5 Ideal Exercises and Physical Activities for Seniors
Muscle mass and strength will deteriorate with age, and you will gradually lose it if you don’t do anything to preserve it. Regular physical activity and exercise is one of the keys to maintain muscle mass, improve balance, flexibility and stability. When you maintain or gain more muscle, you may live longer and experience a better quality of life.
However, many older adults consider that they are already too old to exercise; they believe they should rest to preserve their remaining strength. Absolutely wrong! Physical activity and exercise in older adults can help reduce the risk of falls, injuries, pain, and prevent or manage chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis and other age-related health issues.
Seniors don’t have to follow a rigid and strenuous training routine to reap the health benefits of physical activity and exercise. Here are five exercises for seniors to help increase life expectancy and increase and the ability to live independently and blissfully.
Walking is one of the best exercises for older adults. What you only need is invest in a pair of sturdy and comfortable shoes and you can basically walk anywhere you want — head to a community park or neighborhood for a leisurely walk, or just walk around a shopping mall when the weather isn’t fine. If you suffer from a medical condition that can put you at risk of a fall, walk with a partner or invest in a medical alert device so you can immediately ask for help in case of emergency.
Dancing is one of the best workouts for seniors — it could be a great and fun way to encourage them to engage in physical activity as well as in a social event. Simple dance steps can be enjoyed by older adults— ballroom dancing, square dancing, salsa, and zumba are popular options that can be taken at your own pace and rhythm.
- Strength Training
Strength training doesn’t require you to go to a gym and follow a rigid and strenuous regimen, but it can be done in the comfort of your home. There are exercise equipment for seniors like dumbells, portable pedals, exercise ball, and chair exercise help you get started. Chair Exercise Package includes two resistance bands (low and medium), one pair of handles and printed exercise guides. You can work at your own pace and gradually gain strength. This chair-based exercise will help improve flexibility, stability, muscle and bone strength. The program is developed by a physical therapist specifically designed for the needs of the elderly.
While swimming is a low-impact exercise that’s easy on the joints, done swimming regularly can reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, reduce stress and improve your mood. It is a total body workout; all the major muscle groups work—legs, back, arms, shoulders, chest and abdominal.
According to a study, gardening is beneficial for seniors. It helps maintain their motor skills and improve their stamina and strength because gardening requires the use of vital functions which include dexterity and sensory awareness.
Seniors are not too old to start an exercise program and enjoy the benefits of physical activity, but ensure to consider the fitness level before you get started. Physical exercise will not only keep you physically fit, but it boosts energy and memory, and alleviates depression. The endorphins (happy hormones) released during physical activity create a sense of well-being, reduce anxiety and boost your mood. If you are not exercising before, it is not too late, do your part and have an exercise program approved by your physician.