Exercise plays a significant role in your life cycle – be it childhood, adult life, or when you’re old. If you actively exercise, it will show when you’re old. A balanced diet plan and exercise are two requirements that never change. Besides, there are many benefits of exercise for senior citizens like – mobility, flexibility, and good health, but the main advantage is – to maintain independence.
People over 65 should focus on exercises that offer a combination of strengthening mobility and balance. As more seniors are opting for an active lifestyle instead of a sedentary one, the importance of exercise has only increased.
However, many exercises are unsuitable for seniors. Let’s dive deep and know about some benefits and the 5 best exercises for senior citizens.
Benefits of exercises for senior citizens:-
- Falling is a big deal for older adults. Every 11 seconds a senior citizen is admitted to the hospital for a fall injury.
- Reduction in bone mass is one of the reasons for falls. Regular exercise provides the right balance to the body and combats the loss in bone density.
- Physical fitness has a big role to play in improving your immunity, which means it not only makes you stronger on the outside but also inside.
- With increased immune function, your body can overcome the virus and fight infections in a better way.
- Regular exercises reduce the risk of old-age health problems. In elders, it can reduce the risk of Dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s disease. Exercise improves the mind’s cognitive functions and motor skills.
5 Best Exercise for senior citizens:-
Number one on the list, it is the best exercise for elders. It is a less intense type of exercise than jogging.
- Brisk waking will exert less impact on your joints if you have knee problems. Besides, brisk walking is about gait – how fast you can switch legs.
- It maintains good posture and improves your immune function.
- Additionally, brisk walking can lower the risk of heart diseases, stroke, cancer, and diabetes.
You can find a moderate trail through the Park or visit your local garden. You can find an audiobook or a playlist for stimulation.
- At first, you can start slowly, and once you are comfortable, it will be a habit for you.
At this age, its the best to opt for brisk walking.
You’ll be able to tackle the exercise regime with strength training.
- It can improve stamina and provide the right balance to your body. Besides, the exercises can improve brain functions and strengthen bones.
- Apart from improving muscle mass, it can help manage chronic health conditions like – back pain, obesity, arthritis, heart diseases, diabetes, and depression.
- Also, you can increase your metabolism level and reduce body fat with strength training.
- Sit to stand is the easiest exercise to practice for strength training. You can start by sitting on a chair with a high seat, but keep your hands in the same alignment. Keep a second chair in front for safety.
- Once you are ready, stand up and sit down repeatedly. If uncomfortable, you can place a cushion on the seat for a higher surface.
- You can repeat this 10 times. Besides, the exercise can help you get up from a low couch or toilet seat, preventing the need for assistance.
Yoga is a practical way to build immunity. For seniors, it is the best exercise to practice daily. Besides physical benefits, it actively improves mental stability and consciousness.
- Yoga provides flexibility, strength training, and balance.
- As a structured practice of regular strengthening exercises, it helps with muscle building.
- Yoga asana is easy to practice as there is no stress exerted on joints, which makes it a good option for those who suffer from knee pain or joint pain.
- Senior citizens can also practice chair yoga – a low-impact form of exercise that improves mobility and balance. Additionally, it has been shown to improve mental health in older adults.
- Chair yoga can also reduce instances of depression and improve overall well-being.
- You can practice the exercise by overhead stretch, seated cow, and cat stretch.
Some seniors also practice seated mountain poses and twists as a part of their daily routine.
Swimming is a low-impact exercise that is easy on the joints, making it an ideal choice for seniors. It is a good form of aerobic exercise because your joints are not under stress – your body weight is supported by the water.
- Swimming is a good option for seniors suffering from arthritis and osteoporosis.
- The added resistance provided by water also helps gain body strength.
- Additionally, it can reduce the risk of heart diseases and stress.
- It acts as a total body workout on all the major groups – back, leg, shoulder, chest, and abdomen.
Most importantly, seniors enjoy swimming with their group of friends.
Pilates is a low-impact exercise that is safe for senior citizens. The exercise emphasizes more on core strength and breathing techniques.
- Additionally, it improves balance, develops core body strength, and also improves flexibility.
- Pilates improves bone density and posture. Low bone density means that your bones can break easily.
- Maintaining bone density is essential for flexibility and preventing bone-related problems.
- Loss of strength and mobility is common at this age. Pilates can improve balance and gait through specific balance training.
At a beginner level, you can practice side circles, mermaid movement, step-ups, food slides, and leg circles;
Exercises senior citizens should avoid:
- Bench press and leg press
- Long-distance running
- Abdominal crunches
- Squats with dumbbells or weights
- Upright row and deadlift
- Rock climbing and high-intensity interval training
- Any strenuous activity which is uncomfortable
It is essential to consult your doctor or a personal trainer before any exercise. You can ideally start with one-to-one sessions. Individual sessions with a qualified instructor can confidently help you learn about the exercises.
Besides, you need to start slow, so that your body gets adjusted to the exercise pattern. Don’t leave a chance when it comes to health – you should stop at the first sign of pain or abnormal discomfort.
Additionally, wearing the right clothes can make a difference in your comfort level. Choose comfortable shoes to walk if you are starting with brisk walks. Exercise at this age will help you maintain the right momentum in life, so practice it daily.