10 Worst Exercises for Seniors To Avoid: What to Do Instead

Exercise is a must for anyone who wants to enjoy a healthy and happy life. Starting to exercise at an early age ensures more benefit to the body and adds a couple of years to your valuable life. But it is never too late to start. After all, age is just a number. Read Here: Best Exercises for People Over 50 and Out of Shape

But exercise can’t always be good for you. Some exercises may make you strong now but when you get old it starts to take its toll. You might be the fittest you have ever been right now but when you are well into your 60s, some exercises possess chances of injury. Certain health issues can come up if one is not careful with what exercise he chooses to do. Read Here: Top 5 Best Spinning Bike

This article mentions all such dangerous exercises that you should avoid doing if you are above the age of 50.

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1) Long Distance Running

Running is no doubt, very good for your heart. It is a great way of raising your heart rate. This easy cardiovascular exercise, however, carries significant threats. The stress caused by long-distance running is severe and it usually does the opposite of what normal jogging does for your body. Long-distance running can cause cardiac abnormalities, coronary artery calcification, atrial fibrillation. These problems are usually found in people who lead a sedentary life.

A study showed that joggers who ran at a speed higher than 8 miles an hour were at the same risk of mortality as is an average adult. On the other hand, people who ran at regular intervals and at slower speed found to have a lower death rate. James O’Keefe, a sports cardiologist said, “Running too fast, too far and for too many years may speed one’s progress toward the finish line of life”.

What should you do instead?

Interval Running: Interval running is a better option where a person does short intervals of fast running between the intervals, you can stand or jog as a means to recover. One can also do recovery runs. Recovery runs are short runs at a comfortable pace. This type of running adds stamina and builds endurance. These runs are best suited after a tough workout. Perform these runs slowly so that you are at comfort.

2) Aerobics at high intensity

Similar to long-distance running, aerobics may not be a good idea. The aerobic capacity in your body has decreased due to age. Muscles have started shrinking. This only makes your body weak and a vulnerable target for injury. Aerobics at a moderate pace is welcomed. But a high-intensity aerobic workout will tire your body and can have an adverse impact on your body. Moreover, aerobics involves high-intensity movements, one misstep and you will end up spraining your leg.

What to do instead?

Join aerobic classes that are exclusively dedicated to older adults. Enquire about the kind of program you are enrolling yourself in. you may want to get into a class that aims at low-intensity to moderate level workouts.

3) Overhead press

The overhead press is great if you are young and full of energy. You can afford to bear the pain when you are young but the same is not the case with older adults. The exercise looks simple and harmless, however, it poses serious health concerns. As one gets older, his muscles start to shrink. The stress caused due to overhead press is felt on the shoulders instead of your muscles. On top of that, your back mobility tends to decrease with age causing back injuries.

What to do instead?

Shoulder raises: This is a rather easy exercise to follow with fewer risks of getting injured.

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4) Running stairs

Running stairs in your 50s is not a very bright idea. Sure it was fun when you were a kid but now does not seem like a great idea. As you get older, your balancing ability starts to decline. Stop imitating Rocky Balboa as one wrong footing and you would go down taking a tumble. Besides, your joints become weak as you grow older so stairs will put a lot of pressure on your knees.

What to do instead?

Stair climbing is a fun workout as it does not involve a lot of movements. You only have to repeat the same movements. You could be thinking about your life and climbing the stairs and it wouldn’t make a difference. So for that matter, try using the stair climber equipment at your gym. It will lead to similar results but make sure you go for a low impact climb.

5) Bench Press

This exercise can cause some of the most serious bodily injuries. An improper form can lead to injuries in various parts of your body. It is similar to deadlifts where the form is of the utmost importance. Your wrists, shoulders, and pectoral muscles are at a greater risk of injury when you do bench press than when you do any other exercise. The older you get the weaker your joints become. Your muscles also shrink leading to an inability to lift weights. The upper body needs care as it is not as strong as it used to be.

What to do instead?

Go for weight- free chest exercises. This includes push-ups. Push-ups are a conventional way to build your upper body muscles. But again, the form is of paramount importance. There are many variations of push-ups. One can choose the one that suits him the best. In the beginning, push-ups can be frustrating as it requires a lot of practice but gradually you will start doing reps after reps.

6) Bikram Yoga

Bikram yoga is just like yoga but with minor differences. Bikram yoga is nothing but yoga in extremely hot conditions. This steamy variety of yoga is harmful as there is a danger of getting dehydrated. As you get older, you tend to get dehydrated quickly. You need to take regular water intake. This sweaty version of yoga may even push you to the brink of fainting.

