You’re never too old to regain energy, balance and strength through exercise. In fact, there are growing numbers of senior citizens who are exploring various forms of exercise they may have never tried before.
The key to smart exercising for seniors is to make sure you choose only those exercises that are safe and effective for you and your unique needs. Not every type of exercise is right for every person, so be sure to consult with your doctor before starting any new exercise activity or regimen.
That said, the following is a list of physical activities that seniors might consider doing to get – or stay – in shape and maintain good agility and muscle strength.
Take a Walk
One of the easiest ways to get physically fit is to make time for a refreshing power walk. Walking is great exercise for seniors because you can walk at your own pace. Some people like to go for a brisk power walk, while others prefer to do normal walking strides. Whatever your preference, you should strive to walk for a good 15 to 20 minutes for a minimum of three to five times a week. This may involve taking a walk around the block, walking on a treadmill, stepping in place or using a stepper machine.
Do Some Chair Yoga
Yoga is hugely popular, and there are many types of yoga geared toward those who are beginners, all the way up to experienced practitioners. Many people love yoga because it stretches out the muscles and helps with flexibility, balance and mobility. One of the easiest types of yoga for seniors to do is chair yoga. This involves sitting comfortably in a chair and doing a series of gentle yoga moves, including poses, stretches and twists. Chair yoga is usually taught by a skilled yoga instructor, and you can attend a class in person or choose video instruction.
Learn Body Weight Moves
Low-impact body weight workouts can help with building muscle and strength, while also helping you lose weight. Comfortable workout clothes and a soft exercise mat are suggested for these exercises. Some notable exercises you might learn include bird dog, step-up, side-lying circles and chair squats.
Get in the Pool
If there is a pool in your vicinity, you may want to consider using it to get a low-impact workout. If you’re a swimmer, you can do a few laps. Some local public pools offer water aerobics classes. Water exercise is generally easy on the body because you are buoyant in the water, which creates less stress on the joints.
Pilates is another low-impact workout option that can help improve your breathing, balance and core strength. A comfortable exercise mat is all you need to get started. You can also add an inflatable ball to your workout routines to expand your level of fitness.
Stretch It Out Using Resistance Bands
Stretch your way to increased strength with the help of resistance bands and exercises that use these stretchable bands of rubber. Each time you stretch the band, it creates a level of resistance, which exercises a muscle group. You can find individual resistance bands and sets of bands that offer light to heavy resistance. The bands can help you build arm and leg strength, and there are even resistance bands made especially for hands.
Try an Upper Body Exerciser
You can build muscle while standing, sitting or just watching TV with the right in-home equipment. An over-the-door upper body exerciser is a cable/pulley system with cords and handles that, like resistance bands, provides the resistance needed to build strength. Simply slip it over the top of a door, shut the door and pull.