Help Your Senior Loved Ones Exercise With These Tips

Elderly man and woman on treadmills.

If you’re under the impression that exercise should only be a priority when you’re young—you couldn’t be more wrong.

Exercise is crucial for people of all ages, especially elderly folks. Seniors who don’t get enough exercise are more prone to health problems such as muscle stiffness, chronic pain, and injuries.

Older people who exercise regularly are both physically and mentally healthier than those who don’t work out. Exercise is also known to enhance flexibility, improve strength, reduce pain, boost heart health, and prevent cognitive decline.

Read moreHelp Your Senior Loved Ones Exercise With These Tips

Exercise for Seniors – Best for Body and Mind

Todays exercises for seniors are a lot different from exercises for seniors in the past. They now have improved nutrition, exercise and equipment for exercise they use. In this article I will explain the many ways seniors can stay healthy and live a happy fulfilling life. I will break down the best categories in the way they can do it.

Walking


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Here are some benefits for seniors with walking. One, it is just as good as running and uses up the same number of calories. IT’s been shown that when exercising, walking and running were uniformly effective at managing participants’ cardiovascular health. Two, walking is much easier to stick with for most seniors will continue walking for the rest of their life unless disease or illness prevents them. (my mother is one of them and still walks today at 88 years old but a little slower though.) Three, walking enhances cardiovascular health by lowering the risks of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and cardiac arrest. Four, walking helps keep the weight off by reducing cravings for sugary foods, even in stressful situations. Which leads to obesity in seniors (and in people who are younger too.)

Five, walking increases your immune system. People who walk regularly get sick less severely and for smaller periods than people who don’t exercise. Six, walking decreases the risk of elderly people developing a physical disability by 41%, helping participants maintain their independence and stay in their homes. Seven, walking averts and lessen pain from arthritis. It lubricates knee and hip joints and strengthens the surrounding muscles, reducing the strain placed on the joint itself. Eight, walking will add years to your life. By walking 25 minutes a day, seniors added up to seven years to their lifespans (that makes me want to walk more already.) This is just one example of how walking is great for you and I am sure there are many more. But start small at first and work your way up, and you might want to ask your doctor first before you start.

Swimming


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Swimming is another way seniors can stay fit in both mind and body. Swimming can be relaxing and it helps melt away stress, put you in a good mood and it’s a great way to meet other people too. Another benefit is that improves muscle tone and strength and every time you move in the water, you’re putting every muscle group to work. How about this boost – flexibility swimming itself can also help heighten your flexibility in your legs, hips, neck and arms. It can also help boost your posture and lessen back pain.

Help improve heart health by making your heart more fit and boosting your cardiovascular health and resistance. Swimming may also improve your circulation, lower your blood pressure and lower your risk of heart and lung disease. IT’s easy on the joints, as you’re not weight bearing on them, for those who suffer from joint pain and discomfort. It’s a full-body workout that keeps the pressure off your hips, knees and spine. It may reduce the risk of osteoporosis it can improve bone mineral density. This is great news for women and some men too.

Cycling


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There are four great reasons for seniors to so cycling. One: cycling is great for your immune system and heart. It lowers your chance for heart disease and it also lowers your risk to a host of other health issues too. Two: it helps keep weight under control by boosting your metabolism, which means you’ll burn calories even when you’re at rest and it assists with burning fat and gradually building muscle, especially thighs, rear end, and hips. Three: it builds stamina and strength (I should know because I ride bikes a lot) and cycling makes your whole body work, not just your legs. Four: it is a low impact exercise because it is not hard on the body like jogging that puts pressure on joints and other parts of the body.

Yoga


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Yoga is another form of exercise that keeps seniors feeling like they are teenagers again. There are six areas that yoga can help seniors with which I will share with you. One is stability and balance. By reinforcing your muscles and improving your balance, yoga prevents the likelihood of falls, which can be a common problem for seniors and the elderly. Yoga also motivates mindfulness – how we focus on our thoughts, emotions, environment, community, and the world around us. Also, yoga helps reduce anxiety by reducing your sympathetic nervous system’s fight or flight reaction, which can cause inflammation of all kinds and wreak havoc on your mind and body.

If you’re suffering from high blood pressure, yoga can help here to reduces oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is one of the underlying causes of high blood pressure, especially for older adults. Yoga can help improve joint health and flexibility if your joints tend to be achy or stiff. Finally, yoga can improve your respiration. It helps you breathe better by the breathing techniques it involves.

Pilates


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For those of you that do not know what Pilates is (like me) it is a low impact flexibility and muscular and endurance movement that emphasizes proper postural alignment, core strength and muscle balance. I will list some of the exercises it does and how it helps seniors or anybody. One benefit is that it increases flexibility. You work toward a safe way to extend in length and stretch of the muscles and range of motion within the joints. Yoga also improves strength without bulk. It focuses on building toned muscles that work ideally within the context of the body as a whole, and the fitness needs of a person as they move through life. One of the movements is called “Pilate Improve Posture” which focuses on movement through mat and equipment exercises and trains the body to express itself with harmony and strength. There are many more forms of exercises with Pilates. This is just a sampling of them for you.

Aerobic


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One last area that is great for seniors or any age group is aerobic exercise. It helps lower blood pressure, burn off calories, improve heart health, maintain joint movement and increase your energy levels. By the way, start off with a little at first – say like five minutes a day – then gradually increase from there to build up your endurance level.

It is never to late

Exercise for seniors today is a fun and a best way for them to stay healthy in mind and body. So if you know a senior who is in pretty good shape and wants to maintain it or even improve it a bit encourage them to keep moving! And if you know someone who is not in such good shape, encourage them to start moving!