Senior health and fitness is a really important topic today, as life spans increase around the world. Physical fitness is important for everyone, but it is extremely vital to the well-being of seniors. As we get older, staying fit becomes more of a challenge, and therefore we need to pay particular attention to how we take care of ourselves. Below are both several valuable exercises that seniors can engage in, and also some of the things to be mindful of in pursuing senior health and fitness.
1. Stretching – One of the things that seniors should focus on is trying to regain as much flexibility as they can, because most of us lose some of the flexibility in our joints as time passes. Regaining as much of this flexibility as possible should be a primary goal for seniors. This can be done through something like low stress yoga.
2. Walking – There really isn’t a better exercise for seniors than walking. Not only does it help burn calories and fat, it also helps ease tension and improve cardiovascular health. Taking time to walk every day is one of the best investments you can make for your personal longevity and mental health. The world moves fast and we all have concerns and worries, and walking has a way of freeing us from daily stress and allowing us to gain more focus on a daily basis.
3. Swimming – Swimming is an activity that is low-stress on the body yet has wonderful benefits for seniors. Benefits of swimming for seniors include: improved cardiovascular conditioning, more flexibility, better posture, eased muscle tension, reduced risk of osteoporosis and stress reduction. Unfortunately, high impact exercise can have a detrimental impact on the bones, joints and muscles of people over fifty who have not maintained a regular exercise regimen. Therefore, this is why swimming is an ideal way for seniors to get in shape and improve their overall well being.
Advice For Seniors Regarding Safe Exercising
Many seniors who create a workout program for themselves often push too hard and risk injury. It’s important to remember that you don’t have to work out for hours at a time. 20-30 minutes of exercise, 3-4 times a week usually will provide all the health benefits you need. Consistency is more important than quantity, so seniors should focus on maintaining their fitness program and refrain from allowing more than a few days to go by without being active.
Also be sure to warm-up before each workout session. Focus on loosening up your muscles you’re about to use and get some extra blood flowing to them. For strength training, a warm-up might include a set of your exercises with little or no weight, while for aerobic exercise, doing the exercise at a slower rate at the beginning works well.
Lastly, exercise is always easier and more rewarding when done with good friends. Especially for seniors, it might be beneficial to join a group of like minded people engaged in fitness for health. Join a walking or swim club, or maybe just organize a few friends for morning yoga a few days a week. The possibilities are endless, but the main goal is to remain active and in turn enjoy a healthy and productive life.