Excellent Fitness Tools: Kettlebells

Kettlebell Workouts for Seniors

By Robin Westen

In order for an exercise program to be really effective, it has to offer both strength training and an aerobic workout. The answer to this ideal plan is Kettlebells. Some experts believe these cast iron, cannon-shaped weights may be one of the best fitness tools on the market today, especially for seniors. Here’s why:

Increases muscle mass and bone density: Muscles and bones atrophy if they’re not used, placing boomers at greater risk of degenerative diseases. In fact, sedentary aging leads to 5 to 7 lbs. of muscle loss per decade. Kettlebells work both bone and muscle.

Triggers fat loss: Without a regular exercise routine, seniors stand to gain 20 lb.s per decade. Kettlebells will not only put a stop to weight gain but help you lose added pounds fast.

Boosts independence: When we can manage our world with physical strength it increases functional independence as well as our self confidence.  

Helps keep balance: Thanks to its focus on swinging and core building, balance improves, which lowers the risk of falling.

Reduces blood pressure: Since Kettlebell workouts improve overall cardio fitness, they also lowers the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Reduces arthritic symptoms: Studies show strength training reduces arthritic pain through improved joint articulation. Kettlebells work to strengthen the hands, forearms, and arms as the Kettlebells are gripped and swung.

Can be done at home: After only a few training sessions, you’ll be able to do your routine anywhere so there’s more of a chance you’ll stick to it. Just remember to start with light weights until you build up strength.

As always, talk with your doctor about what kind of exercise is right for you.

Robin Westen is ThirdAge's Medical Director. Check for her daily updates. Her latest book, co-authored with Dr. Alyssa Dweck, is "V is for Vagina."

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