Exercising is extremely important as you age gracefully. Setting yourself an exercise routine that can easily be incorporated into your weekly or daily schedule is ideal for any senior. It doesn’t need to be anything too strenuous. However, whether it’s walking, cycling, or swimming, it is vital that you are up and about. As a rule, you should try and aim for at least 30 minutes, as a minimum amount of exercise per day.
Why is exercising as a senior so essential?
Exercising throughout your golden era will not only assist you by improving your flexibility, but it offers a myriad of health benefits that will not only help you stay fit but can help combat and maintain the following afflictions:
High blood pressure
Believe it or not, simply walking daily lowers your blood pressure to a much safer level. It also reduces the risk of hypertension if you are already experiencing elevated blood pressure.
Light to moderate exercise ensures that your heart continues to work as efficiently as possible. In addition, exercise reduces your heart’s need to pump more blood to your muscles, reducing any undue stress.
Strengthening your body’s core and legs will not only improve and maintain your balance, but it also prevents falls and serious injuries that can occur from such falls.
You may not be as tech-savvy as the younger generation, so it is best to get out and about, stay connected, and remain active with lifelong friends. Or make new ones by joining a group or club.
Assists with cognitive functions
Working on fine motor skills through exercising can help prevent dementia.
The idea behind any movement is to prevent you from getting the ‘sitting disease’ that is prevalent in the senior population. Always keep moving.
What low strenuous and gentle exercises can I do as a senior?
There are many low-level exercises that are incredibly beneficial that can be completed either outdoors, in a group, or in the comfort of your home. We have already mentioned walking, but you can also engage in the recommended list of exercises below.
Water aerobics / aerobics
You can either enrol in a seniors class or follow along at home with a DVD. Aerobics and water aerobics improve heart and lung functionality.
This is a great way to maintain your muscle strength. You don’t have to lift hefty weights. Instead, start at the lower end of the spectrum with a 1kg weight.
Yoga helps your body sustain its natural ability to balance and reduces back pain. It improves flexibility within joints and once again strengthens your muscles. Seniors may attempt the well-known yoga poses: the downward dog, the famous tree pose, and the mountain pose.
It is crucial to continually stretch body areas like the calves, hamstrings, pelvis, quadriceps, shoulders, and arms.
Falls at any age are scary, and seniors, unfortunately, are placed in the high-risk category. All the exercises mentioned above will improve muscle strength and reduce the risk of severe falls while giving you an active lifestyle.
Think safety first
When completing any exercises, it’s essential to ensure your safety. For example:
• when walking, avoid slippery or uneven surfaces
• when completing balancing exercises, use a chair or wall for extra support
• if you have pre-existing injuries or conditions, seek advice from an expert practitioner
Start slowly by easing yourself into any exercise routine, and build up from there. Every bit counts. Remember to stop if at any time you experience pain or discomfort when completing your exercise routine, especially chest pains or shortness of breath. If you are unsure of what exercises are suitable for you, always consult a doctor or physician.