Exercise and Fitness Ideas for Seniors
Just because you’ve reached fifty and retirement is just around the corner doesn’t mean that you’re unable to exercise and stay fit and healthy. These top tips for exercise and fitness ideas for senior people over fifty are sure to give you some great ways of staying healthy even if you do feel a little older.
Find Your Passion
With retirement not far off, now’s the time to think about joining up to some local groups to keep yourself occupied and active throughout your retirement. If you have a garden, it may be a good idea to get out in your garden more often to develop your passion for gardening and to get exercise that you need to keep you fit. Gardening is a great way to move more, including bending and twisting that is often seen in the activity.
Get a Dog to Improve Fitness
A dog is not only a great companion to have, but it is also a great way for you to keep healthy in your senior years. You will need to walk your dog several times throughout the day, and this can be a great excuse for getting out and enjoying some fitness exercises. Not only is walking the dog necessary, but the dog will remind you when it needs walking. This is a great way to keep you active as well as being a talking point when you meet people walking their own dogs.
Take Your Time
When you are exercising, you should make sure that you have plenty of time to work out. The more senior you get, the more important it becomes to incorporate a decent warm up and cool down into your fitness routine. If you want to go out running for example, you should set aside time for stretching your muscles before you begin, and then start off with a moderate pace to gradually build up your heart rate and warm up your muscles. If you do not leave yourself enough time to do this, you will find that you end up with tired muscles and even pains and trapped nerves.
Sign Up to The Gym
If you are over fifty, you will probably find that you do not know many people who want to work out with you in your age group. In order to stay motivated, it is a good idea to join a gym. Many gyms have exercise classes and you can choose the class that is best for you from the selection offered. There is no doubt that you are likely to be able to meet other people who have similar fitness goals to you and this will help keep you motivated.
If the classes are not for you, then the equipment at the gym will be a great way for you to work out regardless of the weather. Let’s face it, the older we get, the less time we want to spend out in the cold and rain exercising. The gym is always a pleasant place for seniors to exercise.
Go for a Swim
If you have any joint problems, you will know how painful it is to do most forms of high impact exercising. Knee, hip and joint pains prevent most people from doing things like running, but there are plenty of low impact exercises you can do. One great exercise that is good for seniors is swimming.
This is low impact and there is no way that you could possibly fall or cause any injury to yourself. You will be able to build muscle, strengthen your joints, enjoy a cardiovascular workout, and enjoy the soothing effect that swimming has on tired muscles too.
Key Ways to Stay Active in Your Older Years
Here Are Six Ideas to Keep You Active:
Senior adults whose age is sixty or more usually spend more than ten hours sitting or lying down on average. They usually take for granted all the active things they have enjoyed doing for so many years. But by remaining inactive, they are depriving themselves of being healthy, energetic, and pain-free. This also makes them vulnerable to falls, osteoporosis, weight gain, and cardiovascular diseases.
It may also prevent them from playing with grandchildren, leisure activities or meeting with friends – all important activities to keep up body and mind health. Studies have shown those seniors that have greater fitness have a lower risk of suffering from depression, dementia, stroke, type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Staying active isn’t only about exercising; it also means staying in touch with community, friends and family.
By leading a healthier, more balanced life, you will improve your chances of living longer, but you’ll also improve the quality of your life. The body declines as we get older, but being physically fit helps to slow such decline, says Dr. Nick Cavill, a health promotion consultant.
1. Exercise Regularly
Aim for 150 minutes at least of moderate activity each week. These can be divided into thirty minutes for five days per week. Besides lowering your risk of stress and a number of diseases, doing regular activity is also known to enhance your self-confidence and energy levels, as well as improve the quality of your sleep.
Weight training to increase muscle mass. There are programs which last only six – eight weeks and are made especially for senior adults and can be extremely beneficial. Make sure you’re working all the major muscles, such as your shoulders, arms, abdomen, back, hips and legs. Do yoga or Tai chi. Using slow, controlled movements, these types of exercises are excellent ways of building muscle strength, increasing your flexibility and balance.
2. Reduce Time Spent Sitting
Cut back on the amount of time you spend sitting or lying down during the day. When you spend too much of your time sitting down, it slows down your metabolism which has a negative effect on how your body breaks down body fat, or regulate levels of sugar in your blood and blood pressure. You can sit down less by:
- standing on the bus or train
- taking the stairs
- set a reminder to get up and walk around every thirty minutes
- swap TV time for a hobby or a task that gets you moving
3. Keep Learning
Being mentally active in your senior years will help keep you motivated to stay physically active. You can take a class at your local community college, or learn a new skill, or pick up a hobby that requires skills you haven’t used in a while, or ever.
4. Connect to Others
Meeting socially is just as beneficial as the exercise. So pick a class where you can meet others who have the same goals and motivations as you. Besides fitness classes, you can also join a conservation group where the aim is improving the environment, but it will get you moving and introduce you to new people as well.
5. Stay Motivated
Some people find motivation in being supple and aging well. Others stay motivated by the company they keep and the friends they meet when they attend fitness classes. It’s also nice to give yourself a reward or some kind of incentive as a pat on the back when you finish your class.
Making a plan and sticking with it releases ‘happy hormones’ in your brain which can be a motivation on its own. But looking forward to eating out, or watching your favorite TV show as you sip on a hot cup of tea gives you something to look forward to. It will also keep you going when you can’t face the idea of going out, as an emotional bolster to help keep you excited and enthusiastic.
