Finding Exercises for Seniors that they can easily do on a regular basis is very important. Regular physical activity is an important part of your lifestyle no matter where you are in life. Even if you have never been active, it’s important to start whenever you can, especially later in life. There have been numerous studies showing that exercise is like the fountain of youth. Many of the ailments once thought to be a result of aging, are actually the result of inactivity.
The older we get the more we find that we are not able to do the same activities we once did when we were younger. If you are just starting to exercise for the first time in your life, you need to take your time and take the necessary precautions to make sure you are staying safe.
The Importance of Exercising for Seniors
While you may think that once you get older you need to slow down and start taking things easy, but the opposite is actually true. Exercising is important at all stages of our life, but exercising for seniors holds it’s own benefits that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
A few reasons Seniors should do regular exercise:
- Healthy bodies are able to fight off infection and recover from injury quicker. The stronger our muscles and bones are, the easier it is to prevent injuries too.
- Regular exercise can help seniors increase their stability and flexibility, which helps prevent falls. Falling results in the most injuries among seniors. They often break bones that take a long time to heal, and can be detrimental to their health as well as their ability to live independently. Increasing stability can help prevent injury, and flexibility can help them reach out and stabilize themselves on a chair or even against a wall.
- Exercising can help improve mental health. Exercising has been shown time and time again to be beneficial to our mental health. It releases those ‘feel good’ hormones, and helps reduce stress. Regular exercise can also help you sleep better too, which impacts mental health a lot.
- Exercise can keep seniors social, which can help in many aspects of their life. Not only will a fitness class or walking group help keep seniors active, but they can get social interaction they may not otherwise get. This has many benefits, including mental health, and encourages seniors to keep coming to classes for the encouragement and accountability. Exercise classes or walking groups can also help seniors fight off loneliness that a lot of seniors may experience.
Gentle Exercises for Seniors
There are a few easy, low impact cardio exercises that are great for seniors. Here are a few examples.
Swimming: Swimming is a great low-impact exercise you can do at any age. Swimming can give you an intense, fun workout, and the water makes it easy on the joints. Regular swimming activity will tone your muscles and strengthen your heart. Exercising in the water creates a natural resistance so your muscles will work harder then they would if you were exercising on land. If you have trouble with joint pain, swimming could be a great choice for you. Even professionals exercise in water to rehabilitate after injuries.
Walking: Runners and joggers might look like a perfect picture of health to you and it might be tempting to give it a try, but running may not be the exercise for you. Running can be very hard on knees and cause injuries. According to fitness experts, walking at a good speed will give you all the health benefits of a run without risking injury. Make sure you ease into a walking program, starting at a speed you can keep up with right know and then slowly increase your speed when you are ready.
Strength Training: Building strong muscles and bones is very important later in life. You don’t need to lift heavy weights and gain huge muscles though. You should be looking to increase your health and your strength, and this is easily done with gentle strength training. When lifting weights you don’t want to exercise every day. Make sure you give your muscles a chance to rest between workouts. Begin your training with simple exercises and light weights, you can even leave the weights behind in the beginning and just use your own body weight. If possible, ask a trainer to help you develop a strength training workout.
Finding Resources and Experts
If you are looking for guided workouts ad experts who can help you get started exercising, contact gyms in your area and ask if they have any fitness classes geared towards seniors. You could also ask if any of their personal trainers have experience working with seniors.
There are also many resources online for workouts. You can do searches on Youtube to find guided exercise videos that are easy to follow and low impact. There are plenty of videos to find something you like, with varying levels of difficulty and length. There is also a lot of variety so you won’t get bored trying the same exercises over and over.
Getting older is not an excuse to stop exercising! It’s more important later in life then it ever was. By making sure your loved ones keep active as they age, you can help ensure they are healthy for a long time to come. Better yet – take it upon yourself to get them going. Start walking with them a few times a week, this will not only make an impact on your health as well as theirs, but it will also help your relationship flourish.
Before you start a exercise program, you should always remember to consult a doctor before starting. Especially for seniors, who may have certain health concerns or physical limitations.
Stay Active and Healthy!
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