Whether you’re 10 or you’re 92, regular physical exercise plays an important role in living a long and healthy life. There are lots of types of exercises for seniors out there. People want to know the best exercises for older adults. But as many thing in life, it depends. Let’s start with the benefits of exercise for seniors in general.
As we age, our bodies may be may be prone to develop different health issues, such as
- High blood pressure, and h
- Heart disease
Exercise helps combat these issues and prevent them from developing altogether. Additionally, a strong body will help you elderly loved one remain independent for as long as possible. These types of exercises for seniors especially can help them enjoy their retirement years much more independently.
There are four different types of low-impact exercises for seniors to include in their daily exercise routine: balance, strength, flexibility, and endurance. A mix of all these exercises ensures that your elderly loved one will remain healthy and safe from certain injuries. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) strongly suggests that seniors should perform at least 150 minutes of moderate endurance exercise, as well as two strengthening exercises, each week.
There are numerous local gyms and senior centers that offer exercises specifically tailored to your elderly loved one. However, they don’t need to hit the gym to lead a healthy, active lifestyle. There are a few apps they can download which create a customizable workout plan that they can do anytime, anywhere. These exercises for seniors can be done in the comforts of their own space.
Disclaimer: Visit your doctor prior to starting a new exercise
Before you or your elderly loved one begin a new exercise routine, it is crucial to inform your doctor about this matter. It’s recommended that your loved one should get a medical clearance before participating in any exercises for seniors. This is especially true if the senior leads an inactive lifestyle or has any medical conditions. Your doctor can help recommend the best exercises for older adults and for your conditions in particular.
It’s also important to ask your loved one’s physician if there are any types of activities they should avoid. Certain health conditions can affect your workout. For example, if your loved one had an ankle sprain that did not heal properly, exerting too much effort may worsen the condition. Senior diabetics should also take into consideration the timing of their medications before starting a new exercise regimen.
4 Types of Exercises for Seniors
Incorporating these types of workouts in your elderly loved one’s routine ensures that they
A lot of seniors think twice at the mention of strength training because they think they’re going to lift heavy weights. But contrary to popular belief, strength exercises can still be effective even without equipment because of the resistance from body weight. And strength training can be one of the best exercises for older adults because we lose muscle mass as we age.
Strength training workouts can be done two to three times each week, 30 minutes per session. Rest days in between strength exercises are very important to allow the muscles to recover. As your loved one progresses with the exercise, his/her muscles become stronger. By this time, they can add light weights or use resistance bands (or small household objects, such as bottled water). You can see our article on some great resistance band exercises for seniors here.
Strength exercises not only improve your elderly loved one’s strength. They also boosts metabolism, build muscles, and strengthen bones – all of which help in making everyday tasks and chores easier.
Flexibility exercises for seniors also enable them to have more freedom of movement. This promotes independence and a prolonged active lifestyle. Prior to doing endurance or strength exercises, it is important do a light stretch. Additionally, seniors can also include certain exercise programs that mainly focus on increasing flexibility, such as yoga or Tai Chi classes, which are some great exercise for seniors. Common hobbies or activities, such as gardening and golfing can also aid in keeping your loved one strong and flexible.
Endurance exercises, or more commonly known as cardio, aid in
- Lowering blood pressure
- Speeding up metabolism, and
- Improving heart health.
As your elderly loved one include cardio in their exercise regimen, ask them to ease into it and start slowly (5-minute increments). They can add more time as they progress with the exercise. Cardiovascular exercises are one of the best exercises for older adults because they can start off slow and work their way up.
Keep in mind that the goal is to elevate the heart rate and breathing. However, they shouldn’t be so out of breath that they can’t carry a conversation. If your loved one feels dizzy or in pain, they may be exerting too much effort. It is best to slow down and recover.
Aim for at least 10 minutes of cardio at a time as your endurance increases, building up to at least 30 minutes each day. Seniors should at least get about 150 minutes of moderate endurance exercises each week. As seniors start their exercise, it’s recommended to begin with moderate endurance exercises before progressing (with their doctor’s approval) to vigorous exercises.
Moderate endurance exercises:
- Gardening or mowing the lawn,
- Stationary cycling
- Brisk walking on a flat surface
- Biking on a flat surface
Vigorous endurance exercises:
- Climbing stairs or hills
- Brisk bicycling uphill
- Shoveling snow
It may not seem much, but adding balance exercises to your elderly loved one’s exercise routine and potentially save their lives. Seniors are prone to falls and according to the CDC, it is the leading cause of injury and even mortality in people over the age of 65. Therefore, improving a senior’s balance promotes a safer and more independent life.
At a Paradise for Parents, we know that it’s very important to stay physically fit and healthy especially in our golden years. We encourage our senior residents to get fit and active by having a personal trainer who works closely with residents in all of our assisted living homes in order to ensure that their physical capabilities are accommodated. He has some great exercises for seniors to make them more healthy.
If you want to know more about assisted living facilities, A Paradise for Parents staff and our resources can answer all your questions. Don’t hesitate to give us a call at (623) 295-9890 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to know more about the services we offer. You can also fill out an online form located on our homepage. We’d be happy to assist you in your search for an assisted living facility for your loved one.