A lot of people forgo exercise as they get older due to the belief that their ageing bodies are more prone to injuries. In fact, according to statistics, the average American over the age of 65 spends 4.3 hours a day watching television, yet only 22% of these seniors follow a workout routine. Physical activity becomes even more crucial as you get older; living a healthy lifestyle has been shown to reduce the symptoms associated with old age and also allows you to maintain a greater degree of mobility and independence.
Exercises Suitable for Seniors
You may not be able to train with the same intensity as someone in their 20s, but there are still plenty of viable workout options for older folks, including but not limited to:
Weight lifting – Weight lifting is often shunned by older people due to the risk of injury or preexisting conditions like osteoporosis. However, weight lifting provides a terrific workout for people of all ages provided that proper form is used and you don’t use more weights than your body can reasonably handle.
Walking – walking is a low impact exercise with numerous benefits, such as reducing the likelihood of developing coronary heart disease, improving blood pressure and blood sugar levels, and reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Yoga – Yoga combines stretching, poses, and deep breathing for improving flexibility and developing strength in the core muscles. Many practitioners have also reported improved mind/body connections.
Water sports – Water makes an excellent workout environment because it acts as a buffer that minimalizes undue stress on a body in motion. If your local fitness gym includes a pool, enquire whether it holds senior water aerobics classes. More fitness centers these days are incorporating water aerobics sessions catered primarily towards seniors due to the benefits and rising popularity of water-based workouts.
Before Beginning an Exercise program
Make sure to speak to your doctor before beginning a new exercise routine. Preexisting health conditions should also be taken into consideration. If you’re a diabetic, for instance, then your exercise may have to correspond to your meal or medication time. Also be cognizant of any bodily sensations or pain during exercise that may be a sign that something is not right. While you should feel some level of pain or “muscle burn,” it’s a whole other matter when the pain feels sharp and abrupt. Should this happen, stop immediately and contact your physician.
Exercise for Seniors Brings About Long-Term Rewards
Exercise is even more crucial for seniors in order to maintain a healthy and supple body. Whatever exercise program you commit to, start slowly and be sure that the routine is one that you can reasonably maintain on a long-term basis.