Why It’s Necessary
Exercising as an older adult can help keep your independence, preserve your heart, control your weight, as well as mitigate symptoms of illness or pain
According to Harvard Medical School, seniors that exercise regularly are less prone to rely on others. They mention that regular physical activity encourages you to maintain mobility and autonomy. If self-reliance is important to you, exercise is one method to help retain independence.
Inactivity exhausts you, whereas exercise gives you more energy. Endorphins, essential neurotransmitters linked to pain relief and a sense of well-being, are released in response to any type or amount of exercise. Endorphins combat stress hormones, make you feel more lively, energetic and promote healthy sleep.
Exercise is vital for any individual, including older adults. But it can be hard to know which exercises are right for your fitness level which is why we’ve come up with 5 fun ways to help you get in shape!
Keep reading to discover some activities which not only keep you fit but are also enjoyable!
Known worldwide for being a low-impact form of exercise, Pilates is great for emphasizing breathing, alignment, concentration and core strength.
Balls, mats and other accessories are used to build strength without the risk of injury that can accompany higher-impact exercises.
Pilates has also been proven to improve balance, increase flexibility and develop core strength amongst older adults.
2. Bodyweight Workouts
After the age of 40, about a third of adults experience severe muscle loss, which can resultin decreased protein metabolization and hormone issues among other things. For older adults, muscle loss can be devastating and damaging.
Bodyweight workouts are essential in combating the effects of muscle atrophy in older adults. This activity requires only a pair of workout clothes and a mat to cushion the impact on the floor.
In addition to maintaining muscle mass, bodyweight workouts can better control
symptoms of chronic disease and pain as well as improving posture and stability. They also help older adults remain functional.
Often an underrated form of exercise, walking is the least stressful and accessible form of exercise.
Not only does it promote a healthy lifestyle, but it also lowers your risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, colon cancer and strengthens muscles.
For the general population, 10,000 steps per day are recommended as a part of a healthy lifestyle. Ensure that you’re going at your own pace and at a distance that suits you. If you suffer from joint pain or experience difficulty walking, it is advisable to set a smaller step goal.
Help improve both your gait and balance through dancing. Arguably one of the most enjoyable forms of remaining fit, it can also be very accessible.
Dance classes are usually available at your local recreation or community centre, with many forms of dancing to choose from. Jazz, salsa, tap, ballroom, or chair aerobics are typically low impact.
Dancing regularly helps maintain strong bones, improve muscle strength and burn
calories. It is also a great way to condition your heart muscles. Aside from the physical benefits, dancing has been proven to reduce mental health disorders such as depression and allows older adults to meet other like-minded individuals their own age.
What we love most about dance is that it is an appropriate activity for anyone of any age and fitness level.
5. Water Aerobics
Water Aerobics has gained popularity among older adults in the last few years. This activity is great if you suffer from arthritis and other types of joint pain.
The water’s buoyancy reduces joint strain while providing natural resistance, reducing the need for weights in strength training.
Not only is it fun, but it also improves your flexibility, strength, and balance with minimal stress on your body.
The Next Steps
While it can sometimes be hard to get up and move, incorporating fun exercises are the easiest way to remain fit and active. It is also great for your mood, mind and memory. It’s never too late to start, so pick an activity and get going!