Regardless of what stage of life you’re in, some form of regular physical activity is always essential. Still, it’s even more important for seniors as it can help them maintain their independence, reduce the risk of falls, and positively influence their overall well-being. Thankfully, there are many different ways for people in this age group to maintain an active lifestyle.
It’s no secret that our bodies become weaker and less efficient as we get older. That’s why it’s crucial to alternate between different types of exercise instead of focusing on just one. Mixing balance and strength may be the key to staying flexible and mobile as you age.
Of course, there’s no need to sign up for a gym membership right away. If you don’t know where to start, don’t worry – in the article below, we provide essential information about exercises such as shoulder rolls, ankle movements, or marching, along with senior-friendly activities like pilates or water aerobics. Let’s jump right into the subject.
Shoulder rolls are a great exercise for seniors that can help improve mobility and reduce joint stiffness. To do shoulder rolls correctly, start by standing upright and then slowly rolling your shoulders forward in circles. After that, reverse the direction of the circles and roll them backward for a few seconds. If you’re new to this exercise, aim for 3 sets of 10 repetitions each.
Of course, shoulder rolls won’t be as intense as training programs that you can find on websites such as lucasjamespersonaltraining.com, but still – make sure not to overwork yourself. If you feel like you want and need to do more sets, you can do it two times a day and slowly add more repetitions of this exercise to your routine.
Pilates is an excellent way for seniors to stay active without putting too much strain on their joints and muscles. This low-impact exercise focuses on strengthening the core, improving posture, and increasing flexibility. It’s also a great way to reduce stress levels and improve overall well-being.
If you are new to pilates, it is best to start with a beginner class so that you can learn the basics before moving on to more challenging exercises. You can use YouTube tutorials to learn the basics or sign up for virtual classes.
However, if you find in-person classes in your area, it may also be an excellent opportunity to meet new people and make friends your age who are also interested in getting healthier.
Ankle movements are an excellent way to encourage circulation in your feet, ankles, and lower legs. To perform this exercise, you will need to rotate your ankles in both directions – clockwise and counterclockwise – while sitting or standing. You should also point and flex your feet as you rotate the ankles. This exercise helps to promote better blood flow throughout your limbs while improving your balance and coordination.
Remember to be careful if you previously had issues with sprained or broken ankles. Start slowly, and don’t push yourself to make as many repetitions as possible. If you feel any pain during or after the exercise, you may need to consult a doctor.
Seniors may also start moving more by participating in water aerobics. The best part about such an exercise is that you can try it without even knowing how to swim. If you enroll in any classes, you’ll quickly discover that water aerobics can improve your heart health as well as your muscular strength and joint mobility.
The best effects will come from doing water exercises two to three times each week, which gives your body plenty of time to recover in between sessions. You can attend the lessons up to five times a week if you feel comfortable doing additional exercise, but be careful not to overdo it.
March in Place
This is one of the simplest and most convenient exercises for seniors. All you need to do is stand in one place and march on the spot. Just make sure to resist the temptation to round your shoulders and head forward and instead keep the crown of your head high.
This exercise can help seniors improve their balance, increase their range of motion, ease joint pain, and engage the whole core. To make it even more effective, you can add weights to your arms or legs while marching.
As a bonus, it’s easy to adjust the intensity of the exercise by increasing or decreasing the speed of your march.
Exercising is an important part of staying healthy, especially as we age. Thankfully, there are plenty of beneficial strength and balance exercises for seniors that are easy to do and don’t require special equipment.
Some of the most popular activities include water aerobics, ankle movements, and Pilates. If you sign up for any classes or decide to join the gym, you will also have an opportunity to meet new people and find a workout buddy, which is a huge plus.
This way, you will not only improve your physical health but also maintain good well-being, increase your independence, and remain active for years to come. Take care!