Young or old, having a daily routine can go a long way to keeping you on track for your exercise goals. It is very beneficial to have a few go-to workouts that you can really enjoy. When you dread your workout routine, it is unlikely you will follow it for very long. It can also be helpful to have friends accompany you on workouts and exercises. Sometimes a little healthy competition can bring out the best in everyone!
In terms of the specifics, there are countless exercises out there for seniors to choose from in terms of maintaining or improving their current way of life. As with any new lifestyle changes, it is always best to start slow and work your way into a pace that fits your health. Every exercise plan for a senior should start with a conversation with your physician. Safety is always priority number one. Having said that, let’s get to the meat and potatoes (or maybe tofu and broccoli) and explore our Top 5 Exercises for Seniors.
Swimming is one of the most amazing exercises known to man. It works more muscles than we even know. One of the many benefits is the impact it has on your heart health. Swimming daily has been known to improve your general endurance and make your heart stronger. Swimming is also much easier on your joints than other exercises such as running and can greatly increase the mobility of elderly men and women. This makes it an almost universal exercise for seniors everywhere.
When some people hear “swimming” for an exercise, they immediately dismiss it because they never learned to swim as kids. This is a mistake. There are countless exercises that can be performed in the water. These exercises can be done in the shallow end of the pool. There are several water resistance exercises such as arm curls, calf raises, and leg swings.
The idea of doing yoga can be intimidating to many seniors, especially men. But more and more the evidence shows that adding yoga to your fitness regimen can be seriously beneficial. In fact, yoga made our list of easy activities seniors can do to stay active at home. The first and most obvious benefit for seniors that practice is improved balance and stability in daily life, meaning fewer potential trip. It is very low stress on your bones and joints. It can actually improve the flexibility of your joints.
Many people are not aware of the positive impact that yoga can have on your respiratory system. This is true especially in women. Practicing yoga regularly can really help you clear your mind. It provides tools that you need to deal with difficult mental struggles in life.
3. Weight Training
Seeing weight training among the top exercises for seniors may seem crazy, but in reality strength training with weights is among the best ways to stay limber and in shape. Muscle density, for example, is a problem that many seniors will face. A few simple weight training activities in your fitness regimen can greatly reduce these losses. We aren’t talking about bench pressing 400lbs, either. Some light dumbbell lifts can make a world of difference.
Some of the recommended dumbbell lifts for senior weight training include:
- Overhead presses
- Arm curls
- Tricep extensions
- Forward lunges
- Shoulder squats
Practice these exercises using only body weight, almost like an active stretch, then try incorporating 2.5 or 5 pound weights.
Pilates is among one of the best exercises for seniors. Like yoga, this is another activity that may not sit well at first with senior men. This is very unfortunate because of the countless benefits that they can have for your health.
In many ways, pilates is very similar to yoga in terms of benefits. Basic pilates routines are a great way to exercise your core, which contributes to overall stability and balance. Even more, pilates can also work against the effects of debilitating medical conditions such as osteoporosis and sarcopenia.
One of the more obvious workouts for seniors is walking. Many people are not aware of the insane amount of benefits walking can have for seniors. This is one of the easier workouts to get friends to accompany you. It is also one of the easiest to build some friendly rivalries. There are countless products out there that fit on your wrist that count your steps. You can have a whole group within a family working to win the daily or weekly step title. It is a great way to stay connected to the grand kids.
Some of the benefits of walking include maintaining a healthy weight, building muscle strength, lowering your risk of falls, and increasing stamina just to name a few. Best of all, walking is an exercise that can be performed almost anywhere. If the weather is bad or it’s too cold the local mall can be a great place to get your steps in!
Ready to put the rubber to the road and start sweating? Physical fitness is something millions of people strive for, and with a good plan and some hard work you can get yourself on track to lead a healthier and happier life in as little as a few weeks. It is important to note that developing a top notch exercise plan should involve consulting your physician beforehand. You want to be sure that you are not jeopardizing your health be attempting an exercise that is not a good fit for you.
A physical evaluation will answer any questions you have, and you could even request a list of any exercises that are potentially off limits. Safety is paramount when developing your routine. So what are you waiting for? Get your evaluation and get going ASAP!