August 1st, 2019
It’s a given. As we age we tend to slow down and become more sedentary. It may be due to any number of reasons – health problems, weight or pain issues, worries about falling, or merely because you simply feel exercising isn’t for you. But maintaining an active lifestyle is important to your health at any age, and perhaps even more so in old age.
Studies have shown that physical activity is the number one contributor to longevity, adding extra years to your life—even if you don’t start exercising until your senior years. Plus by getting moving you can help boost your energy, maintain your independence, protect your heart, manage symptoms of illness or pain as well as your weight, and even fortify your mind, mood, and memory.
PHYSICAL & MENTAL HEALTH BENEFITS OF EXERCISING
*Helps you maintain or lose weight
*Reduces the impact of illness and chronic disease
*Enhances mobility, flexibility, and balance
*Boosts mood and self-confidence
*Aids overall brain functions
HOW TO BUILD A BALANCED EXERCISE PLAN
By mixing different types of physical activity you can keep your workouts interesting while also improving your overall health. The key is to find activities that are enjoyable—based on the four building blocks of fitness. These are:
THE BEST (AND WORST) EXERCISES FOR SENIORS
Because every human body ages at its own pace and possesses its own unique abilities and limitations, it’s important to know what exercises are good for you, and which ones to avoid.
*Walking – natural movement combined with versatility.
*Squats – vital for lower-body strength; performed best with a chair.
*Pushups – better (and safer) for seniors than a chest press.
*Rows and lat pull downs – substitute dumbbells and work your upper and middle back at home.
*Leg press – due to a lack of lower back protection, spinal discs can be damaged.
*Crunches – repetitious flattening and arching of your back can do more bad than good.
*Running – if you’re young & lean or have been running all your life, fine; if not, don’t!
*Upright rows & chest presses – both can make existing problems even worse.
AND WHAT IF YOU HATE TO EXERCISE?
Certainly you don’t have to work out until you’re soaked in sweat or every inch of your body aches. But if you truly have an adversity to physical exertion, think about activities you enjoy and try to incorporate them into an exercise routine. These could include:
*Listening to music or audio books while lifting weights
*Window shopping while mall walking
*Taking photos while on a nature hike
*Watching a favorite movie or TV show while on a treadmill
*Walking the golf course instead of riding a cart
*Asking someone whose company you really enjoy to be your exercise buddy!
Mature people exercising happily in the gym.