Exercise is one of the keys to having a healthy and happy life. No matter your age, exercise can greatly improve your everyday life. It improves your physical health and also your mental and psychological health. Exercise has been shown to improve moods, fight depression and anxiety and lower chances of health problems. Staying active and healthy should be a priority in all of our lives. Exercise for older adults might seem like something complicated and hard to find, but there are many routines and work outs that are perfect for seniors.
The Benefits of Exercise for Seniors
Exercise prevents diseases – Maintaining regular physical activity can help prevent common diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. It helps with high blood pressure and improves overall immune system function. Having a healthy immune system is important for people of all ages, but more so for ageing adults and seniors due to their immune system often being compromised. Simply doing a minimal of 30 minutes a day of exercises such as walking, swimming or light workouts can be very helpful for preventing diseases.
It Improves Mental Health – Physical activity and exercise produce endorphins. These “feel good” hormones relieve stress and leave you with a feeling of happiness and satisfaction. Exercise also improves sleep, allowing you to sleep deeper and longer.
It Improves Balance and Decreases Risk of Falls – Balance, strength, flexibility and coordination are very important when avoiding falls. Older adults have higher risks of falls, which can lead to serious injuries. Exercise improves balance and builds strength, decreasing the risk of falls or dangerous situations, making it possible for maintaining independence longer.
It Improves Cognitive Functions – Regardless of when you begin exercise or routines, your cognitive system will benefit from exercise. It has been shown in countless studies that there are lower risks of dementia for those who stay active and do exercise. No matter what your age, you will benefit from physical activity.
It Can Be Social and Fun – Exercise does not have to be something you dread. There are countless activities, routines, sports or simple work outs that can be enjoyed with other people of all ages and descriptions. You can choose what is right for you; if you enjoy nature, you can join gardening clubs, outdoor activity groups and enjoy events such as hiking, walking or outdoor yoga.
If you love getting your toes wet, you can choose swimming and have fun doing water exercises with your friends or a group of friendly people. There are many choices and it is always fun to try something new, regardless your age.
Simple and Easy Exercises for Older Adults to Try
There are exercises for everyone and there are countless workouts that are perfect for ageing adults and seniors. They are recommended for older people because they do not require too much physical effort but offer many benefits to the body. The goal and results of these routines and exercises are to keep the body moving and improve strength and balance. You can pick and choose from these exercises and find which is right for you.
Walking Heel to Toe
Walking might seem like a simple exercise, but it actually improves strength in legs and balance, which enables you to walk without falling. While walking normally, take steps shifting first your weight from your heel to your toes with each foot. Focus on keeping your body and back straight while walking. You can do this simple walking exercise from 5 to 15 minutes depending on your ability. You can gradually increase your time each day and take longer walks.
Back Leg Raises
This exercise strengthens the bottom and lower back. Standing behind a chair, slowly lift you right leg straight back without bending your knees or pointing your toes. Hold this position for 1 or 2 seconds, and then bring your leg back down gently. Keep your back straight and look straight in front of you. Repeat this with your left leg and do 15 per leg or less if needed.
Side Led Raises
These will strengthen your legs, lower back and improve balance. You will need a solid chair that does not move easily for this exercise. Stand behind the chair with your feet slightly apart and slowly lift your right leg to the side while keeping your back straight and you toes facing forward. Lower your leg slowly than repeat with left leg. Do these 15 times per leg or less if needed.
This is a perfect strength training exercise for seniors for it is not too hard on the body but it greatly improves strength in arms, chest and shoulders. Stand arm’s length in front of a wall, lean forward a little and place your palms flat on the wall at the width and height of your shoulders. Slowly bring your body towards the wall, keeping your feet planted strongly on the floor. Push yourself gently back so that your arms are in a straight position. You can repeat this 20 times.
Single Limb Stance with Arm
This exercise improves physical coordination and balance. Stand, feet together and arm at your side next to a stable chair. Lift your right hand over your head, and then slowly raise your right foot off the floor. Hold this position for 10 seconds and repeat this on the left side.
Do the exercise slowly and repeat 10 or more times. Being healthy can be fun and so can exercise! Find what is perfect for you and try to stay active as much as possible with these simple exercises. You will see improvements after a short amount of time and if you continue, your balance, strength and physical coordination will increase greatly. The key is to stay healthy and happy always!