May 27th is National Senior Health & Fitness Day where over 100,000 seniors will participate in fitness activities across the United States. The ultimate goal of this day is to keep seniors healthy and fit, as well as to encourage them to start an appropriate exercise routine. Exercise benefits people of all ages, however there may be differences in the types of exercises performed depending on age and mobility.
The ideal exercise program is composed of cardio, strength training, and balance. Here are a few senior-friendly exercises within these categories:
It is recommended to walk 10,000 steps a day, which is roughly 5 miles. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to go on a 5 mile walk everyday. Even things like walking through the grocery store or around your house count towards your daily step totals. Taking the stairs is another easy way to get in more steps, while also strengthening your muscles and practicing balance. In order to keep track of your steps, you can purchase a cheap pedometer or even use an app on your cell phone.
Another great exercise for seniors is swimming. Swimming helps to strengthen your muscles, heart, and lungs all while minimizing the amount of impact your bones and joints endure. For this reason, swimming is especially beneficial for people who have arthritis, osteoporosis, or old injuries that make other types of exercise difficult.
If swimming isn’t really your thing, but you are still looking for a low-impact exercise, then cycling may be perfect for you. Like swimming, cycling is a cardiovascular exercise that strengthens your muscles without straining your joints.
Use a chair for core exercises
An easy way to strengthen your core muscles without exhausting yourself is to use a chair. Start by sitting at the edge of the chair with your feet on the floor, chest up, and shoulders back. Then, keep your hips in the same place, but move your upper body backwards so that your shoulders touch the back of the chair, then return to your starting position. This will help engage your core muscles without placing too much strain on your back or other structures.
Squatting exercises your leg muscles and can reduce the need for ambulatory devices like canes, walkers, or wheelchairs. However, it is important that you squat safely by using the correct technique. To safely squat, push your hips back so that you are sticking out your bottom and then bend your knees. To keep your squat safe, don’t push yourself to go too far and keep your knees behind your toes. If you are unsure about how to safely squat, you may want to schedule an appointment for a professional to instruct you.
Using Resistance Bands
Resistance bands are elastic bands that have varying levels of resistance. They are used in coordination with specific exercises that help strengthen certain muscles. Resistance bands are also affordable and can be easily used in the comfort of your own home.
As you can see, there are a variety of exercises available for seniors that are both effective and safe. With that being said, you may want to discuss these options with your doctor to determine which would work best for you. Additionally, working with a professional such as a personal trainer or physical therapist may also be beneficial to help you establish a workout routine that is beneficial to your needs.
Dr Kumar is a highly skilled physician dedicated to providing gentle and effective care to patients of all ages and medical conditions. He achieved his degree in a field that he is passionate about. He believes that excellent health begins with education and has made his mission to enlighten patients to ways they can take greater control over their health. Dr Kumar is committed to continuing education activities and remaining aware of the latest advancements in Medical Science to maintain current high standards of care.