The Best Immune-Boosting Workout For People Over 60, Trainer Says
If you're over 60 and looking to stimulate your general health through exercise, we have the best immune-boosting workout to try. You likely already know many of the physical and mental health benefits of exercise, but did you know it can also aid your immune system by warding off infections? In an interview with Insider, Joshua Scott, MD, primary care sports medicine physician at Cedars-Sinai Kerlan-Jobe Institute in Los Angeles explains, "Regular exercise improves the immune response and improves immune markers." Routine exercise has the power to lessen inflammation, which in turn helps your immune system function better.
We chatted with Robyn Weisman, B.S. Exercise Physiology and ACE certified personal trainer on Fyt. If you didn't already know, Fyt is the nation's largest personal training service that makes fitness under the expert guidance of an in-person (or virtual), certified fitness professional convenient and accessible for anyone, to find out the scoop on a solid workout you can do to boost your immunity. Weisman tells us, "The best kind of immune-boosting workout for people over 60 is a combination of light to moderate interval training." Both your warm-up and cooldown should feature strength training and cardio to enhance stability, mobility, and flexibility. "The workout should include walking briskly for 5-10 minutes followed by a strength exercise for 1 minute," Weisman adds.
Do these exercises in the comfort of your own home, or really anywhere with some open space. According to Weisman, "The takeaway is to start gradually and listen to your body. I always recommend working with a certified exercise professional who can personalize the program just for your body's needs."
So if you're in the market for an immune-boosting workout, we have the best one. The below three exercises include bodyweight squats, wall push-ups, and farmer walks. Read on to see how to do them, and next, check out The 6 Best Exercises for Strong and Toned Arms in 2022, Trainer Says.
Exercise #1: Bodyweight Squat
You will begin this exercise by standing up tall. Your legs should be shoulder-distance apart, and your feet should be turned a little bit outwards. "In this exercise, you can hold your arms straight out in front of you, or do a slight modification crossing your arms across your chest and putting one hand on each (opposite) shoulder. To begin, bend at your knees, hinge at your hips, and press down into a squatting position until your thighs are completely parallel to the floor. Press into your feet to stand back up, keeping your spine straight and your chin up. Repeat 15 times for three sets," Weisman instructs.
Exercise #2: Wall Pushups
If you've done wall pushups before, you know how simple they are. Plus, you can really do this exercise just about anywhere with a wall! This spin on the classic pushup can help relieve a bit of pressure on your back, which makes it such a great exercise for individuals over 60.
According to Weisman, "Begin by facing the wall, with your feet shoulder-width apart. You will want to be positioned just slightly under an arms-length away from the wall. Keeping your spine straight and your head forward, place both palms flat on the wall. Lean into the wall, putting your weight on your arms as they slowly guide you down and back up. Repeat 12 times for 3 sets."
Exercise #3: Farmer Walks
Kick off this final exercise with your feet shoulder-width apart. Stand tall, activate your core, and make sure your hips are tucked. Weisman notes that for practice, you can start without any weights. "Walk forward at a comfortable pace, and keep a straight, solid form as you move, ensuring your shoulders are back, spine is straight, and glutes are squeezed in. Turn around, and walk towards your starting point with a solid form to complete the exercise," Weisman says.
Feel free to add light weights to this movement when you feel 100% comfortable. Weisman explains, "Place each weight on the outside of your ankle, and slowly rise to stand. While some prefer to put the weights down between laps, those over 60 may want to consider a slow pivot to turn around, instead, to relieve pressure on the back and knees that may be caused by repeated bending."
For more Mind + Body news, check out The 10-Minute Daily Workout To Shrink Abdominal Fat Fast, Trainer Says and Bad Exercise Habits Everyone Over 60 Should Quit, Trainer Says next.