Easy fitness activities for seniors
A healthy lifestyle isn’t limited by age. With a mindset shift happening in the last few years, older people too have started picking it up. People above the age of 65 years are now becoming more active, and have vastly improved their fitness.
Apart from being active, working out offers several long-term benefits like less pain, better mood and a lower risk of lifestyle diseases. That being said, it’s important to consult a specialist so as to build a physical health program that works for the individual.
In this article, we’ll be diving deep into some common physical exercises for elderly people.
How Much Activity Do Older People Need?
Before we talk about the best exercises for older people, it’s important to understand the level of activity required for them.
Given below is a detailed overview of the same:
- Get at least 150 minutes per week of moderate activity (includes walking or any other activity that can get your endurance levels up).
- At least 2 days per week dedicated to muscle-building workouts.
- Regular stretching and mobility exercises to improve balance.
Easy fitness activities for elderly people
As mentioned previously, in this section we’ll be diving deep into some easy fitness activities for older people.
Apart from covering how these activities help you stay fit, we’ve also included some recommendations to make the most of them.
Water aerobics has become extremely popular in the last few years. Not just young people, but older individuals too have taken it up as part of their routine. These types of exercises are ideal for both arthritis patients and those with joint pain, since water’s buoyancy puts less pressure on the joints.
In addition, water also offers natural resistance, thereby eliminating the need for weights while indulging in strength training. Such types of exercises improve the body’s strength and flexibility, while putting minimal stress on your body.
Some popular water-based exercises are Leg lifts, Aqua jogging, Standing water pushups, etc.
Chair workouts are low-intensity workouts similar to water aerobics. They help in improving the individual’s strength, balance and mobility among others. These exercises are more accessible and don’t strain the muscles and joints.
Additionally, some studies also suggest that these exercises help improve your mental health. It also enables them to sleep better, offering a greater sense of well-being.
In case you are looking for a better alternative, you can also buy a seated elliptical for seniors or a recumbent cross-trainer.
Yoga is amongst the most popular exercises for elderly people. Apart from improving flexibility, yoga exercises reduce anxiety, lower the heart rate and help you breathe better. Yoga for seniors is usually considered a relaxing activity, and has also been shown to improve sleeping patterns as well.
This is especially helpful among older people with diabetes, as it helps you regulate insulin production and improve cholesterol and glucose levels.
Resistance-band exercises are yet another fun activity for seniors. These bands are usually rubber strips that can add resistance to your workouts. They help reduce the stress on your body, and are easily accessible.
In addition, it is also a relatively cheap option compared to iron weights. This makes resistance bands perfect for seniors to exercise at home.
These workouts help improve core strength, posture and mobility. Exercises you can do are Lateral raises, Bicep curls, Leg press, Band pull-apart. There are also a ton of free resistance band workouts available on youtube that you can check out.
Walking is probably the easiest form of physical activity for seniors. That being said, it can sometimes be difficult for some seniors to walk long distances, and these goals can thus differ from person to person.
Compared to younger individuals, seniors can opt against walking a whopping 10,000 steps per day. In case you’re having joint pain or can’t walk properly, a smaller number of steps can also be undertaken.
Walking promotes healthy living, and also lowers the risk of heart diseases. If you’re suffering from colon issues or diabetes, walking is a must-do in your daily list of activities.
If you’re unable to walk longer distances and want to workout at home, we’d suggest you buy a long stride elliptical trainer for a comfortable workout. The long stride of the machine ensures that tall individuals do not experience any joint pain during the workouts.
Bodyweight workouts are also a great option for seniors who want to stay fit at home. They help in managing blood pressure and diabetes, apart from increasing bone density. Indulging in body weight workouts at least once daily can also significantly boost your blood lipid profiles.
Moreover, bodyweight workouts are affordable, and don’t require any fancy equipment. Most of these exercises only require a mat and comfortable clothing to get started. Again, youtube can help you with a ton of workout options .
Elderly people need to look after their fitness even more once they age. Having an active lifestyle is helpful, and allows the person to live a more fulfilling, healthier life.
We’re sure these exercises would help them stay active and maintain their performance levels up to the desired levels.