Aging may naturally cause certain physiological changes, such as loss of muscle mass but it’s actually a sedentary lifestyle that can make these conditions typically associated with aging even worse. Things like the decline in muscle function — which will lower one’s capacity in maintaining independence – is another issue that seniors need to address. Fortunately, Springer suggests that regular exercise will promote a better quality of life as it can prevent frailty, chronic inflammation, heart disease, and many other conditions. Exercise is also beneficial for brain health as it helps alleviate mental illness and prevent cognitive decline.
However, it’s important to remember that seniors aren’t in the same shape as they were when they were younger. This means certain workouts are better than others. So in this article, we’ll talk about four exercises that are great for seniors that you can include in your daily routine:
Walking is the easiest and most accessible form of exercise that has multiple benefits for seniors. For one, it can improve cardiorespiratory health so the heart and lungs can deliver oxygen and nutrients throughout the body much better. It’s a natural way to boost your immune system too, lowering your risk of developing chronic diseases, which even include certain kinds of cancer.
Walking is an everyday activity, and its simplicity may cause you to go overboard. But if you go too hard too fast, you might end up fatigued and short of breath. Going around the block is a great start, and as you get used to it, you can gradually increase your walking distance.
Tai chi is a low-impact exercise that combines meditation and movement, making it great for your physical and mental health. In one of the health guides on SymptomFind, it explains that by doing tai chi on a regular basis it can reduce the risk of falls by improving muscle strength and balance. This exercise also improves breathing, which is helpful for those with respiratory problems. The breathing, movement, and mental concentration that go with practicing tai chi promote calmness and improve mood.
Despite being an easy workout for seniors, overdoing it can lead to sore muscles. You may also need to limit your range of motion, especially if you’re new to it or have difficulty moving, to prevent strained joints. It’s essential as well to observe the proper body mechanics to avoid injury.
Swimming and water aerobics are fun ways for seniors to be fit with only minimal weight-bearing for the body. The water also provides natural resistance, helping strengthen the muscles and improve balance. The Conversation published research that shows how doing water-based exercises is as good as land-based exercises when it comes to improving your cardiovascular health. But the added advantage is that water buoyancy reduces the stress on joints.
When doing these exercises, it’s best to do them in the presence of others, in case something happens to you in the water or you need help getting in and out of it. Another pointer is that just because you’re in the water, it doesn’t mean you’re not sweating. So remember to stay hydrated.
It is also a good idea to use swimming headbands to avoid ear and hair damage while swimming.
Dumbbell strength training
Dumbbell exercises, like front raises and forward lunges, are great options for senior strength training as dumbbells are relatively inexpensive and convenient equipment to improving strength. These exercises can improve joint health, balance, and stability. They also build and maintain bone density, which lowers the risk of fractures.
To prevent injury, make sure that you’re exercising with good posture. One thing you can do to help ensure this is to get a dumbbell that you can lift comfortably. If you find that you’re arching your back or swinging your body to lift the weights, then your dumbbells are too heavy for your current fitness level.
Exercising helps improve a senior’s quality of life by keeping physical and mental problems at bay. But a previous writeup here on CareForYoo shows that exercise is only one way to age healthily. In relation to that, it’s also important to have a good diet and get adequate sleep.
You may also want to check out our article about How to Avoid Inner Thigh Chafing, which is sometimes acquired from your thighs rubbing against each other while exercising.