New Year, New Exercises for Seniors!
It’s a new year, which means it’s a new opportunity to get in (and more importantly, stay in) shape! Working out has many physical and mental health benefits – especially for older adults who want to maintain independence and full, abundant life in their senior years. So, what are you waiting for? If you or a loved one is looking for a new workout routine, here are 5 easy exercises for seniors or beginners.
1. Walking – Walking is one of the best physical activities for beginners because it can be modified to your fitness level and ability. Less able seniors can enjoy shorter walks on level paths through a nearby park, and fitter seniors can go on nature walks or walk at a much brisker pace for a longer amount of time. Seniors can walk even if they have a cane or walker, and it can be a fantastic social activity if a friend joins in too.
2. Dancing – Dancing is a great cardiovascular exercise that helps improve bone density, posture, and balance. It’s important to choose a dance genre that’s enjoyable so that it’s an activity you or a loved one can look forward to. Whether it’s line dancing, tango, ballroom, or even Zumba – choosing the right form of dance is sure to keep seniors motivated! Dance is a great way to lift spirits, meet new people, and get the heart pumping.
3. Swimming – It may be cold outside, but swimming indoors is possible all year round! From doing laps to water aerobics, swimming is a healthy aerobic exercise that also improves muscle tone, lung health, and strength. It’s especially good for seniors with aching joints, back pain, or weight issues, as the natural buoyancy of the water takes the strain off your joints.
4. Pilates – Did you know that Pilates was originally invented to help physically rehabilitate soldiers returning from World War I? It’s a series of exercises that are all about strengthening the core muscles in your hips, back, and buttocks. Building muscle strength improves balance, posture, strength, and flexibility, all without putting too much strain on your joints. Today’s Pilates classes also focus on shoulder and arm strength as well as hip, ankle, and wrist flexibility too. Pilates has an impressive impact on physical health and can be adjusted to suit all fitness levels too.
5. Yoga – Yoga can also be modified for all abilities and ages, even for those who are chair-bound. These exercises are slower and gentler than Pilates, and they work to build flexibility, balance, and strength. Besides the physical benefits, the aim of yoga is to soothe and calm the mind, especially if it involves meditation and breathing exercises. Both the physical and mental health benefits of yoga combine to help improve outcomes of seniors with high blood pressure, anxiety, stress, and pain.
Whether you’re interested in setting healthy New Year’s Resolutions or simply want to find a new way to stay fit and meet new people, these exercises for seniors are a great way to do it!
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