10 Weeks to Health and Fitness for Seniors - Week 1

Week 1 of a 10-Week Exercise Program for Seniors

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Welcome to the first week of 10 Weeks to Health and Fitness for Seniors. This exercise program is perfect for you if you're just getting started with cardio and strength training and want a simple, straightforward program that progresses slowly each week.

Each week you'll receive cardio, strength and flexibility workouts. The workouts are only suggestions and won't work for everyone, so please modify them as needed to fit your fitness level, schedule, and preferences.

You should also feel free to substitute the cardio workouts with your own if you have activities you already enjoy.

Are you ready? Let's get started!

Focus On: Preparing For Your Workouts

Your first step is to prepare for your workouts to make sure you have everything you need to get started:

  1. If you have any injuries, illnesses or conditions, or if you're on medication, get your doctor's clearance to exercise.
  2. Record your vital statistics if you want to track weight loss progress.
  3. Prepare for your workouts. The cardio workouts are designed to be done on cardio machines or outside. Feel free to substitute your own workouts (videos, classes, outdoor exercise, etc.) or choose other activities if the cardio workouts aren't your thing.
  4. Gather your equipment. For the strength workouts, you'll need: Various weighted dumbbells, an exercise ball, a chair and a mat. If you're new to strength training, familiarize yourself with the basics and how to choose your weight. New workouts may cause soreness, so we'll start slow to keep that to a minimum, although some soreness is inevitable. If you can't get out of bed the next day, that's a sign you did too much and should take an extra rest day and/or ease up on your workouts.
  1. Get your mind ready by reminding yourself of all the benefits of exercise, especially for seniors.

Day 1: Cardio and Stretch

Your first workout this week is a 20-minute cardio workout followed by a short flexibility routine. The cardio workout keeps you at a moderate intensity and can be done on any machine or with any outdoor activity (walking, running, cycling, etc.).

If you already have cardio workouts you enjoy, feel free to substitute or find more cardio options here.

Workout 1: Basic Cardio
Type: Cardio
Length: 20 Minutes
Level: Beginner
Equipment Required: Any cardio machine
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Workout 2: Basic Stretch
Type: Flexibility
Length: 5-10 Minutes
Level: Beginner
Equipment Required: 2 chairs
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Day 2: Total Body Strength and Stretch

Today is your first strength training workout, a simple routine targeting the major muscles of the body. You'll do one set of each exercise, focusing on good form and using enough weight that you can only complete the suggested reps. That may take some practice, so go for a lighter weight if you're not sure. Be sure to skip any exercises that cause pain or discomfort.

Workout 1: Total Body Strength - Level 1
Type: Strength Training
Length: 10-15 Minutes
Level: Beginner
Equipment Required: Various weighted dumbbells, an exercise ball, a chair and a mat.
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Workout 2: Total Body Stretch
Type: Flexibility
Length: 5-10 Minutes
Level: Beginner
Equipment Required: A resistance band, chair, a ball and a mat
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Day 3: Active Rest

Today, you get a break from structured workouts, but you want this to be an active rest. That means moving around as much as you can with light activity such as:

How could you stay active today? Make a list and see how many things you can check off by the end of the day.

Day 4: Cardio and Stretch

Today you're doing the same cardio workout as Day 1, 20 minutes at a moderate intensity. As always, feel free to substitute activities if you have something different in mind.

Workout 1: Basic Cardio
Type: Cardio
Length: 20 Minutes​
Level: Beginner
Equipment Required: Any cardio machine
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Workout 2: Basic Stretch
Type: Flexibility
Length: 5-10 Minutes
Level: Beginner
Equipment Required: 2 chairs
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Day 5: Total Body Strength and Stretch

Today's workout should look familiar - The same total body strength as Day 2 as well as a total body stretch. For this workout, really pay attention to each rep and focus on the muscles you're working. How do the exercises feel? Are you starting to get a better handle on how much weight you need?

Workout 1: Total Body Strength - Level 1
Type: Strength Training
Length: 10-15 Minutes
Level: Beginner
Equipment Required: Various weighted dumbbells, an exercise ball, a chair and a mat.
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Workout 2: Total Body Stretch
Type: Flexibility
Length: 5-10 Minutes
Level: Beginner
Equipment Required: A resistance band, chair, a ball and a mat
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Day 6: Cardio and Stretch

Your last workout of the week is your 20-minute cardio routine, followed by flexibility exercises. Think about how your body feels as you go through this workout. Are you feeling energetic? Accomplished? More comfortable with exercise?

Workout 1: Basic Cardio
Type: Cardio
Length: 20 Minutes
Level: Beginner
Equipment Required: Any cardio machine
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Workout 2: Basic Stretch
Type: Flexibility
Length: 5-10 Minutes​
Level: Beginner
Equipment Required: 2 chairs
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Weekly Round Up

Use this weekly calendar to keep track of your schedule and fill out this weekly checklist to track your progress. You can also use this Strength Training Log to track your exercises, weight, reps and sets.

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