Seventy (70) Is The New Forty (40) – Exercising Your Total Body Is Good News For Baby Boomers

Seventy (70) is the new Forty (40). To a lot of you that sounds like a lot of BS, as you sit there with aches and pains in places you never knew you had. I’m 70 so I know what you’re feeling. As we age our metabolism slows down, muscle mass shrinks and our hormones and neurological responses decline. However, those facts being what they are, recent studies at the Center for Exercise Medicine at the University of Alabama ( Role Tide) for you Bama Fans, have in fact verified the statement, that seventy (70) is the new forty (40). Several of their studies show that muscle growth and strength can be achieved by us Baby Boomers, or seniors if you will. The key is consistent effort. If you put forth that effort to exercise consistently and follow a fitness scheme you will see results. I’m not suggesting that you try to bench press New Jersey and run a Forrest Gump marathon, but that you follow a fitness schemes that consists of at least thirty (30) minutes three times a week. To see results might take a little longer, to achieve, but the studies indicate if you’re consistent the results will be the same as when you were in your forties. I don’t know about you but I’d rather have a physique of a well toned person in their forties then a muscle sagging person in the seventies or beyond.

Like I mentioned earlier I’m 70 yrs old and I have being following various work out schemes for well over 50 years, long before it became fashionable main stream. With that said my advise is to first, and most importantly, consult with your medical doctor and make sure he gives you the OK to start your fitness scheme. Once you have been released to start your scheme, start out with the basics, at a slow to moderate pace. Your workout scheme should be basic, yet work your entire body.

Lets get started with some basic terms:

(SETS) A set refers to the particular exercise for the particular muscle group in your fitness scheme. Example Bicep Curls, Our goal is to do three sets of each body part minimum of eight (8) reps, maximum of twelve (12) reps. Once you achieve twelve (12) reps you need to increase your weight. As with all the exercises once you reach twelve (12) reps, without much resistance, increase your weight amount by 2 1/2 or 5 pounds. It’s a judgement call on your part.

(REPS.) Reps is short for repetitions or number of times you repeat a particular exercise motion.Example Eight (8) reps.

Shoulder Width – Placing your feet the width of your shoulders.


1) WARM UP: First I like to take a short walk for about ten minutes, on a tread mill or out in nature to get my blood flowing and all my body parts loosened up.

2) Push Ups: To start 5 to 10 push ups If you are unable to do a normal push up, you can do these standing up pushing off a wall. The idea is the motion, push ups off a wall will still work you chest muscles and triceps.

3) Stretch Bans-: Grip the bans with your hands and put your elbows next to your sides, feet shoulder width. Pull the bands across your chest. Do eight (8) reps to start. When you purchase bans they will come in various resistance strengths. At first pick the ban which offers the least resistance. Once you increase your reps to twelve (12), move up to the next ban and start over at eight (8) reps. building back up to twelve (12) reps.

4) Shoulder exercise using Dumbbells: Dumbbells come in various sizes starting out at 2 1/2 pounds going up. Bowflex has a convenient dumbbell system that eliminates having numerous dumbbells. It’s basically two dumbbells that you adjust to the desired weight you need. With that said, I would start out with 2 1/2 or 5 pound dumbbells. Stand with you feet shoulder width. Push the weights up over your head, keeping your feet shoulder width, and then bring them back down to the top of your shoulders; do eight (8) reps. Once you build up to twelve (12) reps increase you weight.

5) Bicep Curls using Dumb Bells: Stand erect, feet shoulder width. Using ten (10) pound dumbbells, place them in your hands, arms by your side, palms forward. Curl the weights up to the top of your shoulders than lower them back down to your side always keeping your palms facing out to the front and your elbows tucked into your side. Start with eight (8) reps. and work up to twelve (12) reps.

6) Tricep Extensions: While holding a 2 1/2 or five (5) pound dumbbell in your right hand bend forward at the waist slightly and at the same time placing your left leg out in front of your bent body, slightly bending your left leg. Rest your left forearm on your knee or upper thigh. Pulling the dumbbell up along your right side waist-high extent the right arm out straight back and then bring it back to the side of you waist were you started from. Do eight (8) reps working up to twelve (12) reps. Reverse this position and do the same for your left tricep. I know this sounds a little weird but its a great exercise. Basically, you just bending forward and extending the weight straight out behind your body in a straight line.

7) Squats: For beginners I would just use your body weight. Stand up straight, feet shoulder width, as you squat down push your buttock out bending slightly forward at the waist. I would not go past a half squat position. As with the other exercises in our fitness scheme start out with eight (8) reps and work up to twelve (12) reps. However with this exercise I would increase reps up to at least 25 before I consider using weights.

8) Lunges: As with squats I would start out with no weights. Stand up straight extent out your left foot bending both knees simultaneously and go down as far as you can, do not over extent yourself, also keep in mind that you need to concentrate on your balance. Go back up to your starting position. Do eight (8) to twelve (12) reps. Repeat this for your right leg. I would not consider using weights for lunges until I could do 25 reps per leg.

Items I found useful are stretch bands, cable machines, such as (Bowflex), dumbbells and walking on a tread mill or just walking out in nature.

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