When you get older, your need for exercise doesn’t go away. In fact, exercise is more important than ever for seniors , as it will help you overcome aches and pains, keep your heart strong and healthy, and beat depression and cognitive decline. As with exercise at any age, it’s important to get your doctor’s permission before starting any new fitness activities, to ensure that they are safe for you. Here’s a look at some exercises that are safe and beneficial for most seniors.
Falls are a major health risk for seniors, especially after the age of 65, when injuries from falls can lead to serious complications and even loss of life. Balance-centered activities help to reduce the risk of falling so that seniors can continue to live independently . Yoga can help with balance and has the added benefit of increasing strength and flexibility. Walking heel-to-toe, single-leg stances, and back-leg raises can all help seniors practice and increase their balance.
Cardiovascular activity is extremely important for older adults. It helps to keep the heart healthy and also helps to lower blood pressure and burn calories. Ideally, seniors should get about 150 minutes of cardio per week. This goal can be met in short bursts of as little as 10 minutes of activity. If you haven’t done cardio recently, build up your endurance slowly, adding as little as five minutes of activity at a time. During cardio, you should breathe harder than normal, but you should still be able to hold a conversation. If you can’t catch your breath or feel dizzy, stop and rest. Swimming, walking, and stationary biking are all good cardio exercises.
Increasing strength does not mean you have to lift heavy weights. Your body weight is sufficient for strengthening activities, or you can try resistance bands. Arm curls, leg lifts, and push-ups can all help you build strength.
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