Exercise is important at any age, but seniors in particular can benefit in many ways. Staying physically active can help you control your weight, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels, reducing your risk of heart attack and stroke. In addition, strengthening your muscles, tendons, and ligaments through working out fights osteoporosis and reduces the risk of falls. This means that seniors who work out are able to be more independent and healthy for longer.
For inactive seniors who want to see the benefits of physical fitness, it’s best to start off slow. If you leap right into a workout regimen, you run the risk of injury and burnout. It’s best to start with short walks of five to ten minutes for three days a week, and slowly work yourself up to 30 minute walks. After you accomplish this, you can begin adding other exercises into your routine. It’s best to work with your doctor to create a specific workout routine that works for your goals. As you do, here are the four factors you should keep in mind:
You want your workout routine to help you build endurance. This is simple as any activity that increases your heart rate aids in endurance, and it doesn’t take too long to feel the difference. It’s typical to feel significantly more comfortable during physical activity after just six weeks of consistent exercise.
To build endurance, seniors should look to low-impact exercises. Some examples include:
- Dance (e.g. line dancing, ballroom dancing)
- Tai chi
- Water aerobics
You don’t know how much building strength helps you in your daily life. Activities from climbing the stairs to getting out of bed to carrying groceries are significantly easier when you have muscle strength. The CDC recommends that seniors strength train twice a week.
Of course, it’s very important to take it slow with strength training. Start with light weights of one or two pounds with 10 to 15 reps and perform a variety of weightlifting exercises, such as chest presses, tricep extensions, and bicep curls. Alternatively, you can use your body weight to strength train. You can perform lunges, squats, and pushups, for example. Make sure to cover all your major muscle groups.
It’s typical for seniors to see a decrease in their flexibility over time. Your muscles might feel tight often, or you may have a harder time reaching things on the top shelf now. It’s a good idea to incorporate stretches into your workout plan.
Balance is of the utmost importance for seniors. Falls account for 2.5 million injuries every year, and for many seniors, a bad fall can mean the worst case scenario. Prevent falls by making sure to prioritize exercises that help with balance. Incorporating a yoga or tai chi routine into your life can help you improve balance, as well as flexibility.
At Gulfshore Private Home Care, we are dedicated to providing seniors with the in-home health care they need to thrive. If you are in need a private home care in Naples, contact us today.