Pumping Iron Over 60

Shustov CC-BY-SA-3.0

If you’re over 60 and you’ve decided to start lifting weights, you’ll enjoy many health benefits, including stronger muscles and bones. You can strengthen your body using free weights, such as dumbbells, barbells and kettlebells. Beginners, no matter your age, should start slowly with light weights and focus on proper form to reduce your risk of injury. You should seek instruction by a qualified fitness trainer if you decide not to use a gym. See your doctor for a complete checkup before you start any exercise program. Always warm-up before working out and cool-down afterward.

Beginners should design a workout routine that works all your muscle groups in 2 workouts each week. Don’t lift weights on consecutive days because your muscles need at least one day to rest and recover. Train a different muscle group at each workout to avoid overuse injuries. Work your upper body one day and your core and lower body at the next workout. Lift slowly and focus on your form. Improper form or lifting too quickly can cause injuries. Begin by doing 8 repetitions of each exercise followed by 1 minute of rest. Do another set of 8 repetitions after you rest. Increase the number of repetitions, the number of sets, or the amount of weight when you can do 3 sets without becoming fatigued.

You can use dumbbells to work your upper and lower body. Dumbbell squats work your core, hips, quadriceps and calves. Shoulder shrugs work your arms, shoulders and upper back. Biceps curls are easy for beginners to perform and work your biceps and forearms. If you really want to focus on your upper body and chest, do dumbbell overhead press exercises. Simply holding a set of dumbbells when you do exercise, such as lunges and crunches, adds extra weight resistance.

Barbells are versatile free weights that train the most muscle tissue in the shortest amount of time. People over age 60 should start working with barbell weights slowly with light weights and focus intently on form. Never hold your breath when lifting weights because holding your breath can cause your blood pressure to increase rapidly. Squats, deadlifts and presses are functional lifts that mimic the movements you make when you reach, lift, bend over, sit down and stand up. You can easily add and remove weight to a barbell to suit your fitness and strength level.

Kettlebells are large, heavy weights with a handle. These weights can be used in a number of ways to help strengthen your entire body. Begin with the lightest kettlebells available and gradually work your way up to heavier weights. Kettlebells can be used to work your entire body. Exercises that beginners can do include the half Turkish get up, kettlebell squats, deadlifts, and two-arm swings. Do 8 repetitions of each exercise, rest for as long as you need to and repeat the set.

 

Food for Men’s Health

Photo Credit: Matti Paavonen CC-BY-SA-3.0

Men’s nutritional needs differ in some ways from women. Just as women need more folic acid and iron during pregnancy or eating a low-fat diet may reduce the risk of breast cancer, men have specific nutritional needs, too. Nutrients to build muscle mass, reduce the risk of prostate cancer or to increase stamina can be found in the foods men eat. A nutritious, balanced diet, exercise and avoiding alcohol and tobacco are the best ways to stay healthy. Some foods contain more of the nutrients that contribute to a healthy male body. 
Zinc is an essential antioxidant trace element that the body uses to repair cell damage. A diet that includes sufficient zinc may help reduce the risk of prostate and other cancers due to its role in cell repair. Oysters are rich in zinc. Other foods that are rich in zinc include lean beef, legumes, pork and shellfish like crabs and lobster.
Fatty fish provide healthy omega-3 fatty acids that benefit the circulation, the heart and the immune system. Omega-3 fatty acids are also a powerful anti-inflammatory that can help reduce fat levels in the blood and improve muscle pain.  In addition to omega-3 fatty acids, fish also provides vitamin D which is essential to bone health. Salmon, tuna, mackerel and sardines are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Walnuts, canola oil, and eggs also provide omega-3 fatty acids.
The foods we eat contribute to the cholesterol levels in our blood. High LDL (bad) cholesterol can lead to many health problems, including heart disease and some cancers. Stanols are a substance that occur naturally in many fruits and vegetables. Stanols help to lower LDL cholesterol. Plant stanols are found in foods like granola, cheese, soy, orange juice, whole grain bread and even in dark chocolates. 
Vitamin C is an antioxidant nutrient that not only helps boost the immune system, but also helps keep the skin healthy. Vitamin C is essential to collagen tissue health and repair of skin cells. Bright colored fruits and vegetables are richest in vitamin C. Vegetables also contain beta-carotene and potassium, which may aid in reducing the risk of an enlarged prostate. 

Eat For Prostate Health

Photo Credit: National Cancer Institute

Men can reduce their risk of prostate cancer by living a healthy lifestyle that includes exercise and a healthy diet. There is some evidence to support lycopene in the diet may help reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer, but there is no conclusive evidence that it prevents cancer. The best way to reduce your risk of prostate cancer or any disease is to eat healthy foods, get plenty of rest and exercise regularly. Some foods may help to reduce your risk of cancer and improve your overall health.
Men who want to reduce their risk of prostate cancer should choose a diet that is low in fat. Meat and dairy products are high in fat, which may increase the risk of prostate cancer. Choose low-fat dairy products, like skim milk, low-fat yogurt and reduced fat cheeses. Eat more fresh vegetables and limit the amount of red meat in the diet to reduce fat intake.
Folate is a B vitamin that is found in green vegetables. Folic acid is a synthetic form of folate that is often found in vitamin fortified foods and dietary supplements. According to the National Cancer Institute, a 10 year study of men who took a dietary supplement of folic acid were at greater risk of developing prostate cancer than men who consumed natural folate in their diets. To get enough folate in your diet, eat plenty of green vegetables and fruits. 
Omega-3 fatty acids also help to reduce the risk of prostate cancer. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fish, including salmon tuna, sardines and trout. Green tea is also helpful to reduce the risk of prostate cancer. Trade steak for fish and coffee for green tea a few times each week to get the benefits of the nutrients in these foods that can help lower your risk of cancer.