What to do instead?

Yoga works just fine. It improves your flexibility. It does wonders for your inner health too. It gives you peace and better overall health.

7) Crunches

Crunches are a nice way to keep your core strong. It helps in reducing weight too. The advantages are many but so are the downsides if you are above 50. Firstly, crunches are an extremely tough exercise to do if you are just beginning. Many times we perform them wrong since the wrong way seems easier. You can easily be doing it wrong. But the danger for you is not because of the wrong posture and movement but because of your body’s inability to do them.

As you grow older, your spine starts getting weaker. your back loses its mobility, thereby making it weak and susceptible to injuries. Besides, the movement involved in this exercise can also cause problems in various body parts. Like, the movement wherein you curl your body up, you may tend to put a lot of pressure on your back and neck. This can cause myriads of problems like muscle pain and pinched nerves.

What to do instead?

Planks: Planks happen to be the perfect substitute for crunches. It may prove to be difficult in the beginning, but soon you will get accustomed to it. Planks can be challenging as they test not only your core but also your biceps, neck, and shoulder. You can easily build muscles without actually putting a lot of pressure on your hips and spine. Planks are extremely challenging as it involves your entire body.

You will be able to burn more calories with the help of planks that you would by any other conventional ab exercises like sit-ups or crunches. By making this your routine, you will develop a better metabolic rate. This metabolic rate will remain higher throughout the day and even at night. You can perform planks, either before or after the workout. Planking will also improve your body posture. A proper posture keeps the joints and bones in the right alignment. This ensures that your body will remain in better shape for a longer time.

8) Squats

Squats model numerous risks. Squats are not something that older people should perform. While doing squats if your knees go too far beyond your toes, it can cause insurmountable damage to your knees. What happens is that your knees are placed under extreme pressure.

Your joints are sensitive and it cannot bear this kind of pressure. Squatting with weights is a big no-no. Weight can further deteriorate the condition of your knees. If you are suffering from an inability to balance yourselves, then squats is certainly not a very good idea. This is because you will find it very difficult to get up from a squat. Chances are you might lose your balance and end up taking a knock.

What to do instead?

Glute bridge: This is an effective exercise for your lower body. It not only strengthens your hips but also your butt. It does wonders for your back mobility too. It is easy to perform too. Lie down on the floor. Now squeeze your abs and glut, then raise your hips in the air off the floor. Make sure that your shoulder and hips are perfectly aligned. Hold this position for 4-5 seconds. Now go back to the initial position. Do this exercise slowly as sudden movements can cause a sprain.

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9) HIIT

It may have a long list of benefits but the disadvantages exist too. For older people, HIIT is not a good idea as it involves many movements. Your heart rate is constantly up during HIIT. Though this may be good for seniors as this will increase the capacity of the heart with which it functions, an elevated heart rate for longer durations is dangerous. Apart from this, HIIT can get brutally tiring. The risk of a collapse is imminent for older people.

For beginners, avoiding HIIT is appropriate. You need a lot of stamina to get through one proper HIIT workout. Your muscles will be exhausted after this form of exercise. Older people tend to lose muscle as they grow older and older. With less muscle, it gets more and more difficult. Older adults do not need this type of dynamic exercise in their routine. Simpler exercises are best suited.

What to do instead?

Swimming: Swimming is an excellent way to get some exercise. It strengthens your body more than you think. It is fun to do as well. Exercises like water walking where you simply walk when in the swimming pool are simple and fun too. You can join a swimming club or find a lake near your house. However, make sure the lake is safe.

10) Dead Lifting

Deadlifting can cause a great amount of pain in the back. Proper form is crucial when doing this exercise. It takes a lot of time before you can master the form. Improper form can cause pain in your back. As you get older, your spine strength decreases and it gets narrow. Your spine mobility also gets lower. Therefore, it is better to do other weight-related exercises other than deadlifts.

What to do instead?

Curls: Bicep curls are a much better option. You can easily perform them. Posture does not need a lot of care and attention. You can lift dumbbells of your choice. Choose the weight that you are most comfortable with. Biceps curls can strengthen your upper body. It also helps your spine. You can do various kinds of bicep curls.

Doing regular workouts is beneficial for all. Exercising on a regular basis can increase your lifespan. Besides, it makes you look good too. Getting fit is a commitment that requires persistence. but we should not immerse ourselves in this commitment. It is very important to not cross our limits to a greater extent.

It is commendable to push our limits. But as we age, we need to respect our bodies. We need to listen to our bodies and do just enough exercise to stay fit and healthy.