Exercise is important in all walks of life, but for those seniors who want to maintain their independence, regular workouts can prove to be essential.
Luckily, these days, more and more people in this age group are opting for an active lifestyle instead of a sedentary one.
Variety is key when it comes to determining the right exercises for seniors.
Ideally, you should find a routine that combines both strength and mobility exercises, as well as balance and flexibility activities.
However, there’s no need for you to get a gym membership right away. Some of our best suggestions involve simply getting out there and working out with a group of like-minded people with similar fitness goals.
Whether you’re in a care home, a place like Phoenix Hospice Topeka, KS or still live independently, your body and mind can benefit from physical activity.
No matter your age or physical condition. It is never too late to get fit, and here is how you can do it:
Walking is perhaps one of the most accessible forms of exercise as it does not require you to buy any special equipment. Walking also helps strengthen your muscles, as well as lowers the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
For some seniors, walking longer distances can be a bigger challenge than it is for others, so keep in mind that the distance and goals will differ from person to person.
In general, health experts recommend taking around ten thousand steps per day for a healthy lifestyle. But if you have difficulty walking or you are dealing with joint pain, feel free to settle for a smaller number of steps.
If you would like to go on longer walks outside, you may need to invest in a decent pair of walking shoes and get yourself some trekking poles for extra support.
You can go on walks around your neighborhood, walk through a park or, if you feel capable, go with your friends or family on a nature walk or a short hike.
During your walks, you can listen to music or podcasts. And do not forget to take a bottle of water with you, especially on sunny days.
Pilates is excellent for people of every age, but seniors can particularly benefit from regular Pilates practice.
With age, areas of your health and mobility, such as balance, strength, flexibility, and focus, start to change. Pilates helps to improve all of those things.
It typically involves using mats, pilates balls, and other inflated accessories. This help builds strength without the stress associated with higher-impact exercises. It’s also perfect for those dealing with joint pain.
With that in mind, do not hesitate to sign up for group pilates classes or start working out with a personal instructor.
Water aerobics is an excellent way for seniors to get moving. The best thing is that you do not even need to know how to swim in order to start your journey with this exercise.
In fact, you can do water aerobics and leave learning how to swim for later. If you take some classes, you will soon learn that water aerobics can improve your heart health, muscle strength, and joint mobility all while having fun!
Doing water aerobics two to three times a week will yield the best results and leave a lot of time for your body to recover between classes.
If you find yourself feeling comfortable with exercising more, you can take the classes even up to five times a week, but make sure not to overwork yourself.
Body Weight Workouts
The decrease in size and wasting of muscle tissue, otherwise known as muscle loss, can be devastating for older adults and significantly worsen the quality of their lives.
Severe muscle loss can lead to hormone problems, decrease one’s ability to metabolize protein, and cause many other serious health issues.
Luckily, various bodyweight workouts are an excellent way to deal with the effects and early signs of muscle atrophy in older adults.
One of their key benefits is affordability, as most bodyweight workouts require only workout clothes and a comfortable mat.
Good ideas for bodyweight workouts for seniors include side lying circles, lying hip bridges and bird dog.
Seniors who take up dancing classes can experience higher energy levels, greater flexibility, improved posture, and an enhanced sense of achievement.
Singing up to dance with a group of other seniors is also an excellent opportunity to gain a greater sense of community and form new friendships.
Whether you decide to attend group classes or dance in your own home, you can consider exploring light latin or salsa dancing, as well as dancing fitness and aerobics.
If your mobility is compromised, you can also try seated dancing, where you remain sitting but move the upper body to music.
Resistance Band Workouts
Workouts using resistance bands that are senior-friendly and accessible to beginners, because all you need in order to start is the band itself.
In addition, it is the ideal form of exercise if you like working out at home.
Using elastic resistance bands can be effective in terms of strength gains as workouts that consist of dumbbell or weight machine exercises.
Even more so than weight training, resistance band training can develop the stabilizer muscles that support your entire body.
Cycling works all of your major muscles, including the quadriceps and hamstrings, whether you choose to use an outdoor bicycle or a stationary bike.
To allow for increased blood flow, the body adjusts by expanding its ability to withstand the additional stress.
Cycling is, therefore, extremely healthy for the heart and lungs. Additionally, it is the ideal non-impact activity for seniors who would prefer to lower ground reaction forces during exercise due to joint or muscle pain.
Exercise is crucial for leading an active, healthy, happy life at any age.
The best exercise plans for seniors are not just once they feel comfortable doing, but ones they can genuinely enjoy and will be likely to do on a regular basis.
If you are a senior looking for exercise ideas, consider the suggestions listed above.
Whether you decide to try walking, pilates, water aerobics, dancing, or cycling, or any other kind of workout.
Keep in mind that you should check in with a physician to ensure that you are healthy enough for exercise. Your doctor will also help you decide which exercises are ideal for you.