Kettlebell Workouts for Baby Boomers and Seniors

As boomers age, health problems typically grow. Persistent aches and pains that won’t go away become a constant companion. Joint replacement and other repair surgeries are many times already a part of the boomers and senior citizens life. Can kettlebell workouts help you may ask? In short, kettlebelling done correctly may just be the right mixture of strength training and cardiovascular fitness that you have been searching for and fun to boot!

In addition to being fun, they can be done in the home and in less time than a typical gym workout saving you time and money. Here are some of the fitness and health benefits boomers can gain from a regular kettlebell routine:

  • Increased muscle mass and bone density– Muscles and bone atrophy if not used placing boomers at greater risk of degenerative disease. Sedentary aging leads to 5 to 7 lbs. of muscle loss per decade.
  • Increased fat loss– Without a regular exercise routine, seniors stand to gain 20 lbs. per decade. Do you really want to be fat and old too?
  • Increased strength– This of course increases your functional independence something dear to the heart of the “drop out” generation.
  • Increased balance– Kettlebelling improves balance with all that swinging and core building. This lowers your risk of falling injuries.
  • Reduced Blood Pressure– Cardio fitness is improved which lowers your risk of heart disease and stroke.
  • Reduced Arthritic Symptoms– Strength training has been shown to reduce arthritic pain through improved joint articulation. Kettlebells work almost by stealth to strengthen the hands, forearms, arms as you grip and swing the kettlebell.

Some suggestions for Seniors

If you have physical handicaps or limitations, start your kettlebell routine with a qualified instructor. They will make sure you don’t overdo it and start with a weight and number of reps you can handle. You may need only a few sessions to get you started in the right direction and then take it on your own from there.

Begin with a light kettlebell and work up from there. Woman can begin with 5 lbs., maybe 10. Men a little heavier at 10 to 15. Focus on form and repetitions, not strength training to build muscle.

Start with only 2 workouts a week. This will get you going and not overwork or strain you. Add a third workout as you grow in conditioning and confidence. Keep your workouts on the short side to begin with and lengthen them as your fitness improves.

Good starter routines for seniors can include the 2 arm swing, the clean and press and the low windmill. Make sure you do both sides evenly and remember to use the hips to help your kettlebell movements. Make sure you stretch and warm up a bit before beginning your routine too. A few yoga stretching exercises can help like the downward dog or cobra as well as leg stretches and easy roll backs on the spine from a sitting position on the floor. Light arm windmills and stretches will help as well.

Here are some educational resources you may want to consider (click on the picture for info ):

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