Have you noticed that your balance is a little off – maybe you aren’t as flexible as you once were? As we get older, if we don’t maintain an active lifestyle, or have any type of physical fitness routine in place, then we are at a higher risk of injury due to loss of balance, bone loss, and stiffness.
If you are looking for a routine get you muscles and joints moving again, kettlebells may be for you.
What is a kettlebell you ask? Kettlebells are cast iron weights shaped like a ball with a handle for easy gripping. They come in weights ranging from 5lbs – 100lbs. By using high powered moves, they offer a different kind of training that touch upon almost every aspect of fitness – endurance, strength, balance, flexibility and cardio.
The exercises performed with kettlebells mimic real life movements performed each day, such as throwing items into the back of a truck or playing ball with the kids. The exercises keep the body strong for daily tasks, which is a necessity as our bodies get older.
Dr. Karl Knopf has written a book specifically with the older adult in mind. I like this book because it is simple and thorough.
You start with the ‘Before You Begin’ chapter, where you get a thorough breakdown of what kettlebell training is and safety guidelines to prevent injury. You then move to the ‘Getting Started ‘ which explains how to assess your fitness level, how much weight to use and how to hold the kettlebell and how to perform the moves correctly. Then you choose the exercises that are right for you.
The book allows you to begin at any fitness level with the ability to make exercises harder or easier by manipulating stance or weight. It can be used by the novice or the seasoned athlete. The manual features 60 different exercises, each with a photo diagram and description. The book is simple and easy to follow, and I would recommend it to anyone of any age.
As always, if you are new to exercise, please get an ok from your doctor. If you have never worked with any type of weights, please find a professional trainer to show you proper form.