It’s recommended that everyone, regardless of age, perform 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise every day and supplement it with strength or resistance training twice a week. It’s only natural, of course, that as we get older, we begin to slow down. But it’s been found that many senior citizens aren’t getting any exercise at all. And those that do often concentrate on cardiovascular based activities such as walking and swimming while neglecting to do any resistance training at all. And in some ways, it’s understandable. Many seniors might be intimidated by heavy weights that could be dropped and cause injury – especially if there’s no one else around. So, is there an alternative? Are exercise bands good for seniors? In this article we’ll show how exercise bands can be a great way for senior citizens to safely perform resistance training.
What Are Exercise Bands?
Exercise bands, also known as resistance bands, are a relatively new type of exercise equipment that can be basically described as oversized rubber bands. They were originally made of rubber tubing and used as a physiotherapy accessory by those recovering from injuries. They were appealing to physiotherapists and their patients because of their low cost, light weight and reduced injury potential compared to free weights. Yet they still provided the resistance necessary to strengthen and build muscles. Over time, their utility became apparent to the athletic community and they became designed specifically for strength training. Nowadays there’s a wide range of bands available featuring varying levels of resistance, handles, velcro cuffs and more.
Why Are Exercise Bands Good for Seniors?
For those who are on a fixed income, resistance bands can be the most economical strength training equipment available on the market. If you compare them with a set of weights or a compound exercise machine, the price difference is immense. A single exercise band can cost a few dollars. A full set can be easily obtained for less than $25.
Resistance bands barely weigh anything which means it’s easy to take them anywhere. You can slide them into your luggage, put them in your pocket and take them down to the park or store them in your sock drawer. You don’t have to worry about size or weight restrictions with this type of exercise equipment. And their light weight ensures safety when working out.
Easy to Use
There isn’t a lot of technique that needs to be learned and mastered with resistance bands. In fact, many of the exercises that you’ll be doing with resistance bands will already be familiar to anyone who has ever done any type of exercise. There’s a very minimal learning curve here.
Resistance bands are great for improving strength, flexibility, range of motion, balance and coordination. Regular use of resistance bands can slow down bone loss, reduce arthritic pain and prevent muscle atrophy – all important considerations as we get older.
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