This guest post was written by Jim Rollince on behalf of Gym Source. Staying active is important at any age, but especially so as we age. I hope the information in this article will encourage you to review your own exercise routine.
The benefits of exercise for senior citizens are many. In addition to reducing the risks of diseases like diabetes and cancer, exercise can also make older men and women feel years younger. These feelings are due to the combined benefits of improved mobility, energy, strength and balance, as well as greater flexibility and reduced joint pain. All in all, the advantages of exercise for seniors are hard to ignore.
When it comes to exercise for senior citizens, safety is a common concern. Due to factors like age and overall health, many individuals aren’t sure if exercise is safe or even possible. The good news is that mild to moderate exercise is typically safe for the majority of senior citizens, including those with health complications. In fact, exercise has been shown to improve many conditions in senior citizens, including diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, arthritis and more. Speaking to a doctor can help further calm any anxieties concerning exercise and safety.
So, what’s the best way for senior to get started on a workout regimen? The first step is finding an exercise that can be performed safely and comfortably. Workouts like the following are typically safe for seniors, and are also enjoyable and effective.
Swimming is aerobic exercise that also strengthens and tones muscles without putting unnecessary pressure on joints. For this reason, swimming is great for individuals with arthritis, back pain and osteoporosis.
Often dubbed the “fountain of youth,” yoga increases flexibility and mobility while also improving balance and circulation. Through certain yoga poses, individuals are also able to pinpoint areas, like the thyroid or reproductive organs, where they may be experiencing problems. In short, yoga is the perfect workout for seniors.
Walking is probably the workout doctors recommend most for seniors. Walking outdoors brings the added bonus of decreased risk of depression, while home gym equipment like treadmills or elliptical can be used in inclement weather.
Many health clubs provide workout sessions for seniors that are led by a trained professional. These types of classes have several benefits, with safety, support and socialization among them. Exercise classes can be a fun way to maintain fitness while also remaining social. Also, since they’re typically taught by a fitness pro, exercise classes can be extremely effective.
For seniors with severe arthritis, osteoporosis and other disorders that affect mobility, chair exercises are a great way to improve fitness. Chair exercises can build strength and improve circulation, which are both major concerns among seniors with mobility problems.
In addition to these workouts, there are other activities that increase fitness that aren’t typically considered exercise. These include gardening, cleaning, shopping and even sex! Basically, any activity that gets you moving increases heart rate and works the muscles can be considered a workout. And the great thing about physical activity is that, no matter an individual’s age or fitness level, it’s never too late to start enjoying its numerous benefits.