Top 5 easy ways to exercise for seniors

Older Adults, Nutrition & fitness, Staying heart healthy / Sanitas Medical Center

Top 5 easy ways to exercise for seniors

Ageing is a normal part of our lives. Along our lives, we walk through stages that start with our birth and end with growing old. It is nothing we should be ashamed of. On the contrary, we should be proud to greet our “Golden Years”.

We should enjoy the benefits of being mature if we are already there, or prepare ourselves to face them with courage and passion if we haven’t reached them. To reach this definite state of mind and to keep ourselves healthy, we need to remember four principles: social interaction, adequate nutrition, good sleep and physical activity.

Today we are going to talk about physical activity. Having more than 65 years of age is not an impediment to practicing a sport. Health benefits of exercising extend beyond age and social environment, and should be practiced by everyone. But nothing is more important for seniors than staying active the way they can, with the tools they have.

Being an elder is not bad

People tend to feel that the Third Age is the worst part of our lives. But that is not true, and ageing impact on our lives depends on us. It is undeniable that older people possess more knowledge and expertise than most of us, and some studies have shown that aging favors identity, self-esteem, and enhances emotional regulation.

Yes, there is a slow decline in some aspects of our lives, but there is also improvement in others, like with any other stage of life.

An important point here is that we have to work a little harder to keep our health in good status. Having an active lifestyle is very important in this equation. Let’s explore some of the easiest and most accessible forms of exercise we can implement during our golden years.

Embracing all the aspects of exercise

Exercise has a lot of health benefits. To fully enjoy its benefits, we have to train in 5 areas, and there is a specific exercise that focuses on each of them. It’s not only pleasant for the elder population; and can be practiced by families and groups of friends as a manner of integration.

Aerobic training is the term we use to describe those exercises that we do when we rhythmically move large groups of muscles for a sustained period of time. They are also called cardio activities. They strengthen the respiratory system and make us more fit. Any exercise you choose depending on your capabilities, from walking your dog to taking a dance or a water aerobics class is a good way to start.

Once you are comfortable with a routine, you can aim yourself to higher amounts of exercise time, up to a total of 5 hours per week. This will keep heart diseases far from your life.

Strength training exercises are those that make muscles work more than they normally do. They are specific to the muscles used during the activity, and improve overall strength of the trained muscle groups. Using a resistance band is one of the best ways to improve our strength over localized muscle groups. Training one group per session is a good way of impacting all muscles over large periods of time.

Balance training helps us with our lower body strength and self-awareness. These exercises are very useful to make us conscious of our bodies and the positions they adopt. In the end, they allow us to improve balance and reduce the risk of falling. They are as simple as walking heel-to-toe, practicing standing from a sitting position, or just performing a single leg stand. When you perform these exercises, you will feel all the muscles in your legs and even your brain working to prevent you from falling

Endurance is important when training our body. It is improved by doing an activity for an increasing period of time. Although the aim is not to compete, you should aim high when you are training. This is what really makes our body stronger.

For example, you can start walking for 10 minutes without resting until you feel it is very easy. Then, you can start increasing how far you go over time. These increases can be small, but if you keep doing them, your body will respond positively to it.

Finally, one of the most important aspects of exercise is training flexibility. Most of the time it is overlooked when thinking about exercising, and many people think that because they cannot stretch completely the exercise is not working. This is absolutely not true. Flexibility, as endurance, increases over time and with practice. Flexibility enhances the ability to move a joint through its full range of motion. Exercises like tai-chi or yoga fit perfectly to this category and are easy and pleasant to practice in all ages.

Exercise helps us in maintaining our body weight and muscle mass in good shape, aids in keeping us in good health and prevents diseases from appearing. It is our boarding pass to a good life in terms of physical and mental wellbeing. It even helps us to strengthen our bonds and create new relationships.

You can look for neighbors or local groups to guide you through this adventure, or you can visit Sanitas where we offer monthly classes of Zumba, Silver Sneakers and other training sessions guided by certified physical trainers. At Sanitas, we work to create new bonds over a healthy community, and we know one of the best ways to do it is through exercise. Come and visit us at Sanitas or contact us through our website for a new experience in healthcare!