Elderly Exercise: Keeping in Shape After 60

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Did you ever go to your regularly scheduled doctor appointment and, in the midst of it, he tells you, “hey, you need to start exercising, or your health will take a downward trend.” Immediately after, you get into panic and anxiety mode, wondering how to start. 

The thought can be intimidating, especially if you are in your senior years and have never engaged in serious physical activity. However, no age is limited to engaging in physical activity, and, in your elderly years, you have all the time and flexibility to do this at your own pace. Beyond the physical benefits, exercise is known to strengthen your mental capacity. Patients receiving Alzheimer’s & Dementia Care often engage in guided exercises to help brain development. In this article, we shall discuss some of the best exercises that health practitioners would recommend seniors to can engage in:

Strength Training

Strength training generally helps improve the general quality of life by improving physical and mental strength, which is vital for every human being. It is also recommended for people with chronic illnesses such as arthritis, osteoporosis, heart disease, obesity, and back pain to manage the symptoms. 

To be effective, you can use tools such as resistance bands or dumbbells and other non-tool exercises repeatedly done for a certain amount of time through a program that ensures that you do not injure yourself. It also provides that you follow a healthy nutrition program that helps your body muscles recover and give you the resilience required to do it effectively. 

A good strength training program should help rotate along the back, arms, hips, legs, and stomach with a good trainer. A two-day weekly program works well for most focusing on a warmup, the routine, breathing, and progressing more into it safely as you continue to build up your strength. An excellent way to test muscle endurance is by walking around or uphill, on the stairs, or the road. If you feel some form of fatigue, then it means that your muscle endurance is decreasing, and vice versa. 

Taking a Walk

Walking is one of the most underestimated forms of exercise as many think it does not significantly impact our health. However, it is easy to start and offers great paths to improve your health. Walking helps your body burn excess calories, build stamina, and maintain your heart’s health. 

A thirty-minute walk each day should be enough to start feeling the benefits. The easiest way to start is to make it a daily routine as you go about your errands. You can involve your family and friends to make walking a social experience or have a solo walk with some music in your ears. 

Yoga

Falls are a significant cause of accidents amongst older people. Because of this, doctors and professionals often recommend balance exercises to reduce the risk. Yoga is a low-impact activity that builds balance, flexibility, and muscle strength. By strengthening these traits, your loved ones will be at ease, knowing that you can get around without losing balance. It is easy to get free guided introductory classes with standing and sitting options to help you get started.

Pilates

Like yoga, pilates workouts involve beginner-friendly and low impact exercise that is gentle on the joints. Pilates focuses on breathing, building a firm core, balance, stability, flexibility, and alignment. 

Over time, it has been concluded to improve severe symptoms of conditions such as Arthritis, Parkinson’s disease, and Multiple sclerosis. Mats, Pilates balls, foam rollers, Pilates rings, and other accessories are tools used to ensure that your joints do not strain while at it, with most exercises performed while sitting or in a reclined position. 

Water Aerobics

Water aerobics is a popular activity for all ages, with swimming the most popular option. Water aerobics helps improve flexibility, balance, and strength. Swimming can be technical for some, but this should not discourage you from enjoying other water aerobic activities. These include; aqua jogging, leg lifts, flutter kicking, standing water pushups, and arm curls. Water workouts exert less pressure on the joints, and the body buoyancy ability helps relieve pressure on the joints. 

The easiest way to begin exercising is to find activities that you enjoy doing, and that way, you will do them without feeling like they are a chore. To maintain the momentum, you can also join a group or build a network of friends you exercise with as you challenge each other to get better and encourage each other to overcome the challenges at hand. Above all, remember that exercise and a healthy diet routine ensure that your general wellbeing is on point. 

About the Author

Jenn Walker is a freelance writer, blogger, dog-enthusiast, and avid beachgoer operating out of Southern New Jersey.