Also see go4life.nia.nih.gov, a resource created by the National Institute on Aging that offers a free exercise DVD and guide that provides illustrated examples of exercises you can do at home to strengthen your body. You can order your free copies online or by calling 800-222-2225.
If you don’t like exercising alone or need some motivation, consider joining a gym or call your local senior center to see if they offer any strength training exercise classes. You also should check out SilverSneakers (silversneakers.com, 888-423-4632) or Silver&Fit (silverandfit.com, 877-427-4788). These are fitness programs offered in thousands of fitness centers, gyms and YMCAs throughout the U.S. that offer special classes designed for older adults. These programs are available only to seniors that have certain Medicare supplemental policies or Medicare Advantage plans.
If you work out at home you’ll probably need to invest in some equipment. While some strength training can be done using your own body weight (like push-ups, sit-ups and leg squats), hand weights, ankle weights, medicine balls, resistance bands or rubber tubing are all great tools for strength training. You can find all these products at sporting goods stores, or online at amazon.com for around $10 or less. Cans of soup, water bottles or plastic milk containers filled with water or sand also could be used (like small hand weights) for resistance.
Another great strength training tool you should know about is the Resistance Chair (it costs $280). This is an all-in-one home fitness system that helps senior’s maintain and improve their strength from a safe seated position with minimal risk of injury. To learn more see vqactioncare.com or call 800-585-4920.
Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit SavvySenior.org. Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of “The Savvy Senior” book.