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Exercise and Health for Seniors

As we grow older, it becomes more and more important to stay active, and it should be part and parcel of any healthy aging plan. When you are 18, your body can easily do anything without having to warm up, and you can recover overnight when you do physical straining tasks. However, when you reach your 50’s, you will need to take care of your body the same way you take care of an older car. You need to take it for regular servicing, drive it more often, and always listen out for the engine when using it. If you leave it in a garage, then it will result in a flat battery.

Benefits of Exercise

There are many other benefits seniors can get from exercising, not just the health benefits.This is why a lot of senior care centers encourage older people to exercise.

The first is the feeling of well-being you are going to experience when you exercise. There are endorphins released after a good workout, and this can do a lot of wonders in improving your mood in general, and also having a positive impact on your outlook of life. Exercising regularly can also result in better sleep, and pairing it with adequate sleep will leave you feeling fresher and able to focus better.

Exercise comes with social benefits. When exercising, seniors will be able to meet others doing it too. When they have a group to meet up with, they will have an excuse of getting out of the house. A shared interest in exercise or sport is an amazing way for them to widen their social networks.
Keeping fit will also help in avoiding injuries from slips and falls, and they are able to recover faster when they are ill.

The 4 Exercise Building Blocks

A good way of thinking about exercise is in terms of 4 building blocks. If possible, try designing an exercise program that will be able to combine these types of exercises.

1. Building Stamina
Any cardiovascular exercise can help in building stamina. This can be taking a walk in the morning, swimming, climbing stairs, or even dancing. The idea is to do an exercise that will leave your heart pumping.

2. Getting Stronger
Doing strength training can help in maintaining bone density and building muscle. Increased strength will enable you to do simple things such as closing the car boot, opening jars, lifting and moving things around the house. Better bone density is important because it will help in protecting seniors from fractures as a result of trips and falls.

3. More flexibility
When you stretch and keep the joints supple and flexible, you are able to stay active and independent. Having the ability to bend down and tie your shoelaces, reaching over and playing with your grandchildren, and reaching on items on the shelf are some of the things you can expect to do when you are more flexible. You should consider exercises such as yoga and gentle stretches every day.

4. Balance
Exercises like yoga and tai chi can be great when it comes to improving your balance. Improving your balance is important because it allows you to avoid falling and recovering better when you slip and trip, which is a common thing for seniors.

Getting Started

Before you can get started on any type of exercise program, you should see a doctor and know the do’s and don’ts. One person is unique to the next, and it is a good idea to get a tailor-made program that will be able to take into account any problems you might be having with your body.
Start by picking an activity or sport that you enjoy. You should monitor how you feel then increase the intensity with time.

Some of the things you need to pay close attention when getting started are shortness of breath, pains that don’t go away, or intense pain. If you start a given exercise program and feel like it is not for you, then you should consider a break and seeking medical advice.
It is also a good idea to start with a trainer or sports professional who will be able to guide you through the entire process. They will help you in coming up with the best program.

Staying Committed

Many people usually have an easier time getting started with a given program, but they will start having problems sticking to it. The best way you can stick to it is making it part of your life. You should not view it as a chore that you must do, but as a natural part of your day, just like sleeping or eating.

You should go with something you enjoy doing. If you have always been into photography and nature, you can combine both of them and go hiking. If you have friends who you enjoy spending time and all of them love bowling, then you can meet together a couple times a week to go out and have fun. You can also choose a sport that you use to be good at and find a way of getting it to your day to day life.

Add exercises routines to your day to day routine. Instead of taking a lift, go with stairs, instead of driving to the post office, walk. Before taking your breakfast, take a couple of minutes to stretch. There are different things you can add, and they will have a positive impact. You will end up doing quite a lot of exercise without even knowing it.

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