Simple and Easy Exercises for Seniors/Elderly
KEEPING FIT AND HEALTHY IS AN IMPORTANT PART OF AGEING WELL…
STAYING ACTIVE, NO MATTER THE AGE
Exercising is an absolute necessity for a healthy lifestyle throughout one’s life. As you grow older and your biology changes, an active way of life becomes more important than ever to your health. For seniors especially, staying active and working out regularly helps improve mental and physical health, both of which will help preserve their independence as they age. Some of the benefits of exercising later in life include –
- Regular exercise boosts your mood and self-confidence
- Exercise improves balance for older adults
- Exercise helps prevent and counteract diseases
- Regular exercise improves brain function
- Improves the quality of the sleep
- Benefits cognitive function
- A stronger immune system
WHAT TYPE OF EXERCISE CAN SENIORS TAKE PART IN?
Elderly-friendly exercises comprise four general sub-categories, each focusing on different area – cardio exercises emphasize on one’s general fitness and endurance; balance exercises strengthen specific muscles responsible for maintaining balance; flexibility exercises reduce stiffness and increase mobility; and strength-training helps build up individual muscles and bones. These exercises are imperative for developing a thorough fitness regime, however, the distribution of these exercises that make up for the workout routine can be adjusted as per your requirements depending on existing fitness levels and physical condition.
Here are some simple and easy exercises for elderly that will promote good health and physical fitness –
Brisk walking is the best form of exercise for aged people. It is a moderate-intense type of cardio but a very beneficial one that gets your heart rate up and your muscles working. This form of exercise is also about maintaining good posture so start by ensuring you have a good walking posture and walk at an easy pace to warm up for 5 minutes and then you can continue with the pace most suitable to you. It is a known fact that walking helps to burn fat and increase elasticity besides above-mentioned benefits, hence practice regular walking in the mornings and evenings to stay fit and healthy.
Yoga is a structured and low-impact form of exercise that improves muscle strength, mobility, balance and flexibility, all of which are crucial health aspects for seniors. This form of exercise challenges the ability of your body’s joints to move freely through a full range of motion, helps your body stay fit and increases your range of movement for day-to-day physical activities. Yoga also boosts health through controlled breathing and relaxation, and also trains mental discipline and focus.
Squat movement is quite often used in your daily life hence squat exercise is a great exercise form to strengthen and increase flexibility in your knees, calves and glutes. Regular squat workout will benefit the lower body because it recruits most of the larger muscles in the legs. You won’t need any equipment to do a squat other than your bodyweight at first. This exercise form requires you to lower yourself from a standing position into a semi-sitting position, holding out your arms in front of you.
Another great cardio activity that gets your heart pumping, stationary cycling improves overall endurance and heart health, lowers blood pressure and stress levels, and strengthens hip and leg muscles. One more benefit is that since this is a low impact exercise, it is the perfect one for people with joint pain.
Swimming is an ideal workout for the elderly, mainly because it presents little risk of injury and is low impact. It works all major muscle groups, resulting in stronger muscles overall, especially the upper body, core muscles, and leg muscles – all important muscle groups for posture and stability, which reduce the risk of falls. Furthermore, the additional resistance provided by the water grants some strength training benefits. Even if you don’t know how to swim, you can still benefit from being in the pool.
As you age you are more likely to have tight muscles, which can pull on your bones and other skeletal structures, making you feel stiff and out of order. Stretching should be done every day because it’s an essential exercise to keep your muscles in top condition. Stretches for older adults provide them with a number of benefits such as - An increase in blood flow, an increase in range of motion which can help prevent injury, reduced stress and improved mood. Make sure you stretch all the different muscles in your body: neck, back, chest, abdomen, sides, arms, thighs and calves.
This is one of the liveliest forms of exercise for seniors as it can be done by people with a range of fitness levels and interests. Whatever type of dancing you choose, it can be an enormous benefit to your overall health such as improved strength, mobility, and balance; good for heart and cardiovascular health; reduced muscle pain and joint stiffness; minimizes stress, anxiety, and depression. Turn on some music and move your body to the groove.
P.S. - Before embarking on an exercise regimen, please consult your doctor.