Recommended Exercises for Senior People
If you're reading this, you definitely know the importance of exercise to your health and overall well being. But as one ages and starts approaching their sunset years, motivation for exercise starts reducing, and so do their energy levels. In other words, the workout capabilities and requirements of a 65-year old are very different from those of a 25-year old individual.
But then again, it so happens that older adults are the ones who stand to benefit most from exercise. This is because in their senior years one becomes more prone to various kinds of diseases such as high blood pressure, arthritis, Alzheimer's, diabetes, osteoporosis, cataracts, and cancer, among others. Exercise may not only help prevent such diseases, but it may also help improve health in those already suffering from them. But remember, their muscles are feeble and their joints more delicate. They could be suffering from certain conditions and thus when it comes to exercise, they need a gentler workout regimen that is customized to individual needs. So what kinds of exercises would you recommend to the elderly?
Below are a few recommended exercises for senior people.
It's probably the oldest trick in the book of exercise and fitness. It's also the easiest kind of activity one can engage in, old or young. However, walking only becomes an exercise when done regularly and to a certain extent. For starters, walking is known to lower the risk of stroke and heart disease. It also improves circulation, boosts balance, and can help keep your blood pressure or cholesterol levels in check. No one said you must take the stairs every other time, but at least 30 minutes of walking each day can improve your overall health and even reduce your aging symptoms. It makes you look and feel younger with time!
This is probably the best way to build strength and stamina while improving your organ health and conditioning your bones. Modern-day gyms are equipped with a wide range of exercise machines, including elliptical, stationary bikes, treadmills, and rowing machines. These are designed to give you a full-body workout and regardless of how old you are, there's something for everyone in the gym machines.
For a senior, however, it's important to ensure you enroll in a gym with a highly qualified trainer. This is because the older we get; the risk of sustaining workout injury also increases. Additionally, some of your joints or body parts may not allow you to perform certain exercises. If you have knee problems, for instance, Eric Arnow of For-Knees.com says that a rowing machine is one of the best knee conditioning workout machines you can find in a gym. If you have some space in your home, you can use for exercise, you can even buy one for home use at the price of between $150 and $1,000 depending on the model you go for.
From improving heart health to lowering blood pressure, reducing cholesterol, improving balance, conditioning the joints, and helping with weight management, aerobic activity has many health benefits, especially for older adults. If you're 55 and above, 5 minutes of cardio a couple of days a week could be all you need to build strength and endurance as you gradually increase your intensity. Some great types of aerobic activity you can opt to include swimming, playing tennis, and low-intensity jogging as well as walking, which we talked about earlier.
Stretching exercise can help calm your nerves, improve blood circulation, and condition your muscles. They can also help you relax and improve your sleep quality, which is crucial as you approach your sunset years. Additional, they improve your flexibility and boost your joint range of motion while promoting balance. Stretching exercises like Yoga and Tai chi can work magic to your health in old age, especially when combined with relaxation techniques such as meditation, self-awareness, and breathing exercises.
Apart from these, other low-impact exercises that seniors can include in their workout plan and even have fun engaging in may include:
- Standing on one leg
- Heel-toe standing
- Toe raises
- Heel raises
- Wall pushups
- Pelvic tilts
- Sitting and standing
In a nutshell, the best workouts for older individuals seek to improve strength, balance, flexibility, and mobility. The good thing is that these workouts also have a plethora of other benefits. As long as you're doing them the right way and you're not exceeding what you can handle, the above exercises could be all you need to stay active, fit, and healthy. On a parting shot, old age is associated with various health challenges, which makes it important to seek your doctor's approval before adopting an exercise plan.