Fitness for seniors is necessary because physical exercise helps regain independence and reduces the risks of injury from falls, among other benefits.
There is no age limit for physical fitness and if you want proof of that, then simply look at Harriette Thompson.
She is a senior southerner who has competed in numerous marathons and she even set a record in 2014 in San Diego’s Rock n Roll marathon. Harriette even set the record for being the fastest person in her age group which was 90 – 94 years old.
Even though there are millions of seniors who are unable to compete in marathons, there are many others who are able to be physically active well into their old age.
Something as simple as exercise can give you multiple rewards. Below is some advice to increase fitness for seniors and the reasons why exercise is mandatory even for those after 60.
Physical Fitness Benefits
Regular physical fitness has numerous benefits for seniors and we’ll now look at what the National Institute On Aging has to say about these benefits:
Disease Prevention Or Delay
Exercise and fitness for seniors on a regular basis has been found to actually reduce the occurrence of various diseases or at least delay them from occurring.
It has been found that exercise can actually be used to treat various chronic diseases and disabilities. It can help people who suffer from:
- Senior obesity;
- Heart disease;
- Problems with walking;
- High blood pressure;
- Balance issues, etc.
Mood Improvement And Stress Reduction
Another benefit of exercise is that it can help to improve your mood as well as reduce overall stress.
It has even been found to help with depression as well as improve overall cognitive function. This means that it can help to increase your ability to move seamlessly between different mental tasks, ignore unimportant information, make plans for various activities, and more.
Fitness For Seniors – Tips And Advice
We will now look at a couple of tips that can help seniors to become more fit as well as stay fit throughout their lives:
It is important that all seniors, no matter what their current physical levels may be, do cardio in order to work out their lungs and heart.
Some of the best forms of cardio for this age group include jogging and walking.
If you have some physical limitations and can’t do these type of exercises, then you should look into chair based cardio exercises.
2. Strength Training
Strength or resistance training can be done using weights or even without weights.
The CDC recommends that these workouts have a warm-up, strength exercises that work the upper and lower body, followed by a cool down period.
3. Flexibility And Balance
One of the most common ways in which seniors tend to injure themselves is through falling accidentally. So, it is best to do exercises that will help to lower the chances of this from happening.
Some of these exercises include yoga, tai-chi, one-legged stands, and walking from your heel to your toe.
4. Breath Work
As the human body ages, the rib cage and muscles around the rib cage slowly become stiffer and breathing becomes more challenging.
So it is best to do exercises such as humming, belly breath, and ab based breathing in order to improve the quality of your breathing and airflow.
5. Be Active
Trying new activities should also be at the top of your list and no-one is ever too old to try new things.
So, if you can’t swim, then you can take swimming lessons. If you aren’t good at dancing, then you can take dance lessons.
Or if you enjoy nature but don’t like running, then you can try hiking through various nature trails.
Getting enough sleep every night is important for both your mind and body. For seniors, sticking to a sleep schedule can help to improve your quality of sleep.
You should avoid eating large meals before bed, drinking alcohols or too many other liquids before bed to improve sleep quality.
Even though seniors all differ in their fitness levels, just by making exercise a priority, it can help you to improve your own fitness and enjoy the numerous benefits.