Older adults and seniors may be getting to a place where they can appreciate a more sedentary lifestyle, but that doesn’t mean they should skimp when it comes to getting exercise. As our bodies age, not only is it important to engage with low-impact exercise to keep us fit, it’s crucial to find the best type of stretching and movement that won’t stress our bodies. Whether a senior has a reliable senior care provider or a trusted friend or family member who’s willing to help, it’s always important to turn exercise into a fun social activity in order to create a routine. If you want your senior to get more exercise, here are a few exercise ideas to try.
Exercise doesn’t have to mean going crazy on the elliptical or even breaking a sweat at the gym. For seniors, it can be as simple as doing a bit of stretching in the morning. Thanks to so many free exercise apps and YouTube channels out there, seniors now have the ability to stream workouts straight to their home. If this is a bit too high-tech for the senior in your life, no worries. You can always give them a few tips for some hip openers and easy Yoga poses on your own. Stretching at the start of the day is a great way to increase circulation, improve digestion, and get the heart rate going at a healthy pace.
Swimming is not only one of the best forms of exercise, helping to engage almost every muscle group. It also feels the best, especially for older bodies that are prone to aches and pains throughout the day. If your senior has access to a pool, they can take some time to do solo laps in the morning or sign up for an aqua aerobics class to engage their joints and muscles in some easy yet vigorous stretching. These are great classes for seniors to engage in since they act as a social meetup as well.
You don’t have to be young to care about building up your muscles and engage in strength training. For seniors, keeping all muscle groups in good shape is an important way to keep the body strong and less vulnerable to common accidents such as falls and slips. Using a few low-weight dumbells or endurance bands, seniors can engage in a few short exercises per day that will help keep them strong, vital, and well-coordinated for longer.
You might not think that taking a long, brisk walk counts for a lot exercise-wise. However, you’d be wrong. Seniors need to keep their blood circulating and their joints active. The best way to do this without any risk of overdoing it is to go for long walks daily. This can also easily become a fun social activity or simply a way to engage with the outside world, especially on days when the weather is lovely and temperate. As long as seniors keep the pace steady, it can do a world of good for heart and joint health.