A Guide to Cardio Training for Seniors

A little while ago, we wrote about the ‘Benefits of Resistance Training for Seniors’ which is a very informative (and inspiring!) read. However it’s important to know that part of an optimal health routine should incorporate both resistance training and cardio training.

What is Cardio training?

Cardio is one of those terms that we hear a lot about, but let’s define exactly what it is here: Cardio(vascular) or aerobic exercise are terms used interchangeably to refer to movement that pumps the oxygenated blood from the heart to other working muscles. To get benefit from cardio training one generally needs to raise your heart and breathing rate into the moderate level for 10 or more minutes.. You should always train at a level where you can still carry on a conversation, rather than being completely out of breath.

What are the benefits of Cardiovascular exercise?

Not only does cardio strengthen your heart and lungs, it also gives you more energy, sharpens your mind, helps you manage your weight, enhances sleep, lowers blood pressure, can reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, and can even keep you feeling young and vibrant!

Sounds pretty good, right?

So how do I get started with Cardio training?

You’re on board with the idea that cardiovascular training is beneficial, but what next? It is always recommended that you check with your Healthcare Professional before beginning any new exercise. Exercises should be tailored to your own body’s needs and capabilities, and should always begin at an easy level before progressing slowly to avoid any injury.

For those with the green light to begin cardiovascular training, you could choose to engage with a fitness professional / trainer for personalised guidance, or else just begin with a short, gentle walk. If you are lucky enough to live at Clifton Old Bar, a walk to the beach could be the perfect way to start your day or you may like to use the exercise bike, treadmill or elliptical trainer within our gym, enjoy laps in the pool or join some friends for dancing in the Group Activity Space!

What constitutes a Cardio workout?

The beauty of cardiovascular exercise is that there are many free and easy options for almost everyone. The below lists a few examples of activities that constitute a cardiovascular workout:

  • Gentle (or brisk) walk
  • Dancing
  • Water aerobics
  • Swimming laps
  • Cycling
  • Tennis

We hope this inspires you about the benefits of cardiovascular training at any age, and particularly in the retirement years… it is never too late to start, and we think that the benefits are just too good to ignore. As with all new exercise, always make sure you have clearance from your health professional before you start.

Happy training!