Though there is not yet a way to reverse the aging process completely, regular exercise does slow it down. Maintaining an active lifestyle as you age keeps you more flexible and balanced while warding off heart disease, high blood pressure, Alzheimer’s disease and certain cancers. Your doctor and care professionals who have completed gerontology degree programs are the best sources of advice for senior-safe exercises, but here are a few exercise ideas keep get you started.
Visit the Grandkids
Children don’t stay still for long, so spending time with them forces you to get on your feet and get moving. Exploring, laughing and tickling all burn calories without feeling like work. Spending time with your grandchildren also rejuvenates the mind and spirit. Though it may not feel like exercise at the time, the tiredness you feel when your grandchildren go home will make it clear that you were exercising with them.
Exercising in water provides extra resistance while allowing your natural buoyancy to ease stress on your joints. Water also keeps exercisers cool and refreshed so they don’t overheat. Walking, running and dancing in shallow water all provide an excellent workout without overtaxing the body. Sign up for a class or create your own routine. Either way, make sure there is a lifeguard on duty while you’re in the pool.
Like other martial arts, learning tai chi keeps the body moving while focusing on the mind-body connection. Tai Chi, however, slows martial arts movements down to create a series of easy, flowing motions that will keep you moving without jarring your joints or increasing your heart rate. This martial art is designed to provide maximum benefits with minimal effort.
Video games have become more physically interactive over the last few years, making them an excellent exercise option for seniors. Game systems now allow people to engage physically, moving their bodies as they bowl, golf, dance, play tennis and participate in other sports. The games turn even outdoor activities into indoor sports, eliminating weather as a factor, and making it easy for seniors to play without having to travel or hold heavy equipment, such as bowling balls. Video games are also an excellent way to bond with grandchildren and other young visitors.
Picture two senior gentleman playing chess in the park. Now imagine how much more intense their game would be if the board and pieces were super-sized. Chess, checkers and other board games can be blown up to much bigger sizes. Doing so forces players to stand, pick up and carry game pieces to move them. Several giant games are available in toy stores and online. You can also build your own.
No matter what type of exercise you prefer, be sure to start slowly and build up. Doing too much too soon merely exhausts the body and makes it harder to stay motivated. Check with your doctor before beginning a new exercise routine, as well, to avoid exercises that may do more harm than good.
Anica is a professional content and copywriter who graduated from the University of San Francisco. She loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.