It doesn’t matter how old you are, exercise is vital to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. As you get older, it’s even more vital to your longevity. However, seniors can’t always do the kinds of high-impact aerobics and weight training in which younger people engage, and they need to pursue a different routine of health and fitness.
The good news is that there are a number of outstanding exercises appropriate for seniors which can stretch muscles, improve strength and flexibility, lower stress and blood pressure and even help to prevent injury. Learning how to do these four low-impact exercises for seniors is an important part of planning your future and living a longer and healthier lifestyle.
Exercises for Seniors
There are four categories of health that any routine of exercises for seniors should focus on improving. These are strength, flexibility, endurance and balance. Any solid exercise routine should incorporate all four focus areas to have maximum benefits.
Remember, before and after any exercise routine, you should drink plenty of water and stretch your muscles to prevent cramping and dehydration. Also, don’t forget to talk to your doctor about any exercise routine before you start.
Simple walking is one of the best exercises out there for people of any age. It requires no planning—you just have to make time to do it. It’s much easier on the joints than jogging or running, so seniors can usually keep this routine going for many years. Find a good, solid pair of walking shoes with cushioned soles and support for the heel, and go! While you walk, make sure to keep your back straight, shoulders back, and don’t be afraid to start short and then work up little by little till you hit around 60 minutes at a stretch.
Swimming is another outstanding exercise which works out the entire body. Not only does it focus on many different important muscle groups, the movement of the water can actually de-stress and relax your joints, bones and muscles, reducing the risk of injury. Head to your local pool and swim a couple laps. Again, start small and build.
People don’t think of cycling as low-impact, but the truth is it’s really easy on the joints. Pedaling creates minimal shock. You don’t have to have an expensive street or mountain bike, either. A stationary bike at the gym will do, or even a secondhand bicycle, so long as it’s in good shape, will do the trick. Just be sure you wear the right safety gear and obey all traffic laws.
Many seniors don’t think of gardening as an exercise, but it helps to work muscles, improve flexibility, and allows you to get the benefits of taking some stress-reducing time outside. For those who have problems squatting and bending, there are gardening stools that can make things much easier. Use long-handled tools and consider raised beds or trellis gardening to keep kneeling to a minimum.
Future Planning for Seniors
Of course, good exercise is only part of your long-term planning. Making the right choices with your estate is vital to securing your future, and that of your children. If you would like help making the right decisions for your estate planning, call Stano Law for help today.