As you age, it becomes harder to move around. However, exercise is still an important part of your health. Just because you’re not as fast as you once were doesn’t mean you can’t work some cardio or endurance exercises into your daily routine. To get you started, here is a list of some fun and low-impact ways to exercise for seniors.
Walking is a great way to get moving. Anyone can do it – all you need are some good shoes. Walking is easy on your joints; just make sure you do some light stretches before and after to help avoid injury. To make walking a little more fun, pick a scenic area to explore or do some window shopping. Mall walking is a very popular activity among seniors.
When walking, it’s important to focus on your posture to keep from hurting yourself. Your back should be straight and your shoulders rolled back. If anything feels uncomfortable, consider talking to your doctor.
Dancing has cardiovascular benefits, and it also helps improve gait and balance. According to a recent study, dancing could actually help prevent serious injuries from falls. Consider taking a senior dance class, which will also allow you to meet other seniors.
Swimming is a great exercise for anybody, but especially seniors. Water relieves stress on your bones and joints, making it easier to move around, plus there’s a low injury risk. Swimming laps conditions your whole body, but water aerobics or water jogging also offer many health benefits.
Grab your old bike and take it for a spin! Cycling is a great cardiovascular workout, and it also strengthens your legs, which in turn improves balance. In addition, cycling has been found to ease arthritis pain, lower blood pressure, improve mood and it may even reduce your chance of heart attack. You can ride around on a bike outside or on a stationary exercise bike indoors.
Doing stretches helps improve your flexibility and range of motion. You should do these before and after any exercise, but you can also do stretching on its own. Just make sure that you are doing your stretches properly to avoid injury.
Some light weightlifting will build up muscle to improve your overall health. If you don’t have weights, you can easily do this exercise with items found around your home. Try lifting canned vegetables or half-gallon milk jugs instead.
The best way to lift is to focus on one muscle group at a time. Start with what you can, but work your way up to doing 30 minutes per muscle group, two times a week with at least one off day in between for that particular muscle group.
Doing Yoga/Thai Chi
Yoga and Thai Chi are great ways to improve strength, balance and coordination. They also help reduce stress. These exercises are important to do correctly so that you don’t injure yourself. It’s highly recommended that you find a class to take instead of attempting to learn it yourself. Many facilities offer senior classes that will take you at a pace perfect for your age group; however, if you cannot find a senior class, a beginner class will suffice.
Golfing is a very popular activity among seniors, and it actually has a lot of health benefits. Golf increases flexibility and strength. Swinging back the club builds muscles and improves your range of motion, and walking from hole to hole helps with endurance. If you can’t walk the whole course, you can get a golf cart to ride on, but you should still try to walk what you can.
Get your exercise while making your yard look pretty! Digging and planting helps work your muscles, making you stronger. If the amount of bending over required for gardening is too hard on you, invest in a gardening stool that will allow you to sit while you plant. Alternatively, you could also use pots, a raised bed or trellis to get the same experience without having to bend. These are also good options if you live in an apartment.
Playing With Your Grandkids
If you have grandkids, a day with them could be just what you need to keep you active! Chase them around, walk around the zoo with them, take them to the park – anything to get you moving.
Doing Your Chores
Even something as simple as doing your household chores can be good exercise. Making the bed, picking up the living room or vacuuming are a few chores that can get you moving.
These are just some examples of exercises that seniors can do. Anything that’s active but low-impact will help keep you in good health. If you have any questions or concerns about whether a particular exercise would be beneficial to you, consult a doctor.
We’ve also put together ideas for summertime exercise! The list includes both indoor and outdoor options, as well as activities for physical and mental health.
What are your favorite exercises?