Health & Medical

Fitness for Seniors (The Best Exercises for Older Adults)

Exercises for Seniors: Guide to Physical Activities

Everyone should exercise, no matter how old you are. Physical activity keeps our bones, muscles, and mind in great shape. As we age, fitness becomes even more important. It allows us to stay strong and flexible and is a great way to prevent injuries, illnesses, and to slow down the aging process. Fitness for seniors has gained popularity over time as people start to realize the benefits it brings. If you want to stay healthy, keep on reading to see our list of best exercises for older adults.

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The best senior care Houston has to offer will tell you that engaging in physical activities and exercising is an important aspect of staying healthy for almost everyone, including the elderly.

There are 4 main types of exercise and physical activities, with each yielding its own unique set of benefits.

Aerobic/endurance for Seniors

These are activities that increase your heart rate and your breathing. Some aerobic activities and exercises include swimming, biking, dancing, jogging, running, and other similar activities.

Aerobic exercises help keep your entire cardiovascular system healthy. There are many aerobic classes for seniors available. You can probably find many gyms that offer these classes, but if you prefer to stay at home you can always find great classes online. Remember that you can always modify any exercise to your own fitness level, always listen to your body.

Strength Training for Seniors

These are activities and exercises that increase your muscle strength. Some strength training activities include lifting weights and exercising with resistance bands. Strength training is one of the best types of exercise for seniors. It not only strengthens your muscles but also your bones, which can help decrease your risk of osteoporosis or help you slow it down.

After we age our muscles start to deteriorate. Strength training keeps our muscles strong and keeps us safe when we do all types of movements, from standing up to picking up something from the floor.

Balance Exercises for Seniors

This variety of exercises are designed to improve your balance, thereby preventing you from falling. Exercises such as yoga, water aerobics, and pilates all help you strengthen your core and increase your balance. Keeping your core strong is key to balancing, as it is what helps keep your body centered. If you have ever slipped and managed to steady yourself and not fall, you’ve got your core to thank.

Flexibility Exercises for Seniors

These are exercises that stretch your joints and connective muscles, thereby helping you stay limber.

With the above in mind, it is important to stagger your progress in as far as exercising is concerned, especially if you have not been exercising. Start slow and progress slowly to meet your goals. Additionally, it is important to note that your exercise requirements are dependent on your health and your age. As such, check with your physician to know what is right for you.

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Generally, people aged 65 and above should engage in exercises dependent on their health and age. Moreover, older adults need to focus on doing two types of physical activities on a weekly basis; muscle-strengthening and aerobic exercises.

The Importance Of Physical Activities for Seniors

Senior citizens can gain a lot from the exercise. The most basic of the benefits of engaging in physical activities is that it makes you feel better on an emotional and physical level. However, there are plenty of other benefits to accrue from physical activities, including:

  • Helps control your blood pressure, weight, and cholesterol levels while helping you manage conditions and ailments such as diabetes, arthritis, and other bone and joint problems.
  • Reduces the risk of a stroke, heart attack, and even some cancers.
  • Helps with pain management
  • Improves joint movement
  • Reduces the risk of falling, a major concern as you age

How Much Physical Activity Is Enough for Seniors

If you are 65 or older and you are fit and you do not have any ailments or health issues that affect your mobility, you should try and exercise or be active on a daily basis. Ideally, you should engage in at least 30 minutes of moderately intense activities on most days, if not all days.

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That being said, engaging in some activities is better than engaging in none. You should aim to do something, your age, weight, ailments, and abilities notwithstanding. Your goals should be to be as active as possible, engaging in activities that activate your flexibility, balance, strength, and general fitness.

What Is Moderate-Intensity On The Aerobic Front?

These types of activities are the activities that raise your heart rate and breathing just enough to make you break a sweat. If you can walk but cannot sing when you are engaged in an activity, you are engaging in a moderate-intensity activity.

Some of the activities that are classified as moderate-intensity activities include:

  • Fast walking,
  • Water aerobics,
  • Line and ballroom dancing,
  • Cycling in a level ground or a low gradient hill,
  • Playing doubles tennis,
  • Canoeing,
  • Playing volleyball, and
  • Lawn mowing.

Some of the daily routine activities we engage in do not count. As such activities such as shopping, housework, and cooking do not count in your 30-minutes of exercising. They are not hard enough to break a sweat and raise your heart rate.

As much as you exercise on a daily basis, it is important that you minimize the length of time you spend whilst sitting down, either watching TV, listening to music, or doing other activities.

A sedentary life is very harmful to your health. Physical inactivity is a leading cause of many diseases, from circulatory problems to cancer and even psychological disorders. If you are sitting, standing, or laying down for long periods of time, you’ll start to feel discomfort. A good practice is to make sure to move your body at least once or twice per hour. You can walk around or stretch a little to give your body a little energy boost.

What Is Vigorous-Intensity On The Aerobic Front?

Vigorous-intensity activities are the sort of activities that cause you to breathe heavily, hard, and fast while increasing your heart rate a lot. When carrying out such activities, you will not be capable of saying more than a few words without pausing for breath.  Should you feel unwell, you should stop.

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According to the Australian Physical Activity Guide for Older Australians, it is not recommendable for the elderly to exercise at this level a lot. If you have lived a life of vigorous exercising or physical activities, you can carry on keeping safety in mind. Importantly, follow the recommended procedure and guidelines.

What Are Muscle-Strengthening Exercises for Seniors?

Muscle-strengthening exercises are typically counted assets and reputations. A rep is a complete movement of the exercise routine such as lifting weights or doing a sit up. A set entails grouping a number of reps.

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For the recommended activities, try to carry out 7 to 13 rep for a complete set. Furthermore, try and do a set that targets every muscle group. However, if you can do, 3 to 4 sets. Try to push on until you feel it is becoming very hard to carry on to gain from this type of exercise.

Examples of muscle-strengthening exercises include:

  • Moving or carrying heavy loads such as groceries
  • Stepping and jumping activities such as dancing
  • Heavy gardening, including digging or shoveling
  • Exercises that deploy your body weight as resistance weight, including as push-ups or sit-ups
  • Lifting weights
  • Yoga

For the best outcome, do strength exercises 2 to 3 times every week. If you are new to exercise (especially with weights) make sure to enlist the help of a knowledgeable friend or a personal trainer. They will be able to teach you the proper form to prevent any injuries.

If weight training is not your cup of tea, don’t worry! Senior fitness should be about staying active and having fun. The best way to find something you like is to try new things. There are many different types of exercises for older adults, so you are definitely going to find one that you love.

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