Today’s guest author suggests three exercises that are safe for senior citizens. One thing is for sure: to sit down and never move is a sure path to aches, pains and illness. I once had a neighbor who broke his leg water skiing – and he was 97! Boo-rah.
Healthy seniors should exercise for at least 30 minutes per day, five days a week. Unfortunately, some methods of exercise simply aren’t appropriate for aging adults. The risk of injury coupled with intense workouts could lead to hospital time and make exercise less effective. By conversing with your doctor, you can learn about the types of exercise that are best for seniors. When choosing a method of physical fitness, look for three components: benefits, safety and intensity. By choosing exercise that fulfills all three requirements and following tips for healthy activity, you can stay safe and active even as your body begins to age.
Water aerobics. Water aerobics is hands-down one of the most beneficial types of exercise for aging adults. That’s because it combines cardiovascular activity with low resistance exercise while still remaining a relatively low-impact workout. Since the water cushions the joints, it’s even appropriate from seniors suffering from joint pain and arthritis. Another benefit that water aerobics offers is the ability to spend time with a group. Growing older can feel isolating, which is why social activities such as classes can help you feel more fulfilled. Check with your local recreation center to inquire about available classes and sign yourself up for a block.
Walking. Almost everyone can walk, which makes it one of the most cost effective ways for seniors to stay active while aging. Since it doesn’t require any special equipment, you can get started today by getting outside or hopping on a well-supported treadmill. Walking helps to raise the heart rate for proper cardio exercise while ensuring that your muscles and joints stay supple and active. If you have a pet, it’s a perfect time to go for a walk or you could even arrange to go walking with a friend.
Dance. If you’re looking for something slightly higher impact, look for a dance class targeted toward seniors, such as Zumba Gold. Zumba Gold is a lower impact version of Zumba that still aims to raise your heart rate. If traditional methods of exercise seem boring to you, a dance class for seniors can help you get your body moving so it feels less like exercise and more like a casual encounter with people your age and with similar fitness goals. The result is time out of the house and the fulfillment of your daily physical fitness requirements.
As you work to stay active, remember that you should always consider safety above all other issues. Wear a supportive pair of shoes and exercise with a partner to help in case of falls or other problems. If you feel dizzy or faint during exercise, stop what you’re doing, take a break and call for help and never work harder than you feel comfortable doing. When exercising, drink water to replace moisture lost through sweat; it keeps you hydrated and can even help with healthy skin care. If you’re in doubt of the types of exercise that will work the best for you, talk it over with your doctor, who knows your specific limitations and how your body will react to certain types of activity.