If you were physically active during your adult life, then you should continue as a senior. If you weren’t as active then you may want to consider making different choices in your life now to help you gain strength and stamina. You may not be able to do the same exercises you did as a younger adult, but there are many things you can do to get and stay healthy. Let’s explore those options now.
As you age, your body changes, inside and outside, therefore your goal is to stay healthy, free of infection, and strong enough to be able to play with your grandchildren. Your body doesn’t exactly work the same it did fifty years ago so exercises must be modified to your strength level. The best exercise you can do is walking. A daily walk has so many benefits, keeps your heart healthy and physically strong. So, lace up your walking shoes, grab your dog (if you have one) and get to walking. A walk around your neighborhood usually leads to socializing with others who are also wanting to be healthy and can motivate you to keep going. If you can’t get outside to walk, you can use a treadmill or do some light exercise in your home. There are gyms that offer special classes for seniors and if you have a Medicare Advantage plan or a Medigap plan, it most likely includes the “Silver Sneakers” program. This program, if you qualify, allows you to go to the gym for free and work out at your own pace. You will have access to over 16,000 gyms in the country, group exercises for your fitness level, pools, tennis courts, and some have a walking track. These facilities hold community events where you can learn about health tips and wellness strategies. There are trainers that can help you make sure you are getting the most out of your exercise and encourage you to stay healthy. Check with your insurance provider to see if these benefits are available to you. Usually, to qualify, you just must be enrolled in a qualifying Medicare Advantage Plan, a Medicare supplement, or a group retiree plan. The membership is free, and the perks are endless! Some of the facilities that participate in this program are 24 Hour Fitness, Anytime Fitness, Gold’s Gym, YouFit Health Clubs, and many more.
You can lift weights to build strength and add muscle, or try an aerobic exercise class to build your stamina and they have classes for every fitness level. If you have joint problems such as arthritis, then water aerobics could be just the thing for you. Exercising in the pool alleviates the stress on your joints, helps you relax, reduces stress which is great for your blood pressure. Another good form of exercise is chair yoga. It is low impact exercise that anyone can do, not only improves strength, mobility, and balance but it also improves your mental health. Resistance band workouts use a stretchy strip of rubber to help you strengthen your core and help with posture. The equipment is inexpensive and you can exercise with the bands at home. Pilates is a low-impact workout that focuses on breathing, alignment, concentration, strength and will improve your balance and flexibility. No matter what exercise you decide to do, your body will be healthier.
As a senior, you should avoid heavy lifting exercises as they put an unhealthy strain on your muscles so, focus on flexibility, mobility, and core strength. You must take care of yourself and make sure you are doing what is best for your mind, body, and soul. Any form of exercise is beneficial to those areas and just remember to do what is right for you. So, good luck, get moving, and stay healthy!