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When used properly, the rowing machine can provide a total body workout.
According to the American Council on Exercise, there are a number of potential benefits of exercise for men over the age of 50 -- including a reduced risk of heart disease and increased muscle mass. Unfortunately, for those who have never participated in a structured exercise program before, understanding where to start can be somewhat challenging. The elliptical is a great machine for men over 50, as it promotes improvements in cardiovascular health and increases muscle mass, according to the American College of Sports Medicine. Treadmills, leg press machines, and upper body rowers can also be useful for men over 50.
Consider the Elliptical
While it can be effective for all users, the ACSM reports that an elliptical machine is especially beneficial for men over the age of 50. Since men ages 45-plus are at an increased risk for the development of heart disease, exercises which slow the development of this condition -- such as those performed on an elliptical -- can be very useful. In addition to promoting improved heart health, ellipticals can build strength in the muscles of the lower body. By targeting these muscle groups, men over 50 can help prevent muscle atrophy and losses in strength, making it easier to perform everyday tasks during the aging process.
Turn on the Treadmill
As with an elliptical, treadmills help strengthen the heart and can slow the development of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and hypertension. The American Council on Exercise states that treadmills can also help build endurance and lung stamina, which is important as men age. Finally, walking on a treadmill helps to build many of the muscles used when walking on a flat, stable surface -- such as a sidewalk or hallway. Targeting these muscle groups may help maintain balance and coordination, lowering the risk of falls as men become older.
Rev up the Rowing Machine
Rowing machines promote improvements in cardiovascular health, which as you have already learned is crucial for men over 50. However, many professional organizations, such as the ACSM, view rowing machines as a complete body workout, making them a good choice for busy men over 50 and on the go. As men push off from the base of the machine to perform the rowing motion, they stimulate the muscles in their legs, core, and even upper body. This "natural" movement corresponds to many activities of daily life, and can make their performance much easier.
Pump Some Iron
Avoiding a wheelchair is a priority for most men as they age. And while some have the good luck to obtain this goal through only genes alone, others must work for their rewards. The American Council on Exercise states that resistance training is the best way to build muscle mass in men over the age of 50. And while there are a number of exercises which can build muscle mass in the lower body, the leg press is especially effective. Unlike other exercises, this activity recruits all major muscles of the lower body, making it an "all-in-one" exercise.