Written By Melissa Andrews / Reviewed By Ray Spotts
We all know how beneficial physical exercise is. The earlier we start taking regular exercise seriously, the better it will be for our health. However, that doesn’t make starting to exercise at a more advanced age any less rewarding.
As we age, our bodies will need physical activity to stay strong, flexible, and mobile, with excellent balance to boot. If you have senior loved ones living a relatively sedentary lifestyle, you will do well to remind them of that. Whether they’re residents of assisted senior care facilities or living in their own homes, seniors need to exercise regularly, as it can help them live longer, healthier lives.
When they start warming up to the idea of working out, they will need an exercise routine for seniors that won’t push them too far and cause an injury. Let’s take a look at some exercises that your elderly loved one can perform safely.
Walking is one of the easiest and safest exercises for seniors, especially when it’s something they do every single day. However, to make it a more focused workout, 30 straight minutes of walking around the neighborhood or in the park should do it.
Seniors who go walking on a regular basis stand to reap benefits such as improved heart health, reduced blood sugar levels, and opportunities to meet up with friends who go walking as part of their exercise routine, too.
Walking may be a safe exercise for seniors, but it still puts a certain amount of stress on their joints. On the other hand, swimming is easy on the knees and ankles, and works out all muscle groups in the body. Aside from the aerobic exercise that it provides, swimming also helps improve muscle strength and tone, as well as bone mineral density which is key to fighting osteoporosis, which affects both women and men.
Aside from swimming, there are also several water exercises that seniors can do by themselves or with a class, like water resistance exercises and aqua yoga.
Some seniors may feel intimidated by yoga, especially if they see long-time practitioners doing things with their bodies that seem to defy the laws of anatomy. However, for seniors who want to give yoga a try, there are classes that are specifically tailored for their age group. Yoga programs for seniors are typically modified to suit their fitness levels and physical limitations.
There’s even a specific form of yoga called chair yoga, which is ideal for seniors who might have trouble performing the motions required in traditional yoga.
With the meditation, breathwork, stretching exercises, and the poses that come with practicing yoga, your senior loved will reap numerous benefits, including improved flexibility, balance, strength, and mobility. Practicing yoga will also strengthen their bones, reduce stress, and help them sleep better.
Of all the activities that provide seniors a good workout, dancing is undoubtedly the most fun to do. Whether they’re dancing with a partner, a group, or by themselves, seniors who shake their tail feathers regularly get excellent cardio workouts out of it. No matter what the dance, your senior’s heart rate will get going and get oxygen moving through their system.
Seniors who go dancing as exercise also benefit from the improved balance and flexibility they get with their moves on the dance floor.
Aside from the health benefits, dancing also creates social opportunities, especially if they go to dance classes in a fitness center or a senior community.
Exercising with free weights such as dumbbells may seem counterintuitive for most seniors, but they still need strength training, which can help relieve osteoporosis, back pain, diabetes, and depression symptoms. For seniors, light dumbbells are their best strength training option.
As long as dumbbell exercises such as bicep curls, bent over rows, and tricep extensions are performed with proper precautions, seniors should be able to strengthen their muscles and improve flexibility and balance as well. While many seniors can actually do more types of exercises if their fitness levels permit them, the ones mentioned above are just about the best and safest workouts for people within their age group.
Still, seniors who do the above exercises regularly should always keep in mind not to overdo things, which they could be prone to doing once adrenaline sets in. To be on the safe side, seniors who exercise must always practice self-control. It would also help if you can keep a watchful eye on your senior loved ones as they exercise.
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Melissa Andrews is the Content Marketing Strategist for Paradise Living Centers, an assisted living center for seniors with locations in Paradise Valley and Phoenix, Arizona. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking and going on hiking trips with her siblings and cousins.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.