trainer at every gym session, however, I am a big supporter of working with a trainer to make a comprehensive routine and then follow up with them every two to three months to revise the plan as your goals are reached. Make sure you incorporate the following major muscle groups: abdomen, arms, back, chest, legs and shoulders.
2. What exercise do you think we should avoid?
As we age our joints cannot tolerate the stress of excessive weight. Therefore, the healthiest way to exercise in order to avoid injury is to use lower weights with more repetitions. For each exercise I suggest doing two sets of eight to ten repetitions with a comfortable amount of weight. This will produce a leaner more “ripped” aesthetic result as well. Also, machines are preferred over free weights. The assisted movement of the machine compensates by stabilizing the weight and helps to prevent injury.
3. When is the best time to work out?
When you can! For years I went before work. Now, I go at the end of my work day. I find that my muscles are not as stiff later in the day and I get a better work out.
4. What foods should we eat more of as we get older?
In general, we should always try to eat more of the “superfoods” at every stage of life. These include: wild salmon, blueberries, broccoli, tomatoes, soy, flaxseed, oats, strawberries, cantaloupe, garlic, beans, green tea. Personally, I love to start each day with a fruit, protein, flaxseed and oats smoothie. I have been doing this for 30 years!
5. Which foods should we avoid?
I don’t eat junk food, highly processed food, fried or fatty foods. I also avoid all alcohol. It is a personal choice, not because I ever had a problem. Also, a recent study published in the Lancet rejects the notion that any drinking can be healthy.
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