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Home ANTI-AGING & LONGEVITY Top 10 Exercises For Seniors: Stay Fit, Live Better

Top 10 Exercises For Seniors: Stay Fit, Live Better

Exercise is important at every stage of life, but it's especially crucial for seniors because it helps them maintain their independence. Here are our top ten exercises seniors can do to stay fit and live better.

by Alexis Davis
Top 10 Exercises For Seniors: Stay Fit, Live Better

Seniors are living longer than ever before, and this trend is expected to continue. Research shows a strong body helps seniors avoid injuries, falls, discomfort, and other aging-related problems. Experts recommend that older adults engage in moderate exercise and strength training at least once a week. If you want your parents (and yourself) to age healthier, happier, and more independently, try including these tried-and-true workouts into their weekly regimen. [This article, “Top 10 Exercises For Seniors: Stay Fit, Live Better” was originally published in HealthXWire]

#1 Swimming

There is a reason why swimming is considered one of the best forms of exercises for seniors. It’s a low-impact sport that’s great for individuals with sports injuries or ailments like arthritis. Your body may have a more difficult time with certain physical activities as you age. The good news is that swimming, which is an activity that many older adults love participating in, has numerous positive effects on one’s health. It’s a great way to keep fit, active, and engaged all at the same time.

Water supports around 90 percent of your body weight when you swim, enabling you to float through your workout without putting any strain on your joints. People who suffer from uncomfortable mobility due to arthritis or another health condition may find relief in the comparatively weightless atmosphere and support provided by the water when they go swimming. And if you thought swimming was just good for your body, think again. Simply submerging yourself in water causes an increase in the amount of blood that flows to the brain. Memory, mood, focus, and overall cognitive function are all enhanced as a result of this. Swimming may also assist in repairing stress-related brain damage and forming new neural connections in the brain. So whether you are performing the breaststroke, participating in water aerobics, or playing Marco Polo with your grandchildren, swimming is an excellent way to enhance cardiovascular fitness, grow muscles, and maintain brain health.

#2 Yoga

Yoga is another one of our top exercises for seniors. Incorporating a holistic fitness approach, yoga can help older adults increase muscle strength and aerobic fitness, as well as core stability and total-body mobility. And although yoga is low-impact and easy on the joints, it is still weight-bearing, meaning that you must support your body’s weight in every posture. This is crucial for building both your bones and your muscles. 

The ideal atmosphere for yoga practice is one that is serene and stress-free. This indicates that practicing yoga during stressful times might calm the body’s fight-or-flight response and even stop it altogether. In addition to relieving tension and stress, the calm breathing that is practiced in yoga helps seniors, particularly those suffering from confusion due to dementia, feel more at ease. It has been shown that practicing yoga can lower blood pressure more effectively than other relaxing activities such as listening to music. According to research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), elderly citizens who participate in regular physical exercise have decreased incidences of coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and various other persistent health concerns.

#3 Resistance Band Workouts

Resistance bands are likely readily available at your gym, and #3 on our charts for top Exercises For Seniors. But these affordable, user-friendly training equipment are also ideal for at-home workouts. Using bands might help you test your muscles in ways that exercising without equipment might not allow you to. For instance, rows and other pulling actions are essential for building back strength and enhancing posture, but they can be challenging to perform without any training equipment. Resistance training can significantly enhance muscle strength, balance, coordination, flexibility, and range of motion when included into a daily workout routine. Resistance band exercises can also reduce bone loss and the symptoms of arthritis. Get your bands and start today. Your body will thank you later.

#4 Walking Exercises For Seniors

Walking is a great way to stay active as you become older. It has numerous health and well-being benefits, including remaining independent longer. There are many ways to get some exercise into your day, but walking is one of the most accessible and convenient. Daily walks are highly beneficial for the health and well-being of older persons for various reasons. Making walking #4 on our list for top Exercises For Seniors. Walking for 20 to 30 minutes daily can significantly impact your health and well-being. Whether you have your spouse, grandchildren, children, friends, family, or just yourself, make it a daily habit of going for a walk. 

  • Quick: The body occasionally experiences a blood sugar surge after a meal, and walking can lower blood sugar levels. Shortly after a meal, a 15-minute walk helps your body to both digest the meal and use the increased blood sugar to build your muscles. And if you rely on insulin, you may find it to be more effective as well.

