- Walking is one of the best activities and it costs you nothing. You just need to don a pair of comfortable walking shoes and you’re good to go. Walking improves your general fitness level, strengthens muscles and serves as a good cardio endurance exercise.
- Swimming and water sports can be incredibly fun and swimming is also a way to stay healthy.
- Bicycling and hiking will help you reconnect with nature. If you’re not an outdoor person, take the kids or grandkids along, so that they can enjoy the countryside, while you get some much-needed entertainment.
- Playing sports like tennis or volleyball, ballroom dancing and canoeing!
Types of Exercises for SeniorsThere are various types of exercise and different approaches to exercise for seniors. Some of these include:
Stretching Exercises - There are numerous stretching exercises that work on the shoulder, neck, lower back and the lat muscles. Stretching exercises are extremely important because they warm-up muscles, improve flexibility and muscle mobility, stimulate blood circulation, improve heart function and prepares both the mind and body for exercise. This is why all fitness routines begin with stretching exercises.
Chair Exercises - We often tend to think of exercise as an activity for people who are physically fit, but it is actually so much more important for those who have restricted or impaired mobility because of degenerative conditions or injuries. In addition to improving mobility in functional muscle groups, chair exercises also act as mood boosters and relieve stress and depression.
Such seated exercises for seniors may include cardiovascular exercises, strength training exercises and flexibility exercises. Even if there is limited mobility in the legs, exercising the leg muscles can delay or prevent muscle atrophy to some extent.
Core building exercises for seniors will typically include exercises like limb extensions, simple crunches, knee raises and the snake posture, which is a yoga pose. Exercises like knee raises and crunches work on the lower back and abdominal muscles respectively. Likewise, every type of exercise will target a specific muscle group.
Low Impact Exercises - Low impact exercises can include a variety of activities that provide you with a workout without subjecting your muscles or ligaments to much strain or pressure. Low impact exercises for seniors can include those that focus on endurance, strength, flexibility and balance. While some activities like walking and swimming will serve well as low impact endurance activities, other activities like Yoga and Pilates focus mainly on flexibility and balance, but can also help build strength and endurance.
Resistance Band Exercise - Resistance bands are, as the name suggests, huge rubber bands that are designed with the sole purpose of increasing resistance to give your muscles a much more rigorous workout.
Resistance bands are commonly attached to furnitures like a doorknob or pillar, or even to the chair. This makes them extremely handy, especially for individuals who cannot get out of the house or who can’t even get out of a chair for that matter. In such cases, resistance band exercises for seniors may be used as a type of chair exercise technique. Resistance bands are commonly used for exercise activities like shoulder rotations, pull-downs and arm and leg-extensions.
Yoga - Yoga is one of the best fitness disciplines for seniors because it is extremely versatile and the practice can be adjusted to individuals of various fitness and flexibility levels. Yoga for seniors is, in many ways, the perfect fitness regimen because it addresses every concern that you could have. It includes stretching techniques, low impact exercises, core exercises and it also includes chair exercises, which is a modified version of yoga that includes poses that can be performed while seated. Yoga also includes meditative practices and breathing techniques that help reduce stress levels and improve respiration.
Latest Publications and Research on Exercise for SeniorsInfluence of Acute Concurrent Exercise Performed in Public Fitness Facilities on Ambulatory Blood Pressure Among Older Adults in Rio de Janeiro City. - Published by PubMed
Effects of Interval Aerobic Training Program with Recovery bouts on cardiorespiratory and endurance fitness in seniors. - Published by PubMed
Effects of a short-term Interval Aerobic Training Programme with active Recovery bouts (IATP-R) on cognitive and mental health, functional performance and quality of life: A randomised controlled trial in sedentary seniors. - Published by PubMed
Injury risk-workload associations in NCAA American college football. - Published by PubMed
The effect of lifelong exercise frequency on arterial stiffness. - Published by PubMed