As someone who’s been involved in fitness all his life—I’ve competed as a wrestler ever since high school and won my last wrestling tournament at the age of 45—I know how regular exercise can improve men’s health, especially after you reach a certain age. While I love martial arts (boxing, kickboxing, MMA, Muay Thai, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu), there are other workouts for men over 60 you can try.
“The key is to keep moving and prevent the loss of muscle mass that starts after around 30. By the way, losing your muscles is not an inevitable consequence of aging but of inactivity! So you must make time for activities that help you stay in shape, avoid injuries and prevent heart disease and diabetes,” Richard Uzelac adds.
Your exercise routine doesn’t have to be so different from that of younger men, but I advise you to aim for lower intensity and play it safe. Other than that, anything goes: exercises such as lifting weights, resistance bands, bodyweight workouts, cycling, swimming, and tai chi are all suitable for men over 60 looking to get into shape.
In this guide, Richard Uzelac shares 10 fitness tips, including his favorite workouts for men over 60 and the rules to live by when you start working out. You will see how easy it can be to stay fit at 60!
Richard Uzelac’s Top 10 Fitness Tips:
1. See Your Doctor
First, talk to your health care provider to clear yourself for exercise. Your doctor can check your heart, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels and advise on the appropriate fitness program. It may also be a good idea to see a physical therapist, especially if you are starting strength training for the first time: a physical therapist can help guide you with the correct exercise technique and find areas of weakness to address.
Now you can start your workout with peace of mind! Keep in mind that men over 60 may be more sensitive to cold and heat, so always dress for the weather. Staying hydrated is a must, as you may be less likely to notice thirst. If you experience pain, dizziness, nausea, or have difficulty breathing during your training, consult your health care provider immediately!
2. Don’t Forget to Eat Right
Good nutrition is key to improving your health and quality of life, regardless of age. For men over 60, it’s all the more important to change their diet by avoiding junk food and choosing nutrient-rich foods that help build muscle and develop strength. In addition, combining exercise with a healthy diet has been shown to prevent sarcopenia in older adults. Opt for a diet rich in macronutrients (protein) and micronutrients (vitamin D, magnesium, and calcium); it will boost your muscles and your motivation to exercise!
3. Start with a Warm-up
You should never skip your warm-up. This is especially true for strength training and even more so for men over 60. Doing just a 5-minute warm-up before your actual exercise can prepare your body for what follows: it lubricates your joints, improves your range of motion, and essentially “wakes up” your muscles, preventing muscle cramps and making you less likely to get injured. By the way, the same goes for stretching: you should never skip stretching after your workout!
4. Embrace Strength Training
Strength training is one of the most effective workouts for men over 60. After reaching 40, men start losing muscle mass and bone density due to a decrease in testosterone. You can counteract this process by training with exercise machines, resistance bands, and free weights. Just two 30-minute strength training sessions a week can help you regain muscle mass, but make sure you don’t exercise the same muscle group two days in a row.
No equipment? That’s okay, too! You can try bodyweight exercises such as push-ups, squats, step-ups, wall push-ups, back and side leg raises, and knee curls in the comfort of your own home.
5. Learn the Correct Technique
Learning the correct exercise technique is key to achieving your desired results and staying injury-free during your workouts. Especially if you work out without an exercise buddy or personal trainer, it takes time to get the hang of the correct technique. Don’t be impatient! Focus on the learning first; it will benefit you in the long run. Looking at yourself in the mirror can help target the muscles you want to work with. This way, you can safely increase the weights as you get stronger. Remember: don’t lift the weight if you cannot control it, use a slow repetition pace and gradually increase the load as you progress.
Also Read: Richard Uzelac’s Top 4 New Performance Supplements for Active Seniors
6. Don’t Skimp on Balance and Flexibility
The getting fit at 60 male motivation usually ends with weight lifting; however, balance and flexibility training should also be part of your routine! A few simple exercises can reduce the risk of falls and injury. Make sure you work on your balance by standing on one leg or try walking heel-to-toe.
says, “You can achieve better flexibility by stretching a muscle group such as the calves for at least 10 seconds (try to stretch as far as you can without pain). Additionally, you can practice yoga, tai chi, and even pilates to stay flexible and maintain balance.”
7. Add Variety with Cardio Workouts
Not a fan of strength training? Add variety to your routine with cardio workouts. Do you like swimming, walking, dancing, jogging or tennis? Do as many of these activities as you wish! Moderate-intensity cardio workouts of 30 minutes (ideally every day or at least four times a week) have many benefits for men’s health. They strengthen the heart and lungs, help you lose weight, fight anxiety and depression, and make you feel more energetic overall. If you don’t have time to exercise outdoors, there are a variety of machines available at your gym: elliptical machines, treadmills, or exercise bikes. The possibilities are endless, find the activity that gives you the most pleasure and stick with it!
8. Allow Yourself Recovery Time
After a workout, your body may need more time to recover than when you were younger. Instead of pushing it to the limit, just give it some time. Every time we work with resistance, we place stress on the muscle tissues, which causes them to break down. Our bodies adapt to this stress by building stronger, bigger muscles. During this process, we may experience muscle soreness, reduced strength, and fatigue. You need to recharge your batteries by getting enough sleep, eating well, and staying hydrated. By doing this, you will get stronger and can handle the new workout again.
9. Challenge Yourself
Starting a new exercise routine requires a great deal of determination. The easiest way to stay motivated is to set clear goals, whether reaching your target weight, building muscle, or just feeling or looking better. A goal in mind will make it easier to stick to your exercise routine. Do your workouts every week without missing a single session! Soon you can give yourself new goals and challenges, like lifting heavier weights or incorporating a whole new exercise into your workouts.
Richard Uzelac reminds men over 60, “Without challenging yourself, the exercises will become monotonous, and your strength will plateau. That’s the last thing you want. So keep challenging yourself, and don’t give up. You’ve got this!”
10. Stay Social
If you really can’t find the motivation to start exercising on your own, it might help you to find a training buddy, a personal trainer, or a social exercise group. You can even find classes focusing on men’s fitness if you’re up for it. Whether in a group or with a training buddy, you can share your progress and motivate each other to stick to your workouts. Sometimes we just need a friendly nudge to start something new, and that’s okay!
The Bottom Line
As you can see, men over 60 fitness is not inherently different from younger men’s fitness. What’s important is to stay focused and consistent, add variety to your exercises, eat well, and allow your body some recovery time, which will bring the desired results: a stronger, fitter you and improved quality of life!
Do you have any other fitness tips for older men? Share in the comments!