6. Have a Purpose in Life
Volunteering gives you something to work towards. In addition, doing something good for others releases serotonin, a ‘happy hormone. You can also join a senior citizen’s club or plan to attend a local event every week or two. This will help you stay active, both physically and mentally, while having a positive outlook on life by doing the things that matter to you.
Exercises for Building Bone Mass and Density
In 2016, we live in an ever increasingly strange world, which promotes advanced drugs for thinning bones and bone loss, but overlooks simple exercise programs that are healthier and better for you. Alongside your diet, physical fitness is the number one way to maintain bone health. Through your diet, you are able to bolster your bones with much-needed calcium, while through physical exercise you foster the weight-bearing load that is needed by your bones.
Some people worry that having osteoporosis or low bone mass means it’s too late for them and that no exercise can save them. However, this is just not true. In fact, your bones can still develop - it’s just that you’ve ceased to load them. Weight-bearing exercises can be started at any time, whether you have osteoporosis, or whether you feel otherwise healthy. So let’s start growing and strengthening those bones with a few workout ideas.
Try Moving Your Body in New Ways
You’ve probably been used to moving your body in the same way all these years. Perhaps the most physical exercise you’ve ever done is the commute to work, or the short walk to the grocery store. In order to build and maintain bone mass and density, it’s time to leave your comfort zone and move your body in brand new ways.
For example, you could try yoga, Tai Chi, or you can go for something a little bit simpler like trying out some new dance movements. If you’re feeling confident, you could even take yourself down to a dance class.
Many people confuse weight-bearing exercises with weights, but they’re two completely different things. When we talk of weight bearing, we’re referring to how much of your body weight is held up while you are working out. As an example, walking is a better weight-bearing exercise than cycling, while swimming is not really considered to be a weight-bearing exercise at all.
Weights are also a good way to work out for seniors, and they generally refer to resistance exercises such as body resistance, circuit equipment, and weight machines. However, these resistance exercises can have some benefits; it is weight-bearing workouts that are more productive for building and maintaining bone mass and density fitness. This is because our skeleton is responsible for holding up our entire body. Therefore, what you need to do is carry your own body mass fairly frequently.
Exercises That Get You onto Your Feet
Getting on an exercise bike is useful for other aspects of your health and fitness, but it’s not the best for strengthening your bones. Instead, you should consider jumping on the treadmill when you hit the gym. Similarly, you should start walking the golf courses instead of hopping into a cart, while standing up to do some stretches during the commercial break is much better for senior fitness than snacking on some nacho’s.
There are other modifications as well, such as standing to do your make-up as opposed to sitting down. Instead of bathing, take more showers. Park further away at stores and while doing errands to force yourself to walk more.
Implement Balance Exercises
If you have low bone density, you’re at major risk of fracturing easily. One of the most usual ways a fracture can occur is after falling. For this reason, carrying out some balance exercise can firstly reduce your risk of falling, and secondly reduce your risk of fracture.
You could use a wobble board for a balance exercise, or even an inflated half-ball. Other balance exercises include Warrior III and the Tree Pose common to yoga. It’s worth noting that when we start a new balance program we’re a little bit susceptible to actually losing our balance. Your body takes a while to gain the necessary strength and muscle control, so you just need to be very mindful.
Healthy Aging for Seniors
Senior fitness does not only relate to being physically fit, it also comprises of a sense of purpose and passion for life. As we age, we undergo numerous kinds of major life altering events, such as physical changes, deaths of the people you love the most, loss of job, etc.
The manner, in which we handle these major changes and customary everyday stresses, are the solution to aging well. Maturing in a healthy way denotes constantly reinventing oneself including:
Aging is a Natural Process
Aging comprises of both negative and positive change however you can enjoy getting old if you comprehend what is going on with your body physically and mentally and taking steps to retain your health and fitness. There are a number of transformations that take place within your body as you grow older. Your bones, muscles, skin and brain might act in a different manner but do not let these changes catch you by surprise. Aging is a natural process which happens to everyone but getting older in a healthy and graceful way is possible for everyone.
There are a number of healthy aging tips which are excellent advices at any phase of life. Some of these steps are:
Stay Physically Active
It is extremely important to stay physically active by exercising on a regular basis. Exercising can help seniors accomplish and maintain an ideal weight, which also can be significant in handling a number of health problems, it also helps drastically in healthy aging and it also makes you feel content with physical appearance. It is also very important to be socially active with relatives, friends, colleagues and other people within your community.
Surround Yourself by People
Solitude and loneliness are considered as major barricades to healthy aging. Surrounded by people who you can turn towards for support is a safeguard against misery, adversity, and loss. Another very important factor required for healthy aging is eating a healthy and a well-balanced diet and limiting alcohol consumption and quitting smoking. Eating a low-fat, low-cholesterol and high fiber diet which includes fruits, vegetables instead of junk food drastically improves the chances of overall fitness in your senior years.
Visit a Doctor Regularly
It is also very necessary to go to the doctor on a regular basis. Regular checkups from a general physician, a dentist or optometrist helps in the early detection of diseases which can be cured if found early and as a result helps in healthy aging. Doctors also recommend proper sleep which is also a very important factor which shouldn’t be ignored especially by seniors.
Sleeping on a proper time schedule and waking up early significantly improves the health of a person. An adult needs an average of eight hours of sleep to stay healthy. Lastly, taking care of yourself physically is very important but it is also very important to look after your mental health as well. Look after your health and live a long and happy life.