#5 March in Place

If you can’t get outside to walk, here’s an excellent alternative. Marching in place is a terrific simple at-home exercise. While marching, you can retain your balance by grabbing onto a sturdy object such as a counter or chair. Standing upright and slowly raising the right knee as high as possible is advised. Then, lower that knee and repeat the process with the left knee. Attempt to execute this exercise 20 times if at all possible. Marching in place comes in on our top list at #5 top Exercises For Seniors.

#6 Chair Exercises 

Coming in at #6 for top Exercises For Seniors is Chair exercises provide a simple, stress-free, and fun approach to maintaining an active lifestyle, stretching your muscles, and keeping your body flexible. You can target your lower body while seated by using workouts designed for that purpose. Exercises performed while seated are an ideal alternative to standing routines for people with mobility issues, balance issues that prevent them from exercising in a standing position, or recuperating from surgery or an injury.

#7 Weight lifting 

If you think that the weight room is only for serious bodybuilders and athletes, think again. You are losing out on some life-changing health benefits. At least twice a week, the United States Department of Health and Human Services advises that all people participate in muscle-strengthening activities that range from moderate to intensive. You are included in that as well! Even though the loss of muscle mass that comes with advancing age is inescapable, engaging in serious weightlifting twice per week can go a long way toward staving off the effects of father time. Lifting weights twice a week is the optimal schedule for acclimating your body to the stress of resistance training while allowing for sufficient rest and recovery time. This is because of the synergistic effects that this schedule produces. This is why weight lifting comes in at #7 on our list for top Exercises For Seniors.

#8 Pilates

Joseph Pilates, the man who originated the Pilates exercise method in the 1920s, is honored with the moniker “Pilates.” It consists of movement patterns that provide an emphasis on correct posture, balanced flexibility and strength, and overall body awareness. This move can be performed on a piece of exercise equipment known as a Reformer or on a yoga mat put on the ground. The Reformer is an exercise machine that uses pulleys and provides additional resistance from your body weight by utilizing various amounts of springs. Pilates, much like yoga, encourages slow, deep breathing. You may accomplish significantly more in a shorter length of time if you put your attention just on your breathing. In addition to concentrating on one’s breathing, it is essential to carry out controlled movements while maintaining a natural and unhurried flow. Pilates exercises are not intended to be strict; instead, they require that every portion of the body move in a continuous, unbroken motion.

#9 Cycling 

According to a recent research study, one of the many advantages of cycling for seniors is that this exercise helps older adults maintain a physically youthful appearance. It stops the gradual weakening and loss of muscle mass that generally occurs with advancing age. The same study also found that riding a bicycle had other benefits, including a good influence on the immune system, which kept it functioning as well as that of a younger person even as the rider got older. Like many other hobbies, Cycling provides an opportunity for social interaction, which is beneficial to mental health and can help fight depression. It is a wonderful hobby that can be done with family and friends or in a club or group that advocates bicycling for senior citizens, and it is a terrific way to spend time together.

#10 Heel Raises 

Calf muscles can be strengthened by performing heel lifts. Take a standing position with your feet shoulder-width apart and equally pressing against the ground. Maintain a very tiny bend in your knees while raising your head as high as possible. You should hold this stance before beginning any other exercises. Starting with 3-8 repetitions on each side, work your way up to 10-12 as you progress. You might want to try adding a second set if you find the first one too simple. Next, raise your heels off the floor in a controlled manner while maintaining a straight knee position. After holding this position for about six seconds, lower your heels to the floor in a gradual and controlled manner.

The key to a productive workout is going slowly, being aware of your limits, and paying attention to what your body tells you. Stop what you’re doing and try another activity if something doesn’t feel quite right. If the discomfort or pain you are experiencing does not go away, you should seek the advice of either your primary care physician or a physical therapist.

Original Healthxwire Publication: Article – Top 10 Exercises For Seniors: Stay Fit, Live Better


Important Note:
This article does not contain health or medical advice, and the information contained herein is not intended to diagnose, prevent, treat or cure any disease, condition or health problem. Before beginning any program of diet, nutrition or supplementation, seek the advice of a competent healthcare professional in order to determine the possible effects on your health, given your individual sensitivities, needs and objectives. 

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