We all know the benefits of being fit and healthy, but those benefits become even more critical as we age. Research shows that seniors who have a high level of physical fitness are less likely to develop dementia or Alzheimer’s disease later in life. That means they can live independently longer and maintain their independence for a more significant period than those without a good exercise routine.
How Often Should Seniors Exercise?
It would help if you aimed to be physically active for 30 minutes, five days a week. The key is being consistent with your routine so that you can build endurance and avoid injury. This may not sound like much when you are staring at the entire day to fill, but it’s easy to find time during your day for physical activity if you put in a bit of effort.
What Are Some Exercises Seniors Can Do?
If you’re not accustomed to exercising regularly, start with low-impact activities like walking, swimming, or using an elliptical trainer. Once you feel comfortable increasing the time and intensity of your workouts, then try interval training.
Types of Exercises That Seniors Should Take
Light activities Include:
There are a few reasons that stretching can be beneficial. In addition to relieving tightness in the muscles, it also improves flexibility and range of motion.
These, in turn, may relieve joint pain due to arthritis. At the same time, stretching before an activity can make your workout more effective by increasing your range of motion and reducing injury risk.
Avoid stretching when you’ve been inactive for a long time or if you have stiffness from an injury. Do not stretch cold muscles–always warm up first! That means going for a short walk or doing some light activity such as jogging in place before getting into the stretches.
Take a Walk
One of the best exercises you can do is to take a walk. Walking doesn’t take a lot of time out of your day, and it’s a great way to get some exercise in. Even if you live in a city, many times there are safe areas that you can walk in with sidewalks and paths, allowing you to get outside and enjoy the scenery.
Water aerobics is designed to help you maintain your strength and balance. In the water, you have a more extensive range of motion than on land, which helps build flexibility in your hips and spine. You also have a natural buoyancy that takes some weight from your joints, which is suitable for people with arthritis, diabetes, or leg injuries.
Moderate Activities Include:
Cycling is a great aerobic exercise. You’ll want to start with a stationary bike that has a high quality, durable frame, and heavy-gauge steel chain. If you’re using your bike outside, you should invest in a solid lock and a good bell so cars know you are there.
Take the Stairs
A lot of people associate stairs with pain, but they don’t have to be. Instead of taking the elevator or escalator, walk up the stairs instead. Remember to do it slowly, though, because it’s easy for your joints to get injured this way if you’re not careful.
Playing a Sport
The key is to pick a sport that’s right for your age and physical condition, but one of the best exercises you can do is playing a sport. Playing with others not only gives you increased socialization, increased muscle growth, and improved cardiovascular endurance, it also builds stronger bones and muscles because you’re using them in ways they aren’t usually used.
Vigorous Activities Include:
Jumping rope is an excellent exercise for people who want to get their heart rate up high. You burn calories quickly when jumping rope compared to doing other exercises such as walking or jogging, so if you need to lose weight, this may be something for you to consider adding to your workout routine.
Swimming is an excellent exercise for seniors. It builds strong bones, muscles, and joints because it’s so low impact compared to walking or jogging.
Weight training does wonder in terms of building muscle mass and strength. You don’t have to lift heavy weights, either; even lifting lighter weights can make a huge difference if done regularly. Just make sure you get the proper instruction before trying it out!
Cardiovascular exercises are essential because they improve your heart function, which helps prevent things like chest pain, congestive heart failure, high blood pressure, and diabetes mellitus.
Aerobics is a great way to burn calories and get your heart rate up, so you can improve your cardiovascular health. High intensity is better for you in the long run, but if you’re starting, low-intensity aerobics is okay too. Just do what works best for you!
Are There Any Health Benefits that Seniors Might not expect?
Believe it or not, exercise comes with some unexpected benefits too, including:
· Improved sleep.
· Reduced pain from arthritis and joint stiffness.
· Lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
· It lowers the risk of diabetes and breast cancer.
Remember that exercising with seniors can take longer because they’re not as healthy as younger people. Try to go at a slower pace when doing things like walking or jogging and make sure to warm up before getting into the stretches–injuries are more common on senior citizens who try to work out hard without taking care of themselves. For more senior care tips, consider taking some aged care courses in Syndey.