May is Older Americans Month and you can get moving and celebrate by being active. We all know that exercising and staying active is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. In addition to helping us to stay at our optimal weight, an active lifestyle also improves heart health, increases bone strength, adds to better flexibility and balance, and helps us to stave off depression.
No matter what your age, exercise should be an important part of your daily routine. This is especially true for senior citizens. In addition to the benefits of physical activity listed above, for older Americans exercise can help them fight against diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, joint pain, and other health issues. While it is important to avoid high-impact exercises that could increase joint pain or stress on your body, there are many ways for older Americans to get moving!
Here are 4 ways for seniors to get exercise.
To help lower your risk of falling it is important to work to maintain your balance. Older adults can improve their balance by doing some simple exercises.
- Try standing on one leg for ten seconds. Be sure to hold onto a chair as needed.
- Practice walking done a hallway in a straight line. Step heel to toe while using the wall as needed for stability.
- If you want to get fancy, take a senior yoga class. In addition to helping to improve balance, yoga adapted for Seniors can improve strength, flexibility, mood, and mental focus.
Stair Stepping at Home
If you have stairs in your house there’s no need for equipment. You can try a light stair-stepping aerobic workout that will help you to build endurance, balance, and strength. Be sure to start slow and hold onto the handrails for balance.
Join a Gym
Gyms and Recreation centers often offer exercise classes specifically for senior citizens.
- Try a strength training class using small hand weights or resistance bands. Strength exercises can help to fight osteoporosis and other bone-related issues.
- Check out water-based workouts like swimming or water aerobics. Water-based exercises are an excellent low-impact way to get a cardiovascular workout.
- Light workout classes for seniors such as chair workouts or low-impact aerobics are another great way to get active and be social.
Go for a Walk
Walking is an easy way for older adults to get exercise. Walking doesn’t require any special equipment or any special skills. Walking each day has been shown in many studies to be beneficial to both physical and mental health.
Before you start any new exercise routine, you should talk to your family doctor. Your healthcare provider can help you figure out what level of exercise is right for you and make suggestions to help you get started. A fitness plan approved by a physician doesn’t have to be strenuous. Engaging in even low-impact exercises can help to maintain your health.
Staying active can help you to build strength and endurance so that you can continue to do activities you enjoy. It can increase your flexibility and balance to reduce the chances of a fall and allow you to perform important daily tasks such as tying your shoes. Regular physical activity can also aid circulation, reduce inflammation, and improve your mood.
If you’re a senior considering adding physical activity into your daily routine and have some concerns or questions, contact your family physician at River Bend Medical Associates. As part of your healthcare team, we are here to provide you with the best care in all aspects of your primary care, including helping you to meet your healthy lifestyle goals. For more information on our medical practice, or to make an appointment contact River Bend Medical Associates, or call 916-392-4000.