When people think of their senior years, they often picture a life free of job or employment responsibilities. They also believe that they would dedicate their full attention to their family, friends, and hobbies with their newfound freedom. However, to make this goal a reality, seniors must maintain their health and independence. This requires a more significant effort to stay healthy in general, including doing exercise and physical activities.
Have you ever heard the expression, “If I’d known I’d live this long, I would have taken better care of myself”? That remark is more accurate than you would think at first. Unfortunately, many older adults have severe medical conditions and live sad, unhealthy, and miserable lives.
Let’s have a look at a digestive problem as an example. This is one of the most common health problems. Constipation, gallstones, and colon cancer are examples of these. Researchers in Brazil determined that these three diseases had one thing in common: a lack of exercise or physical activity. Fortunately, moderate physical activity can help prevent the onset of these diseases.
For this reason, moderate physical exercise for seniors is critical. It does not, however, need Olympic-level preparation. Physical activity for seniors does not have to be rigorous to be beneficial, as long as it is done regularly. For elders, a light to moderate fitness program is advised. Furthermore, if you don’t enjoy walking or running, you’ll be relieved to learn that muscle-strengthening exercises are just as practical as cardiovascular exercises.
Muscular strength promotes cardiovascular health by lowering stress hormones and body fat mass. Stronger muscles also reduce the danger of falling and make seniors more active and self-reliant.
Here are five additional perks of keeping an excellent physical exercise routine:
1.) Increased Strength and Energy Levels
Exercise strengthens the muscles and nerves that are needed to carry big items. Exercising does not necessarily mean that a person will gain weight; muscles can get stronger without expanding in size. The body is freer to carry out its regular functions with increased blood flow, less fat, and fewer stress chemicals in circulation. You will have more energy when your body does not have to work as hard to perform processes like breathing and pumping blood via your heart.
2.) Boosted Concentration and Attitude
When the body is in good health, the mind is much more capable of concentrating on activities. Exercise, once again, is a well-known deterrent to Alzheimer’s disease and general dementia. It is also widely known for its ability to improve one’s overall mood. It helps the body shrug off the tension, which has the extra advantage of removing stress chemicals, resulting in a happier mood and a healthier heart.
3.) Reduced Risk of Chronic Diseases and Hypertension
Seniors with illnesses that might limit them or increase physical or mental problems may find that exercise improves their cognitive abilities. Exercise also reduces symptoms associated with bone density loss, Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, and anxiety disorders. And finally, exercising helps regularize blood pressure and can even help seniors with documented hypertension have more minor symptoms.
4.) Enhances Posture and Balance
The majority of health problems in the aged population are triggered by a fall, either directly or indirectly. However, physically fit seniors and those engaged in regular exercise are less likely to fall or injure themselves during daily tasks because they have superior balance and maintain better posture due to the strength of their bones and muscles.
5.) Motivation Through Winter Months
Many seniors living at the best assisted living in Rancho Mirage have reported a stronger sense of motivation and drive when practicing a regular fitness regimen. Seasonal affective disorder, or ‘SAD’, is seasonal depression that can leave even the most positive seniors feeling a little blue. However, participating in activities and even regular walking can help curb some of the side-effects.
Four Types of Exercise
It is key to have all four exercises in your workout plan.
1.) Endurance –
Endurance is defined as the capacity to participate in rigorous exercise for an extended time, and it is strongly tied to cardiovascular health. Brisk walks are one of the simplest and most efficient techniques to increase and maintain endurance. It increases your heart rate and breathing pace, improving the health of your heart, lungs, and circulatory system. It also produces energy.
Endurance activities include:
- Water sports/swimming
- Climbing stairwells/walking uphill
- Brisk walking/walking
- Cycling/stationary bicycles
2.) Flexibility –
Stretching should be part of your daily practice since the more flexible you are, the safer you can engage in regular physical activity. Stretching allows your muscles to stretch, keeping you loose and ready to move at any moment. For example, a neck stretch may be performed while sitting on a chair. In addition, some back stretch exercises provide an excellent daily regimen for seniors suffering from back pain.
- Senior yoga
- Stretching exercises
3.) Strength –
Often overlooked as a goal for seniors, although it is essential for daily functioning. It boosts muscle growth, which equals more power. Arm curls and chair dips are excellent ways to begin building strength.
- Resistance band training
- Classic push-ups, sit-ups.
4.) Balance –
Maintaining balance is vital for movement and self-sufficiency. Yoga is a popular balancing practice for senior citizens. The motions are slow and deliberate. Consistent yoga practice improves balance, which benefits the avoidance of falls.
- Standing on one leg
- Heel-to-toe walking
- Tai chi
Consult Your Doctor First!
However, before you begin training, keep in mind that seniors in the best assisted living in Rancho Mirage should consult with a trusted medical expert before starting any new physical activity. Even beneficial activity for seniors can be harmful if it strains the body, and seniors are more prone to injury.
As a result, the first step toward safety is a visit to your Doctor. The family doctor will evaluate you thoroughly and spot potential issues when you begin to exercise. Medical professionals can also point out problems to seniors living in the best assisted living in Rancho Mirage that may limit the movement of your exercise type and routine.