Circuit Training for seniors - Finding the Right Gym for your Lifestyle

Circuit training as a concept is designed to be exercise that achieves an all round physical fitness as opposed to fitness for a specific sport. Only by physically working the body can our muscular and respiratory system be improved on. Circuit training combines the use of physical resistance, aerobic and stretching activities to help increase the body's endurance capabilities. Not only seniors but women, new exercisers and even experienced exercisers will receive the benefits of circuit training.

For seniors, it is of course critical to starting at a low level increasing both intensity and duration gradually. You will want to be sure that a slowly progressing load is being placed on the exercisers cardiovascular system. Circuit training is not the same as weight training. In weight training, a person works at a high weight level, theoretically using the most weight a person can successfully handle for 8-12 repetitions. In weight training, the lifter then has a period of rest before making a second attempt at the exercise, repeating the weight level and the repetition numbers.

In circuit training, the exerciser works at a much lower level of weight or resistance, doing so usually over a period of time before moving to a different exercise. In circuit training there is often minimal rest between exercises. For a beginner's circuit, there are several basic rules that should be followed. As with any form of exercise, the circuit should begin with a thorough warm up and stretch. In addition, all aspects of the upcoming routine should be clearly demonstrated to the participants. Such a demonstration can be part of the warm up period if done properly. A proper circuit will ensure that the amount of time spent on each exercise can be handled by the weakest member. When beginning a new circuit program, participants should have built in breaks, if not at least modest pauses between exercise stations. Finally, the process should also include a thorough cool down and stretch period so as to take the participants pulse down gradually.

Circuit training will likely include exercises to improve both physical strength and aerobic capacity during the session. Such training can include time on the universal weight lifting machine along with step climbers, treadmills, time spent doing stretches and the traditional exercise routines that are forms of sit ups, push ups, even the old-fashioned jumping jacks that were taught in our physical education as we grew up. Most athletes find an exercise program that they enjoy which will help them stay with the program. Same goes with seniors and circuit training. Often seniors will not only enjoy the exercise, the time out of the house, and the health benefits, but also the new found friends. This encourages seniors to return to the circuit training program.

In thinking about circuit training, seniors must find a locale that focuses on their respective needs. As mentioned earlier, the training sessions must be appropriate for all members of the group to have the proper impact. Obviously, over taxing the body during such sessions can lead to injuries if not aches and pains that prevent future work outs. In examining the site, seniors should also pay close attention to the trainer that will be assigned to lead the circuit sessions. The trainer will be in charge throughout the work out so they must have a full understanding of a senior needs as well as a commitment to meet those needs. In addition a trainer who can make it fun, is willing to incorporate appropriate music and helps to motivate is critical for making the activity enjoyable.

Because of the socialization that accompanies circuit training; many seniors find this form of exercise best for them. By joining a club that has such sessions, you already have a built in support network of colleagues who are seeking to gain the same level of fitness you seek. A common aspect of senior circuit training is to create teams who work together while another team rests and coaches the first team into a positive effort. Sometimes, such groups may even want to have a healthy competition between teams. Most importantly, these classes provide participants with numerous exercise buddies that can then lead to other connections and additional exercise opportunities that are appropriate to your skill level.


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