Many seniors recognize the importance of incorporating exercise into their daily lives, but might be skeptical that they are physically able to do so. Perhaps you think you’re too old and frail, or don’t know what types of exercises are safe for seniors of your age. You might be worried about injuring yourself and don’t know where to start. It doesn’t make a difference what age you are, or your current physical condition; regular exercise will be beneficial to your health. A senior who has an exercise routine will feel more energetic, be more independent and their symptoms of pain or illness will be better managed. Plus, exercise is good for your mood, mind and memory! Starting a regular exercise routine doesn’t mean you have to spend hours at the gym or do strenuous, heart-pounding workouts. Start slowly, adding more activity into your life in small ways, even if it means simply taking the stairs instead of the elevator or parking at the far end of the parking lot. At American Senior Communities, we offer our New Energy Wellness program to improve your current fitness level. When you join, you’ll have access to Nautilus 2ST equipment and a Health Promotion Coordinator to help you achieve your fitness goals.
Types of Safe Exercises for Seniors
There are three main types of exercises that are safe and beneficial to seniors. Make sure you get clearance from your doctor before starting a routine, and build up your workouts little by little. Stick to it so you start to feel like exercise is more of a habit than a chore. Mix up your routine so you don’t get bored by blending these three types of exercises below:
- Cardio/Aerobic/Endurance Exercises – These exercises use large muscle groups in rhythmic motions over a specified period of time and get your heart rate up and your breathing faster. These exercises, which include walking, swimming, hiking and cycling, help promote independence because they improve your endurance for daily tasks like house cleaning and running errands.
- Strength/Resistance and Power Training – Strength training uses repetitive motions to strengthen your muscles. These exercises are beneficial because they help prevent loss of bone mass and improve your balance- both of which are key to mobility and avoiding falls.
- Stretching/Flexibility Exercises – Stretching helps warm up your muscles before a workout and cool them down when you are done. Better flexibility means less muscle soreness and stiffness, and stretching helps maintain your flexibility. If your muscles are loose and supple they are less prone to injury, and you’ll have a better overall range of motion.
It’s never too late to start exercising! Whether you are healthy or managing an illness or injury, exercise is important to implement into your lifestyle.