Exercise and nutrition are essential components of a healthy lifestyle throughout life, and as we age, our needs constantly change. A growing body of research shows that regular exercise is especially important for older adults and that more and more seniors are choosing active rather than sedentary lifestyles. In this article, you will learn about the benefits of exercise for older adults, the seven best types of exercise for older adults, and some exercises that can be dangerous to the health of older adults.
Health Benefits of Exercise for Older People
As we age, our biology changes, giving older people different reasons to keep fit than younger generations. While there are health benefits to being physically fit at any age, the health benefits for physically fit older adults are even more tangible. Doctors and researchers say that older people should stay as active as possible without overexerting themselves. Exercise helps older people live longer, healthier and happier lives.
The Best Exercises for Seniors
Exercise is extremely important for seniors, but it can be hard to know where to start. If you haven’t exercised in a while, getting active again can be difficult. It is also possible that the exercises you are used to are not ideal for older adults.
Before you start exercising, it is important to consult your doctor to make sure you are healthy enough to exercise and to find out which exercises are ideal for your current fitness level.
Here is a list of 7 Best exercises for seniors you can try right away! :
1- Aqua aerobics
In recent years, aqua aerobics has become a very popular form of exercise for all ages, but especially for older adults. Exercising in water is ideal for people with arthritis and other forms of joint pain because the buoyancy of the water reduces stress on the joints. In addition, water offers natural resistance, so you don’t need weights for strength training. Aquaerobics classes improve your strength, flexibility and balance with minimal strain on your body.
Great aqua aerobics exercises for seniors include:
- Water jogging.
- Leg lifts.
- Standing push-ups in the water
- Arm curls.
2- yoga on a chair.
Like aqua aerobics, chair yoga is a low-impact form of exercise that improves muscle strength, mobility, balance and flexibility – critical aspects of senior health. Yoga in the chair is an accessible form of yoga that puts less strain on muscles, joints and bones than more traditional types of yoga.
In addition, chair yoga has been found to improve the mental health of older adults. Those who practice chair yoga regularly have better sleep quality, fewer cases of depression, and better overall health.
chair yoga exercises for seniors include
- Stretching over the head
- Sitting cow stretching
- Sitting cat stretch
- Mountain pose in sitting position
- Sitting turn
3 Resistance band training
Resistance bands are stretchable strips of rubber that add resistance to your workout, reducing the strain on your body. Training with resistance bands is easy to use and accessible to beginners. This form of exercise is becoming increasingly popular among older people because of the relatively inexpensive initial material cost, making resistance band training ideal for home exercise. In addition, these exercises are ideal for strengthening the spine, which improves posture, mobility and balance.
Workouts with ribbons for the elderly include:
- leg press
- Triceps push up
- Side curl
- Bicep curl
- Ribbon spread
Pilates is a popular low-impact form of exercise developed more than a century ago. Pilates exercises emphasize breathing, alignment, concentration and core strength. Typically, mats, Pilates balls and other inflatable accessories are used to develop strength without the stress of strenuous exercise. Pilates in the elderly has been proven to improve balance, develop strength and increase flexibility.
Some Pilates exercises for the elderly include:
- Mermaid movement
- Side circles
- Food slides
- Step elevators
- Toe circles
One of the least strenuous and most accessible forms of exercise is walking. Walking is more challenging for some older people than others, so distance and step goals vary from person to person. For the general population, 10,000 steps per day is recommended for a healthy lifestyle, but people who have difficulty walking or joint pain may choose a lower number as a goal. A PLOS One study found that walking 10,000 steps reduces the 10-year prognosis for mortality by 46%. Walking promotes a healthy lifestyle, strengthens muscles and reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and colon cancer.
Walking exercises for the elderly:
- Find a moderate path in the park
- Find a walking route for exercise
- Walk the perimeter of a familiar building
- Find an audiobook or playlist to stimulate you as you walk.
6- Weight Training
Muscle loss can be devastating and debilitating for older adults. About a third of seniors live with severe loss of muscle mass, which can lead to hormonal problems, decreased ability to metabolize protein, and other problems. Weight training is one of the best ways to counteract the effects of muscle atrophy in older adults. One of the main benefits of weight training is its affordability. The materials needed for weight training are minimal; most weight training requires workout clothes and a mat to cushion the impact on the floor.
Some great bodyweight workouts for older adults:
- Chair Squats.
- Bird dog
- Lying hip bridges
- Side lying circles
7- Strength training with dumbbells
Strength training has been proven to alleviate symptoms of diabetes, osteoporosis, back pain and depression, as well as help control weight. Strength training also helps increase metabolism and better control glucose levels. Dumbbell exercises are one of the best strength training methods for seniors, as long as they are done with proper precautions. Dumbbells allow seniors to isolate muscle groups to strengthen them, while improving balance and flexibility.
Some ideal dumbbell exercises for seniors:
- Curved row.
- Triceps extension
- Biceps curl
- Upper abs
- Front lift