9 Exercises for Seniors to Stay in Shape
Only 53% of Americans meet the Physical Activity Guidelines for aerobic activity.
Exercise is crucial, especially for seniors, as it improves your mental well-being, gets you into a routine, and lets you bond with others.
If you’re looking for exercises for over 60-year-olds but aren’t sure where to start, you’ve come to the right place.
Importance of Exercise for Seniors
Keeping shape is essential and there are many benefits of doing so. For instance, exercise:
- Reduces risk of heart disease
- Strengthens bones
- Protects joints
- Lowers blood pressure
- Increases lifespan
Exercise is the ultimate life hack as it makes seniors feel fantastic while dramatically improving their quality of life.
The Top 9 Exercises
Follow our tips to stay in shape so you can reap the many benefits. You don’t only have to follow senior exercise videos as there is a form of exercise for everyone. For example:
If you’re aging and wanting to fit in, walking is perfect for you. Put on comfortable shoes and walk for 30-minutes a day to meet health requirements and enjoy benefits like joint support and maintaining muscle mass.
Walk with a friend for five days a week so you can catch up while enjoying the fresh air.
2. Water Workouts
If you’re unsure how to stay fit as you age, get in the water. Resistance exercise often involves weights which puts pressure on the joints which aren’t good for some people.
Instead, try classic weight room exercises in the water like leg raises and bicep curls as they have equal benefits. Swimming is also fantastic for seniors as it’s low-impact, builds the core, and improves cardio.
Swim for around 30-minutes a day and have breaks in between laps.
Bicycles are becoming more accessible for seniors thanks to the step-through, electric, and no-cross bar models. Cycling is a brilliant low-impact exercise that raises the heart rate and you can do it almost everywhere.
Many places have bike paths where you can ride safely and meet other cyclists.
4. Tai Chi
Tai chi is a slow, low-impact martial art from China that’s popular for people of all ages. Not only is it meditative, but tai chi increases muscle strength and makes arteries more flexible.
Studies have shown that practicing tai chi reduces the risk of falling and can cut the chance of injury by half. If you enjoy tai chi, try qi gong as it also involves simple, flowing movements to improve balance and coordination.
As we age, flexibility becomes an issue so daily tasks like tying our shoes become troublesome.
To boost flexibility, try yoga as it’s relatively low-impact and can be done by people of all ages. Yoga also improves strength, balance, and is fantastic for your joints.
You can also seek “gentle yoga” for those with physical limitations. The movements are slow so it helps your joints and connective tissues.
And if you can’t lie on the floor during traditional yoga posts, grab a chair. This is great for people with mobility issues who still want to strengthen their muscles and joints.
When you practice squats, you strengthen your legs so it’s easier to rise from a chair and enter or exit cars. You can modify squats if you have bad knees or a lack of a range of motion by using a chair.
Further, squats strengthen your back muscles, core, and strengthens your ankles.
7. Walk the Line
To do this, place one foot in front of the other. Place your heel directly in front of your toe so they touch and walk 15 paces. If you need to, put your hand on a countertop so you have balance.
Once you’re confident, increase the difficulty by doing it with your hands by your side. While doing this, turn your head side-to-side and close your eyes before walking backward.
You can also try lunges as they’re fit for every skill level and benefit older adults because they stretch the hip flexors and use body weight to strengthen the legs.
If you’re a beginner, you can do modified lunges by using a chair for stability.
Busting a move has many benefits apart from just health ones. For instance, dancing is a social activity so seniors can build relationships while keeping their brains sharp.
Plus, dancing promotes memory work and planning when you learn new routines.
Dancing is also open to people with a range of fitness levels and interests. Some popular dances are ballroom dancing, square dancing, salsa, and Zumba.
Alongside that, dancing promotes good cardiovascular health, improves mobility, and helps balance while reducing muscle pain or joint stiffness.
You can also try Nia, a low-impact workout that blends dance, martial arts, and mindfulness in one exercise.
Although it appears similar to yoga, Pilates focuses more on strengthening the core which helps with balance and posture. Plus, it’s weight-bearing which prevents osteoporosis.
A bonus is that you don’t need specialized equipment, only a yoga mat, and a DVD or instructor to help you control and center your body.
These Are the Exercises for Over 60-Year-Olds
Now you know nine exercises for over 60-year-olds, regardless of your fitness level or abilities.
There are many ways to move your body and reap the benefits like increasing muscle strength or balance. A major advantage is you get to meet likeminded people and improve your quality of life. Happy exercising!
If you’re looking for a senior living community in Sarasota, Flordia, we’d love to chat. Contact us here for more details.