Exercise is crucial in leading a healthy lifestyle—no matter your age. For seniors, it is vital as it can improve their balance and reduce their risk of falls. Also, regular physical activity helps seniors prevent diseases, improve their overall health, and boost their cognitive function. But what if you haven’t worked out for a while? How can you have a safe re-entry into the active world? Don’t fret, as we’ve listed the best exercises for seniors with any fitness level. Just be sure to check with your physician before you try any workout regimen.
Walking is one of the most accessible yet least stressful forms of exercise for seniors. It helps strengthen your muscles and is an excellent cardio activity, lowering your risk of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Ten thousand steps a day are recommended for the general population, but seniors can target fewer steps or shorter distances each day.
You can build a daily habit of walking by finding an easy-to-moderate trail through a nearby park. Or you can simply walk the perimeter of your house or any familiar building. Listening to an audiobook or a good playlist can also stimulate you during your daily walk. But what if you have some mobility issues? Don’t fret, as you can still walk every day to stay active with the help of mobility support devices like walkers and rollators.
Do you have a pool at home or access to a community pool? Try water aerobics. Working out in the water is low-impact, making it ideal for those with arthritis & other forms of joint pain. Additionally, water comes with natural resistance; you can do strength training without using weights. In other words, water aerobics exercises can help boost your strength, balance, flexibility, and overall health with minimal stress on your body.
Start by exploring easy water aerobics exercises for seniors. These include flutter kicking, aqua jogging, arm curls, and standing water push-ups.
Pilates is another low-impact exercise suitable for seniors. It helps improve core strength, balance, and flexibility in older adults. It typically requires yoga mats, exercise balls, and other workout accessories to help you build strength without doing high-impact routines. Some great pilates exercises for seniors include side circles, step-ups, leg slides, thigh folds, and modified plank. It’s best to have an expert trainer to guide your Pilates workout regimen.
Resistance Band Workouts
Resistance band workouts are accessible for seniors, including beginners. They can help strengthen your core, which boosts your balance, posture, and overall mobility. Plus, doing these workouts require only affordable materials. All you have to do is buy some resistance bands with varying resistance levels to help you with progressive exercise. Some resistance band workouts ideal for seniors include lateral raises, leg presses, and bicep & tricep curls.
As with any exercise routine, it’s best to seek the guidance of a professional fitness trainer to help you perform resistance band workouts safely. Also, check with your physician if these exercises are ideal for your current physical and overall health condition.
Older adults experience muscle loss over time, which can lead to a decrease in the ability to metabolize protein, hormone problems, and a host of other physical health issues. Fortunately, you can combat the effects of muscle loss by performing bodyweight workouts. You can simply do step-ups, side lying circles, chair squats, and other simple bodyweight exercise routines. Plus, you don’t need any workout equipment or accessory for these workouts, except maybe for a mat that can help soften your body’s impact with the floor.