As you grow older, leading an active lifestyle becomes much more important, but most individuals appear to become more sedentary with age. While there are many explanations for this – from health issues to the fear of injury, many seniors simply haven’t found an activity that is right for them.
5 suggestions for elderly fitness:
Taking up dancing is an excellent way to increase general physical health for seniors who are still very capable of movement. Dancing also improves strength, mobility, and balance, aside from being good for the heart. And since it moves nearly every part of the body, in older adults, it will also help prevent muscle pain and stiffness.
However, the potential advantages of routine dancing are not limited to the physical aspects. Being in a social environment prevents elderly depression and has tremendous positive effects on their emotional well-being.
Walking is an obvious choice when it comes to physical activity for the elderly. It’s easily one of the best exercises out there with a low impact, and it’s light on the joints, so seniors can continue to do it until very late in life.
Both the mind and the body will benefit from keeping a walking routine. Not only is it a perfect way to get you going, taking outdoor strolls; it also helps improve your mood and clear your head.
If you love being outdoors, cycling is certainly an activity you are going to enjoy. Cycling is a great cardiovascular workout that can also improve equilibrium, strengthen the muscles of the leg, and improve senior cognitive performance. And because it’s low-impact, for seniors who can not participate in running or other high-impact activities due to bone or joint problems, it’s an ideal choice. The best part is that you can almost do it anywhere!
If you live in the suburbs or rural areas, riding a bike shouldn’t be a problem. Consider scheduling weekend bike rides with your family or friends if there are cycling trails near your home. However, you may want to give indoor cycling a try for seniors living in cities or busier neighborhoods.
Tai-chi and yoga
Both tai-chi and yoga tick all the right boxes in a good exercise category. They combine endurance with strength training, flexibility, and balance.
Yoga is a gentle approach to fitness, yet holistic. Every posture is weight-bearing, although yoga poses seem to focus on flexibility at first glance. Yoga helps develop strength in the bones and muscles, improves core stability, and improves overall mobility of the body, all of which are very important as you age.
Tai-chi is, like Yoga, a low-impact exercise, but one that slowly flows from pose to pose. It is said that practicing Tai-chi is effective in increasing muscle strength while improving blood circulation. The flowing movements tone the muscles and stretch them, while the balance is improved by the various poses.
For seniors, how much exercise is recommended?
Seniors’ health, physical condition, and cognitive skills can differ greatly. Thus, their exercise routine often varies in type, number, and frequency.
As a general rule, you should strive for the level that makes you feel comfortable physically and mentally. Any physical activity level is fine as long as you don’t overexert yourself. To prevent accidents, remember to start slow and gradually increase the time or intensity of your exercise routine.
Do them with your friends and family or join a class to make these activities safer and more fun and use it as an opportunity to interact and bond with others.
Exercising is not just about adding years to your life, after all, but adding life to your years.