It’s harder to stay active as you age because your body is naturally less resilient. You don’t have the same amount of flexibility, energy, and motivation after you’ve passed your 40s and are well into your 50s, 60s, and 70s. But exercise is one of the best ways to keep your body energetic and youthful. It’s a great way to remain energetic and keep a number of health problems at bay.
Most elderly people fear exercise because they don’t want to strain their muscles and cause any injuries. Bodies are slow to heal as you get older so it’s vital to come up with a routine or perform exercises that would help keep you healthy and ensure your body isn’t harmed by them. Here are some exercises suggested by health expert Jason Hope that work best for older people:
Walking –If you’re just starting out, walking is an excellent exercise. It’s low-impact and doesn’t require any special tools or investments. You can control the pace and intensity of the workout and get as much or as little out of it as you need. Walking will also help elevate your mood and give you some piece of mind.
You’ll feel great when you take a walk in your neighborhood park and soak in the sun and savor the fresh air. One of the best advantages of this exercise is that you’re not trapped within the four walls of the gym. Walking is relatively low-intensity, especially if you maintain a slow pace and exercise only for 30 to 45 minutes.
You can gradually increase the pace and the time, and challenge your body whenever you feel like you need to do something extra. If you want something more intensive, you can always include small bouts of jogging when you walk. Just bear in mind that you shouldn’t push your body too much.
If you have arthritis, walking and jogging might not be the best exercise for you. Yes, we’d still recommend a short 30 minute walk daily, but swimming is a great alternative. It offers all the benefits of walking, without the consequences. You don’t strain your knees and joints, because they’ll be cushioned by the water.
Swimming will also help elevate the mood and keep you happy because there’s just something about being in water than can be relaxing and fun. This is another exercise you can control so you can choose the number of laps and the amount of time you spend in the pool.
If you’re just starting out, we recommend you limit the amount of laps you take because most people don’t realize just how much they’ve exercised until after they get out of the pool. While the water might cushion your body, it can be sore and stiff after the exercise is done.
You can take up sports that offer a high level of physical activity. They can be fun and help you socialize while they offer the benefits of exercise. The best sports to take up are those that require considerable range of movement and still allow you to set the pace. We don’t recommend activities like football or volleyball because they can lead to injuries.
Golf is popular but it doesn’t offer enough exercise to be effective. The best sports to take up at this age would be tennis, badminton, or cycling. These allow you to set the pace and aren’t as high-impact as other activities. Just be sure to start out slow and maintain an even pace. Don’t try to reach for shots that require you to stretch too much and try to keep your body balanced. That would help you avoid any injuries.
Yoga or Tai Chi
These two are some of the most popular exercises among the elderly and with good reason. Both promote flexibility, balance, and overall health. They help improve the range of movement and can be very peaceful. Both yoga and tai chi comprise of a range of movements and poses that utilize all muscles and joints of your body.
You can control how much or how little you want to do, which will help minimize the risk of injuries. You’ll find many yoga and tai chi clubs that offer programs and group sessions for seniors. You can join them and enjoy exercise along with socializing.
You can also hire a personal trainer or learn through online videos. However, we don’t recommend learning through online videos because wrong postures and stretches can lead to injuries. When a professional actively monitors your exercises, they can correct all errors in your posture and ensure you don’t make mistakes.
These exercises will help keep you fit and healthy as long as possible. All you need to do is eat well and be regular, and you’ll feel enthusiastic and energetic. They’ll also help you keep age-related problems at bay and help with issues like blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease.
Author Bio: Lisa Henard taught GED classes for 29 years. She’s now retired and freelance health writer. Her main gig is in depth writing. She has been married to her husband for almost 50 years.They have two sons and 12 grandchildren. She lives in Winamac, IN, 100 miles north of Indianapolis and 100 miles south of Chicago.