Healthy Exercises for Seniors
From improving your strength to increasing your overall quality of life to helping to fight obesity, exercise is a must for seniors. Check out these simple exercises for seniors and get started living a healthier life today!
Simple, effective exercises for seniors
So, the other day I was at my local gym, to blow off some steam. I came across this old man who looked great doing squats, and we had a simple chat about his routine. It turns out he is 75 years of age with a medical alert system device. He had a gym instructor who guided him through his daily routine.
It had me thinking of those seniors out there who can’t exercise like my ‘young’ friend.
How can they also work out without straining themselves too much? Numerous studies have shown that strength training and other exercises for seniors done regularly not only build up bone and muscle but counteract the weakness and frailty that usually come with aging.
The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has suggested that for seniors aged 65 years and above, 2 and a half hours (150 min) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity weekly are healthy for them. It could involve walking, jogging, or any other aerobic workout. They also suggest 2 or more days a week for muscle-strengthening activities. It should focus on all muscle groups of the body.
(Note: Make sure you are cleared by your physician before starting any exercise program.)
1. Timed walk
Walking is probably the easiest and most convenient physical exercise. Walking is a tremendously useful activity for senior citizens. It’s cheap, it’s simple, almost anybody can do it. Just a 15-minute walk is advised on a daily basis, but I am sure seniors can even do better than that.
Pick a different route to kill the monotony. Say, today talk a walk in the park, tomorrow walk around the neighborhood, and so forth. You can even incorporate it into your daily activities like going to the grocery store or going to the pharmacy to grab some aspirin.
Walking does well on your joints, strengthens your muscle, and assures you of a good night’s sleep, no more insomnia for you. Start walking today.
Yoga has gained massive support and a huge fan base especially among the elderly over the years. It is more of a physical, mental and spiritual practice.
Physical activity is good for people no matter their age. But sometimes, certain limitations prevent a senior from engaging in more common forms of exercise such as walking and spinning.
The thing with yoga is that it has the potential to cover all essential components of a good workout: low impact cardio, resistance training, and stretching. It helps especially with balance and joint health, reducing nagging pains. It also improves respiratory function, improving your breathing gradually. Yoga is highly recommended for seniors.
3. Wall pushups
Wall pushups are aimed at increasing strength in the chest and shoulder regions.
- Stand about 2-3 feet away from a wall, facing the wall, with feet shoulder-width apart.
- Lean forward and place your hands flat on the wall, in line with your shoulders. Your body should be in a “plank” position, with your spine is straight, not sagging or arched.
- Lower your body toward the wall and then push back. Repeat ten times.
Wall pushups are suitable for seniors unlike the standard pushups, gentle on the body but quite useful in building up some strength.
4. Strength Training
There are so many workouts that you can do to improve your overall health and quality of life when it comes to strength training. Strength training will help improve your muscle mass, strength, metabolism, cardiovascular health, bone health, mentality…etc.
It really is one of the top exercises for seniors! To achieve even greater results you can supplement strength training. Read more about supplementation here. Consult your doctor and let them help you create a great exercise routine!
5. Single leg balance
Seniors tend to have balance issues as their age progresses. Quite a number of factors contribute to this, for instance, side effects of the meds they take. This is why most of them require a medical alert system in case of an emergency or a fall.
Single leg balance exercise is focused on improving balance and posture.
Stand with your feet hip-width apart, hands-on-hips, or the back of a sturdy chair if you require support. Lift your left foot off the floor, bending at the knee and lifting your heel halfway between the floor and your buttocks. Hold that position for 10 seconds, eventually working up to 30 seconds.
Return to the starting position and repeat with the opposite leg. Repeat three times or more.
6. Zumba classes
Zumba classes have skyrocketed over the years, with many people enrolling to take part. Zumba has proven to be quite effective in many areas of notice.
For starters, Zumba maintains a healthy heart – it’s definitely a cardio dance workout! The dance steps will help circulate your blood better through your entire body and increase your heart rate. It is an awesome cardio that aids in reducing your risk of heart attack and stroke. It improves your balancing, coordination, and range of motion through dancing. This also helps reduce arthritis pain.
I love swimming very much. When I get some free time off my schedule, I include swimming as my top priority. Swimming is fun and enjoyable. For a senior swimmer trying to maintain his/her fitness level, three times a week is advised.
Water aerobics is offered these days in the gyms. It involved walking, dancing, and doing other aerobics in the water. The water acts as resistance, just like weights. This way, you can increase your body strength.
On average, aqua exercise participants increased their strength by 27% in the quadriceps, 40% in the hamstrings, and about 10% in the upper body region.
Aside from strengthening the muscles, swimming improves heart health, reduces the risk of osteoporosis, and increases flexibility.
There you have it: 7 simple, yet effective exercises for seniors!
From improving your balance to muscle mass, a combination of these moves can improve your health and overall quality of life!