Both physical activity and proper nutrition are necessary components of a healthy lifestyle throughout a person’s whole life, and as we get older, our needs shift in a variety of ways.
There is a growing body of data that demonstrates how regular exercise is especially vital for seniors, and how an increasing number of seniors are choosing an active lifestyle rather than a sedentary lifestyle.
In this article, you will learn why exercise is beneficial for seniors, the seven different types of exercise that are ideal for seniors, and the exercises that should be avoided by seniors since they could be harmful to their health.
The Numerous Positive Effects That Exercise Has On The Health Of Senior Citizens.
Because of the natural changes that occur in our bodies as we become older, older people have a variety of unique reasons for maintaining a healthy body composition. Even though there are benefits associated with physical fitness at any age, the health benefits that physically active seniors enjoy are particularly noteworthy.
Researchers and medical professionals agree that senior citizens should try to keep themselves as active as they can without pushing themselves too far. Exercising helps older folks have longer lives that are healthier and happier throughout their entire existence.
Exercising later in age has a number of benefits, including the following:
More Physical Activity Results In Greater Autonomy For Senior Citizens:
Regular exercise lowers the likelihood that an elderly person will need assistance from another person. Regular exercise improves an older person’s capacity to walk, wash, cook, eat, dress, and use the restroom, as stated by the Harvard Medical School. Exercise is one of the best ways for older persons to keep their independence and should be a priority if self-reliance is a priority.
Exercise Improves Balance For Older Adults:
The consequences of falling are magnified for older persons in comparison to younger children. According to the National Council on Aging, a senior citizen dies from injuries sustained in a fall once every 19 minutes, and an older adult is taken to the hospital for treatment of a fall-related injury ever.
11 seconds. Regular physical activity lowers the risk of falling by 23%, despite the fact that no two falls are identical and that preventing falls is a very complicated process.
Regular Exercise Means More Energy:
Being inactive drains your energy, but staying active keeps your batteries charged. This may seem counterintuitive, but it’s true.
Endorphins are vital neurotransmitters that are associated to pain mitigation and a sensation of well-being. Any level of exercise boosts the release of endorphins, even moderate exercise.
Endorphins inhibit the production of hormones that are released in response to stress, which in turn makes for a more restful and rejuvenating night’s sleep.
Physical Activity Is Beneficial In Warding Off And Preventing Disease:
Diseases such as heart disease, osteoporosis, depression, and diabetes are prevalent among people of advanced age, and they frequently result in fatalities.
The good news is that leading a more active lifestyle can either help you avoid developing these diseases in the first place or, if you already suffer from them, lessen the severity of the debilitating symptoms they cause.
Exercising regularly may be the best way for those who are predisposed to illness to avoid developing a debilitating condition.
Regular Exercise Enhances Brain Function:
The discovery that the mind and the body are far more tightly linked is one of the most astonishing advancements that has occurred in the field of health science.
According to studies conducted by the NCBI, senior citizens who engage in regular physical activity have enhanced cognitive health. A healthy body is likely to be accompanied by a healthy mind.
In a study that was conducted not too long ago by the Alzheimer’s Research & Prevention Foundation, it was shown that engaging in regular physical activity can cut your risk of acquiring Alzheimer’s disease or dementia by nearly half.
The Very Best Physical Activities For Seniors
Exercise is essential for people of a certain age, but it can be challenging to choose how to get started. If you haven’t been physically active in a while, getting back into the swing of things after a break can be intimidating.
A second possibility is that the physical activities to which you were before accustomed are not suited to the needs of older people.
It is crucial to consult a medical professional before beginning an exercise routine. Not only will this ensure that you are healthy enough to exercise, but it will also help you determine which exercises are best suited to your present level of fitness.
1. Water Aerobics Exercises.
Over the course of the past few years, water aerobics has evolved into an exceptionally well-liked type of physical activity among people of all ages, but particularly among older people.
Because of the buoyancy of the water, exercising in the water is beneficial for people who suffer from arthritis and other forms of joint discomfort.
This is because exercising in the water places less stress on your joints. Additionally, because water offers its own natural resistance, strength training in water avoids the necessity for the use of weights.
Strength, flexibility, and balance can all be improved with water aerobics routines, all while putting very little strain on your body.
The following are some excellent water aerobics activities for senior citizens:
- Aqua jogging.
- Flutter kicking.
- Leg raises.
- Push-ups performed while standing in water.
- Arm curls.
2. Chair Yoga.
Chair yoga, much like water aerobics, is a low-impact type of exercise that develops muscle strength, mobility, balance, and flexibility.
These are all important parts of senior citizens’ overall health. Chair yoga is a more approachable style of yoga that, in comparison to other, more traditional types of yoga, places less strain on the body’s muscles, joints, and bones.
In addition to this, research has revealed that older persons who practice chair yoga see improvements in their mental health.
Chair yoga practitioners who practice the discipline on a consistent basis report higher levels of happiness, better quality sleep, and fewer cases of clinical depression.
The following are some excellent chair yoga exercises for senior citizens:
- Overhead Stretch.
- Seated Cow Stretch.
- Seated Cat Stretch.
- Seated Mountain Pose.
- Seated Twist.
3. Exercises Using Resistance Bands.
Resistance bands are flexible strips of rubber that offer a challenging element to workouts while putting less strain on the body than traditional weight lifting.
Workouts using resistance bands are simple to perform and may be done by someone with no prior experience. The upfront expenses of materials for resistance band exercises are quite low, which makes them perfect for usage as a type of at-home exercise.
As a result, this form of physical activity is becoming increasingly popular among elderly citizens. In addition, these exercises are perfect for strengthening your core, which in turn improves your posture as well as your mobility and balance.
