5 Essential Exercises for Seniors – What Kind of Physical Activity Do You Need?
You know that physical activity will keep you in good health, whether you are 22 or 67. In fact, I find physical activity even more important in seniors.
When we’re in our 20s, our bodies will recover anyway and can repair in no time.
As you get older, functions slow down. We get rusty – slow reflexes, slow recovery times, and so on.
Physical activity is, therefore, more important after a certain age.
Most seniors will find it difficult to accept that they’re no longer as agile as they used to be – it’s perfectly normal if you feel this way.
This article will give you 5 essential exercises for seniors to keep in good physical condition, but you will also learn a few things to help you accept the natural aging process.
How to Start Exercise Routine for Seniors – Tips
I’m too old! I’m too fragile! No, it’s not for me, but for young people. No time for me! These are nothing but excuses.
You are retired, so you have all the time in the world. You are aging, so you need to exercise more than a youngster. And no matter how fragile you are, there are exercises for all kinds of fitness levels. If you don't know where you're at physically, take some time to measure your fitness level and get to work.
So, how do you get into the habit of exercising?
Start slowly. The key to being successful in this venture is to build up slowly. You also need to keep it safe, hence the necessity of low-profile exercises. Over exercising will lead to injuries. Even for the young turks, targetting both biceps and triceps on the same day, or training your shoulders after chest day might not be the way to go.
Begin with a low-intensity exercise. For example, you can take a mile walk. Warm up a little before.
If you want to exercise at home, warm up a little by performing basic movements, then work on your arms and legs – again, low intensity is key. Leave the planche lean for the youth, stick to a few push-ups or assume the plank position for a short while.
Keep hydrated even if you don’t feel thirsty – otherwise, you’ll feel tired way faster, causing you to quit this venture. Drink water before the workout, but also throughout the workout.
When about to exercise, wear the right clothing. If you go for a walk, you need proper shoes.
If you suffer from any conditions, you should discuss this venture with your doctor first. Physical activity is still a must, but you need to do the right things to keep safe.
Also, keeping your diet in check is just as crucial. Avoid eating sugar, stick with naturally-sweetened meal replacement shakes, the likes of Kachava, Huel and Shakeology are great picks.
Exercise on a daily basis for a week, and you will feel better straight away – this is how you get into the habit.
At this age, you may not necessarily need goals, but if you try to achieve something, write it down and follow the progress – the progress is more motivational than the final result.
Finally, get someone else to join you. It could be a loved one or perhaps your best friend – someone of a similar age. A neighbor is just as helpful.
Top 5 Essential Exercises for Seniors
Here are 5 essential exercises for seniors.
Chair yoga is a low-impact type of exercise. You sit down and exercise in front of a TV or perhaps your laptop showing some workouts.
It will boost muscle strength, but also balance and mobility – ideal for seniors.
We all think about complicated poses when we consider yoga, but this form of it is accessible and provides less stress.
Furthermore, it will boost your sleep and reduce depression. Some exercises include overhead stretches, cow stretches, cat stretches, or twists – obviously, in the seated position.
Video: Chair Yoga
Here is a video demonstration on how to do chair yoga
Reaching 10,000 steps a day will keep you in a top-notch condition. It is, indeed, a bit of a challenge – again, start with a few steps and go up from there. To stay on track, it's wise to get a treadmill for home use. This doesn't have to be one of those robust incline treadmills, even one of those space saver exercise machines like the compact Nordictrack treadmill should do.
The activity will reward you with great views, extra energy, and a good sleep at night. Besides, get someone to join you, and the adventure will be even better – grab a backpack and have a picnic too.
If you feel lonely, there are lots of walking groups everywhere, so try to find some on social media.
Pilates is low impact and works on balance and flexibility. You may need to buy a ball or perhaps a mat. There are lots of exercises you can try, regardless of your physical condition:
- Side circles
- Step ups
- Food slides
- Leg circles
You can get exercise equipment like Pilates chairs that will help you significantly with doing Pilates.
Body Weight Exercises
Such workouts cover particular muscle groups or the whole body – full-body workouts are better for seniors.
There are lots of tutorials online – get one and do it as you go. Even if you can’t perform exercises perfectly, it takes time to get there, so just do your best.
Body weight exercises, also known as calisthenics, are just as good as doing exercises with weights, whether you go with calisthenics or weight lifting is up to you. Each has their benefits and proper uses.
Got a swimming pool nearby? Join a water aerobics group for seniors, and your body will thank you.
You can perform exercises like aqua jogging, flutter kicking, leg lifts, arm curls, and so on – everything while enjoying a bath.
Still undecided about the best exercises for seniors?
What Exercise Should a 70-Year-Old Do Daily?
Walking is probably the easiest and best exercise for ladies over 70 years old. If you can barely walk, opt for basic bodyweight exercises at home – plenty of workouts for seniors over the Internet.
How Much Exercise Should a Senior Get Weekly?
About three hours of light or moderate exercise will do on a weekly basis. Walk for half an hour daily, and you will easily reach this limit.
Bottom line, there are lots of workout ideas for seniors. What truly matters is to get into the habit of exercising even if you settle for simple essential fitness exercises.
Do something that you enjoy – such as walking in the countryside – and bring someone over for a more enjoyable experience.
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