Exercise Ideas and Tips For Senior Citizens
Life doesn’t stop at a certain age. Instead, it opens new chapters even as one grows into their later years. Staying healthy will help you appreciate life even more as a senior citizen, and exercising is one of the best ways to achieve that healthier lifestyle. But what exercises are suitable for an older individual? Here are some exercise ideas and tips for senior citizens to consider.
Take a Walk
You don’t have to do anything too physically challenging as an older adult to gain great benefits. You can exercise your limbs and get a good cardio exercise by simply taking a walk around the block, or in a park. In fact, walking is noted to be the best and most accessible exercise for senior citizens to enjoy.
When you take a walk, you improve your heart health, lower your blood sugar, and reduce chronic pain. The best part is that this increases your social engagement as you meet other people along the way. A little friendly social interaction does wonders to boost mood and mental health.
When taking a walk, it’s best to set small goals first and to exercise in increments. This allows older adults and first time exercisers to slowly incorporate walking into their routine and form a healthy habit.
There are also variations that can be incorporated alongside walking, or just by themselves. For example, if there is a lack of space, senior citizens can try marching in place – though make sure to do so in a safe environment where a balancing bar or chair is available for stability. Just stand straight, lift the knee as high as possible before lowering it. Repeat this process for each leg and try to aim for at least 20 times. This improves balance among providing strength and cardio effects.
Another variation is the single-limb stance. First, ensure you are standing by a solid foundation: this could be a chair or a table. Hold on to the back of it or on the edges of the table, lean in, and lift one of your foot while balancing on the other. Switch standing on one foot to another and try to work up to holding the pose for a minute or more.
Doing yoga is a perfect way to relax and soothe the soul for all walks of life, and can definitely be beneficial to older adults. It’s one of the few physical exercises that are not limited to a certain age group, and by its nature is gradual in its pursuit. By doing yoga, an older adult can help balance his or her hormones, refresh the mind, and rejuvenate the spirit.
To ease back pain and stiffness, senior citizens may try the “upward salute.” This is easily done as well. Stand straight and reach up to your arms over your head—extend it as much as you can so that you’re stretching your body from head to toe. Of course, as always, safety is the most important thing, so be aware of your environment and go slow
Another excellent and easy to do position, the Child’s pose is a great way to regulate digestion and loosen up your lower back and pelvis. Simply kneel on the floor and put your toes together. Keep your knees hip-width apart. Your arms should rest on your thighs. When you exhale, try gently lowering your torso between your knees but only so far as you feel comfortable.
Next, with your palms facing down, extend your arms alongside your torso. Then, slowly relax your shoulders toward the ground, listening to your body to find the point where you feel gently pressure but not strain. Rest in this post for as long as you need to.
This is perhaps one of the most delightful ways to exercise as a senior citizen, and is widely available in a group setting. In fact, this is more comfortable than taking a walk, especially if one is starting to experience joint or mobility issues. There are a variety of exercises older adults can do in the water safely.
For example, aqua jogging. As the name implies, this is simply jogging in the water. It’s slower and more relaxing than jogging on land. In fact, it’s actually a very good low-impact exercise to keep a healthy heart and muscles strong. You can try jogging from one side of the pool to the other, or you can try jogging in place.
Senior citizens might also enjoy flutter kicking: simply flutter kick with your legs to move you to and fro in the pool. You can use a kickboard, or you can flutter kick in place by holding on to the side of the pool. It may not seem like much, but these low impact exercises are incredibly valuable in ensuring a healthy lifestyle.
With so many exercises available, senior citizens definitely have varied choices for physical activity. In fact, something as simple as gardening will engage the mind and body and can be both relaxing and fun. The important thing is to keep the body, and mind, engaged through some type of exercise so that one can continue to appreciate a life full of enjoyment and health.