It has not been easy for many seniors to get enough exercise this past winter and throughout the pandemic. Fitness centers, exercise classes, and even swimming pools were closed for months and exercise equipment was hard to find. But now that spring is here and restrictions are easing, it is a good time to get back into a fitness routine.
Whatever form it takes, physical activity can reduce stress and boost one’s mood. Research shows that even brief periods of exercise throughout the day are beneficial such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator and parking your car farther away when you go out somewhere. It is especially important for older adults to keep active. Exercise improves strength and flexibility as well as overall immune function. It can also help you sleep better.
One of my clients, Sue, is 86 and takes daily walks with a neighbor, rain, or shine. Not only does she get regular exercise, but it’s also a chance to socialize. Sue and her friend keep each other motivated.
“There are days when I wouldn’t go if it were just up to me,” Sue said. “But I feel accountable to her and don’t want to make excuses. Plus, once we get going it hardly feels like a chore – and I always feel good afterwards.”
Activities such as gardening, yard work, and cleaning the house are also ways to incorporate exercise into your life. Other exercises good for seniors include:
- Swimming or water aerobics
- Chair yoga
- Qi Gong exercises
- Stretching exercises to improve balance and flexibility
In addition to aerobic exercise, strength training using resistance bands or dumbbells can help maintain muscle and bone density. This is especially important for older women, who are more likely to suffer from osteoporosis.
For seniors who are into technology, games such as the Nintendo Switch Ring Fit Adventure incorporate cardio, yoga moves, and toning exercises. The game has an extensive range of activity levels, so that young adults as well as seniors can benefit, making it a fun option for the whole family.
If you or someone in your family are facing aging challenges, please give us a call at 765-341-9295 or email us at Shannon@AgingLifeCareConsultants.com”. We’ll be happy to assist!