Staying active is beneficial for both our physical and mental health, regardless of what your age is. For instance, when you begin eating the right foods and doing the right amount of exercise, you will find yourself in a better state of mind as well as living with a lower risk of the likes of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, depression and dementia, all of which are massive killers throughout the entire world.
The fact of the matter is, if you are finding yourself getting older and want to be free of as many aches and pains as possible, while also reducing the risks of mental health problems, it’s a good idea to keep moving and stay active. In fact, there is some research that even suggests chronic pain might not be the cause of age alone until people reach their early 90s. The negative impact of inactivity catches up with you a lot quicker when you are a senior, but even in old age you can improve your speed, strength power and muscle mass.
That being said, there is no doubt that as we get older, remaining active does become harder. So, what exercises are available that will allow you to stay fit and healthy as a senior? This article will break them down into more detail.
Are You Struggling to Stay Active Independently?
Of course, there are some instances where staying active on your own can become too much of a struggle. If you want to keep up with living an active lifestyle, but are struggling to do so because of your age, then it may worth your time looking into assisted living facilities. For example, take Belmont Village Senior Living, which offers assisted living in Albany CA. Here, you will be encouraged to live as independently as possible, but will be able to get assistance whenever you need it, such as if you need help getting out and keeping active.
Exercises to Keep Active With
So, what exercises should you be doing in order to keep active? They include the following:
- Resistance Bands
Resistance bands became more popular throughout 2020 as people started to use them in lieu of going to the gym during lockdown. Their benefits are varied as they can build muscle and also act to counteract atrophy (muscle wastage). It is a very low impact exercise, too, which means it is a good way to strengthen the joints safely, increasing your overall range of motion while preventing injury at the same time.
Not to mention, they are also practical due to the fact they are versatile, portable and don’t take up a lot of space like weights do; however, you can still use them like weights. In fact, there is a lot of information out there that states resistance bands can be just as good as weights when it comes to exercising.
Walking is free, easy and one of the most accessible exercises on this list. Not only that, but it helps with getting out and exploring parts of the world that you may not have seen otherwise. For instance, if you download walking apps, you can recreate journeys done by app users that will get you exploring places that you otherwise might not have seen.
Walking is also a really good exercise for getting rid of stress and can even reduce the risk of people dying prematurely. This is because when you walk, you lower cortisol. Cortisol is a stress hormone and so in reducing that, you in turn boost the amount of happy hormones in your body.
- Low Intensity Yoga
Low intensity yoga is a great exercise for older people who want to stay active and healthy because the movements involved in it are a lot slower and therefore less of a strain on the joints, ligaments and tendons. It is also a great way for people to strengthen the body as it has a positive impact on posture, balance, stability and core strength. This is hugely beneficial because as we get older, our bones and muscle joints naturally weaken, and if this is ignored, then it can lead to less range of motion and instability in your posture, plus an increased risk of falling.
Getting into the water to do some exercise is a form of resistance training that is great for seniors due to the fact it is extremely low impact, meaning there is little risk of injury. It works all of the different muscle groups, placing stress on the body and therefore it amounts to a fantastic cardiovascular workout, which increases both lung capacity and breath control. Playing a lot of sports when you get older could wear out your body, but there is no risk of this occurring when it comes to swimming.
This is an ancient Chinese exercise where you will have to use slow and meditative movements that have specifically been designed to regulate the blood pressure in the body and strengthen the heart, setting the body and mind at ease as a result. Seniors are often at risk of developing age-related muscle loss as they get older, but because of the fact Qigong is an exercise that uses the entire body as a weight, it can counteract this quite effectively.
The exercise also includes a range of different lateral movements, which help you with your core strength. If practiced regularly, then it is believed that one of the effects will be the reduction of the stress hormone cortisol. If there is less of this hormone in the bloodstream, then you will reduce the risk of inflammation in the body.
It is important that everyone keeps as active as possible, but this especially applies to seniors as with age there can be a deterioration in the muscles, joints and bones, which keeping active helps to counteract. Above are some examples of the best exercises that seniors can do that will allow them to stay as fit and healthy as possible.