According to the Centers for Disease Control and Preventive (CDC), nearly 30% of seniors who are between the ages of 65 and 75 and who have at least one chronic disease admit to being physically inactive. The CDC also states that 20% of seniors within the same age group who don’t have any chronic diseases are also inactive physically.
While it’s sometimes harder to stay active as you age, keeping fit is an effective way seniors can prevent and manage common chronic diseases. Try these 8 ways to keep fit in your golden years.
1. Gardening and other yard work
According to the CDC, seniors who are 65 or older and physically active look to gardening and other forms of yard work as their primary way to stay fit. Yard work tends to work out each muscle in the body because there are so many different motions involved. Yard work can include lifting, walking, stretching, pulling, and other forms of activity that can help you keep fit.
2. Walking the neighborhood
Another low-intensity exercise seniors do to keep fit is walking around this neighborhood. Start off with short distances each day, then build up to longer distances. Practice safety by getting a group together to walk with. This way, you can also enjoy some quality time with neighbors.
3. Stay hydrated
Staying hydrated in your golden years has many benefits. Hydration helps to maintain the proper function of your heart and muscles. Staying hydrated even allows your skin to look younger. Experts recommend to try and drink 64 ounces of water a day to keep healthy and fit.
4. Eat right
Not everyone’s dietary needs are alike. Depending on your body type and whether you have any chronic conditions, your dietary needs can be very different from your friend’s. However, experts say that generally, seniors need a high-fiber diet. Vegetables are a great source of fiber as well as seeds and nuts. Good nutrition helps you maintain a healthy weight.
5. Join a Seniors Fitness Class
Gyms and fitness centers usually offer fitness classes designed for seniors. There may be classes for water aerobics, Zumba, or even yoga. Joining a fitness class designed for seniors at your local gym is an excellent way to keep fit and make some friends in the process.
6. Pick up a sport
Reader’s Digest interviewed 15 senior athletes whose favorite way to stay fit is playing sports. They interviewed seniors from 59 years old to 95 years old. Many of these senior athletes participate in track and field competitions, while others play golf, tennis, basketball, racquetball, and many other sports. If you have a sport that you’re passionate about, search for a team to join in your city. This is another way to make friends while staying active.
7. Quit Smoking
If you smoke, now’s a good time to quit. Quitting smoking can do wonders for your overall health and fitness. If you are a Medicare beneficiary, look into your fully covered benefits for smoking cessation. Medicare offers services such as tobacco-use cessation counseling and lung cancer screenings.
8. Get Your Annual Wellness Check
Another benefit that Medicare covers at 100% is a basic wellness evaluation at your primary doctor’s office. This check consists of a review of your medical history, body measurements such as blood pressure, height, and weight, a short cognitive evaluation, and a screening schedule to help you make sure you get your necessary screenings on time. To make sure you’re staying healthy and fit, consider taking advantage of this free service.
If you’re unsure of what exercises and daily habits you should focus on to keep fit, consult with your doctor or a fitness trainer. They should be able to come up with a game plan for you that meets your body’s health and fitness needs.