The Best Exercises for Seniors
We all know that there are a few essentials to a healthy life, such as a balanced diet, quality sleep, and plenty of physical activity. However, once you reach a certain age, you might be unsure what exercises you are still allowed to do. While it’s always recommended to consult with your physician beforehand, here are some of the best exercises for seniors that you can consider.
For starters, you can think about walking. It is certainly one of the most accessible forms of physical activity while it is also among the least stressful for the body. There are many health benefits to walking such as reduced joint pain, improving heart health, boosting your mood, and increasing your lifespan. While not everyone is able to walk 10,000 steps every day to experience all these perks, do your best to set a goal for yourself and reach it on a daily basis.
Another low-impact type of workout that you can consider is cycling. Getting on a bike and riding it around town also comes with numerous benefits for your wellbeing, including decreased stress levels, improved stability, balance, posture, and joint mobility, and increased cardiovascular fitness. If you already have a bike, this will not even set you back financially and you can enjoy other perks such as not having to pay for gas or parking while running errands. Plus, you can also make cycling a family activity and do it with the grandkids.
You can also take up running. Although this activity might sound like it could negatively affect your joints, studies haven’t found any correlation between running and osteoporosis in the knees or hips. With that in mind, don’t be afraid to start running around the block as exercise will help your joints by aiding you in maintaining a healthy weight. Make sure you start slow and properly warm up and cool down. All that being said, there are some types of workouts that can lead to joint problems such as rugby and skiing, which you are better off avoiding.
As we get older, we can experience muscle loss, which can lead to problems like lower ability to metabolize protein and hormone issues. If you’re looking for an exercise that can counteract muscle atrophy, you can start doing bodyweight workouts. These types of exercises only require a mat and some workout clothes, so they’re not expensive either. You can try doing some bird dogs, chair squats, side lying circles, and lying hip bridges. In case you’re not sure how to do these, it’s easy to find instructions online.
Resistance band workouts
If only using your body weight is not demanding enough for you, you can also include resistance bands in your workout. These rubber strips will add some more resistance to your at-home exercise sessions. They will not set you back a lot and you can use them to strengthen your core and thus improve your posture, balance, and mobility. You can try doing some bicep curls, lateral raises, leg presses, and triceps presses.
Dumbbell strength training
To take it to the next level, you can also use dumbbells and do some strength training. In addition to helping you with weight management, this type of workout can also alleviate symptoms of depression, osteoporosis, back pain, and diabetes. Do some front raises, bicep curls, triceps extensions, and overhead presses, but make sure not to overdo it.
Something else you can try is chair yoga. Seeing as how you are sitting down, you are putting less pressure on your bones, joints, and muscles while still improving your flexibility, balance, mobility, and strength. Moreover, it can also boost your mental health and promote better sleep. If you can’t find a local class, find instructions online to do seated cat and cow stretches, twists, overhead stretches, and the mountain pose properly.
Perhaps you can also find a local water aerobics class. In case you have arthritis or some other kind of joint pain, doing exercises in water is ideal as it takes the pressure off your joints. Leg lifts, arm curls, flutter kicking, standing water pushups, and aqua jogging are all great exercises that can improve your balance, strength, and flexibility.
As you can see, just because you’re getting older, it doesn’t mean that you cannot exercise anymore. As a matter of fact, exercise can actually help you live longer and there are many alternatives to opt for.