Change up your exercise routine to maintain muscle confusion (a positive thing) so that the body and brain do not adapt to a particular workout. Variation serves to stimulate other muscle groups and overcome boredom, it also burns extra fat. Your body will be more fit, overall, and the brain stays active and sharp.
One way to change things up, for example in strength (weight) training, is to occasionally switch from heavier weight / fewer reps to lighter weight / higher reps.
When using the lighter weight /higher repetitions regime, keep the rest periods in between sets short and at a minimum in order to burn extra fat and increase cardiovascular endurance.
For the senior population, lifting weights (low weight/high reps) a couple of days per week can help reduce the risk of falling and subsequent bone fracture. Be sure to space your weight training workouts at least 48 hours apart to reduce the possibility of injury.
Consult with a professional healthcare provider before beginning any new exercise regimen as to whether the activity/exercise is appropriate for you.
Below is an example of a low weight / high rep workout routine that includes a change up – use lighter than usual weights:
Begin: the first few weeks
perform 2 sets of 20 reps
Chest – Bench Press
Hold a dumbbell in each hand at shoulders. Press to straight arms. Lower dumbbells back to starting position.
Low Back – Deadlift
Hold dumbbells in hands in front of body, palms facing body. Keeping legs straight and back flat, bend over holding weights. Raise back up keeping torso in line with legs. (That is one (1) rep.) Repeat.
Shoulders – Front Deltoid Raise
Hold dumbbells in hands, palms facing body. Keep arm straight, elbow locked. Raise dumbbell to shoulder level, and then on up over head. (That is one (1) rep.) Repeat alternating arms.
Arms – Bicep Curl, Standing
Hold dumbbells at sides of body, palms facing in; keep knees slightly bent. Bending elbows, curl arms to shoulder level. Rotate palms to up position (supination) when beginning curl. (That is one (1) rep.)
Legs – Glutes and Thighs, Squat
Stand tall: head up and back straight, dumbbell in each hand. With feet shoulder width apart, lower body until thighs touch calves. Push back up to start position. Keep Abs tight, push through heels. (That is one (1) rep.)
Abs – Side Bend
Stand, holding a dumbbell in left hand (palm facing body) place right hand behind head. With feet shoulder width apart, bend at the waist to the right as far as possible. Return to start. (That is one (1) rep.) Repeat with other side.
Change Up: after a few weeks
perform 3 sets of 15, 12, 10 reps
Chest – Incline Bench Press
Hold a dumbbell in each hand at should level. Press to straight arms. Lower dumbbells back to starting position. (That is one (1) rep.)
Back – Trapezius, Upright Row
Hold dumbbells together in front of body, palms facing in. With knees slightly bent lift weights to chin level.
Lead with the elbows Lower dumbbells back to starting position. (That is one (1) rep.)
Shoulder(s) – Press
Hold dumbbells, palms facing in. Press up to straight arms while rotating palms to face forward at the end of the movement. (That is one (1) rep.) Maintain slightly bent knees throughout.
Arms – Triceps Extension
Position one dumbbell over head holding both hands under inner plate (palms facing up, supination). Keep upper arms close to sides of head. Elbows should be pointing up, over head. Bend elbows to lower forearm behind upper arm. Raise dumbbell back up over head by straightening (extending) elbows. (That is one (1) rep.) Return and repeat.
Legs – Glutes and Thighs, Step Up
Stand tall: head up & back straight, dumbbell in each hand. Step up on box using right leg, bring left leg up to chest level. Repeat stepping up with left leg and bring right leg to chest. (That is one (1) rep.) Continue to alternate.
Abs – Trunk Twist, using weighted bar or dumbbells
Stand tall: head up & back straight, holding weighted bar or dumbbells.
Tighten abs and slowly rotate body from one side to the other by twisting at the waist. (A twist to the right then to the left is one (1) rep.) Repeat.