Seniors can benefit from resistance band exercises such as:
- Leg press.
- Triceps press
- Lateral rise.
- Bicep curl.
- Band pull apart
Pilates is a sort of low-impact exercise that was invented over a century ago and has since gained widespread popularity. Pilates exercises include an emphasis on breathing, alignment, attention, and core strength.
These exercises often entail the use of mats, pilates balls, and other inflated accessories to assist in the development of strength without the strain that is associated with higher-impact exercises.
Research has demonstrated that older persons who participate in Pilates see improvements in their balance, core strength, and flexibility.
Some wonderful pilates exercises for elderly persons include:
- Mermaid movement.
- Side circles.
- Food slides.
- Step Ups.
- Leg circle.
Walking is one of the least taxing and most easily accessible types of physical activity. Walking presents a greater difficulty for certain seniors than it does for others; hence, the ideal walking distance and step count will vary from person to person.
Those who have trouble walking or joint pain may have to settle for a lower number of steps as a goal, but for the general population, it is recommended that people take 10,000 steps every day as part of a healthy lifestyle.
A study that was published in PLOS One discovered that walking 10,000 steps daily reduced the risk of death by 46% over a ten-year period.
Walking is one of the best ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle since it helps you build muscle, lowers your risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and colon cancer, and improves overall wellness.
Ideas for walking activities that are appropriate for senior citizens:
- Find a trail that’s not too difficult that goes through a park.
- Find a race that allows you to walk as part of your training.
- Walk around the outside of a building you are familiar with.
- To keep your mind active while you walk, try listening to an audiobook or a playlist.
6. Body Weight Workouts.
Loss of muscle mass in older persons can be extremely detrimental and incapacitating. About one-third of older citizens are affected by severe muscle loss, which can result in hormonal imbalances, a reduction in the body’s capacity to metabolize protein, and a host of other health issues.
Workouts that use only one’s own body weight are one of the most effective approaches for older persons to combat the consequences of muscular atrophy. The cost-effectiveness of workouts that only use one’s own body weight is one of the most important advantages.
The supplies needed for body weight workouts are modest; the majority of body weight workouts involve workout clothes and a mat to cushion impact with the floor. Body weight workouts can be performed anywhere.
The following are some excellent senior-friendly bodyweight exercises:
- Squats to Chair.
- Step ups.
- Bird dog.
- Bridges for the lying hips.
- Side Lyine Circles.
7. Strength Training Using Dumbbells.
Research has shown that strength training can help alleviate symptoms of conditions such as diabetes, osteoporosis, back pain, and depression, in addition to helping you control your weight.
A faster metabolism and improved glycemic control are two additional benefits that come from strength exercise. If done correctly and safely, strength training with dumbbells can be one of the most effective strategies for older adults to maintain and improve their muscle mass.
Seniors can target certain muscle groups to increase their strength while also improving their balance and flexibility by using dumbbells.
The following are some examples of great exercises that seniors can do with dumbbells:
- Bent over row.
- Triceps Extension
- Bicep curl.
- Overhead Press
- Front rise.
What Are The Exercises That Should Thing To Avoid For Seniors
Many of the most common and widely practiced forms of exercise are not suited to those of an advanced age. These common forms of exercise are ideal for younger individuals who want to build muscle or lose weight quickly; however, they may cause undue pressure on older persons who suffer from joint discomfort, muscular atrophy, poor posture, or problems with balance.
If you are above the age of 65, it is highly recommended that you steer clear of the activities listed below:
- Squats performed while using weights or dumbbells.
- Press on the bench press.
- Leg press.
- The running of long distances.
- Crunches of the abdominal muscles.
- Upright row.
- High-intensity interval training.
- Climbing up on rocks.
- Power clean.
Visit Your Primary Care Provider Before Beginning An Exercise Routine.
It is imperative that you discuss your plans to begin an exercise regimen with your primary care physician before beginning any type of physical activity. “Get medical clearance before heading to the gym or participating in sports or activities,” advises Dr. Tan. “This is especially important if you lead a sedentary lifestyle or have pre-existing medical concerns.”
Also inquire as to if there are certain pursuits that you ought to steer clear of. This is due to the fact that your current health status, or any preexisting health concerns, may have an impact on your workout.
An ankle sprain, for example, that does not heal properly can easily lead to other musculoskeletal ailments; as a result, workouts that load the ankle may be unpleasant and make the condition worse.
In the meanwhile, diabetics might want to give some thought to the best time of day to take their prescription before beginning their daily workout regimen.
If you have experienced several falls in the past, one piece of advice that Dr. Tan gives is, “Ask your doctor or physiotherapist to prescribe a series of exercises that are both safe and effective.” “The most important thing is to get a gradual start.
You can gradually build up your exercise program by gradually increasing the intensity of your workouts. You won’t put undue strain on yourself if you do it this way.”
If you encounter any of the following symptoms, it is imperative that you cease the activity immediately and make an appointment with a medical professional:
• Shortness of breath.
• Chest pains.
• Breaking out in cold sweat.
• Pain in the joints.
Bodyweight exercises such as squats, push-ups, and step-ups will help to improve muscle tone, maintain sound strength, build bone density, maintain a healthy weight, optimize metabolic function, and reduce the risk of injury, falls, and fatigue. Other benefits of these exercises include maintaining a healthy weight, building bone density, maintaining a healthy weight, and building bone density.
Research has proven time and again that people of all ages, including those in their 60s and older, can build muscular mass and strength comparable to that of someone in their 40s by engaging in resistance training with weights.
However, according to Gallo, older folks shouldn’t make a habit of substituting protein shakes for meals on a regular basis since “that’s a horrible notion that might actually result in reduced protein and calorie consumption over the long term.”