Even if you are in your 60s or older, you should not neglect your physical health and fitness. There are plenty of senior-friendly exercises that can keep you strong and healthy, and lower your risk of pain, injuries, and other health problems.
Various research studies have found that people who are physically active live longer and are less prone to weight gain and other health concerns. So, if you want to add extra years to your life and enjoy as much of what life has to offer as possible, start exercising now.
Benefits of exercise
Health and fitness experts say that regular exercise during old age is greatly beneficial to one’s health. Unfortunately, according to data gathered, only one in four elderly between the ages of 65 years old and 74 years old have a regular exercise routine.
Below are more good reasons why you should start exercising:
You will live longer
Exercise can prolong your life. According to the World Health Organization, people who live sedentary lives are more likely to suffer from health problems and die young. They said that not being physically active is one of the top 10 leading causes of disability and death. So, for the good of your health, you should commit to a regular exercise routine. About three times a week, you should set aside 20 to 30 minutes of your day to exercise.
Your risk of injuries, falls, and others are reduced
With regular exercise, you can enhance your muscle and bone strength, lowering your risk of sprains, fractures, and other complications. In a study conducted by the World Health Organization, older people who exercise regularly have a 40% lower risk of hip fracture than those who are physically inactive. In addition, regular exercise can improve your balance, helping you prevent falls that can lead to serious bone injuries and other problems that may take longer to heal now that you are older.
You can boost your heart and brain health
Exercising on a regular basis can strengthen your heart, improving your blood circulation and lowering your risk of heart disease (heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, etc.), which is one of the leading causes of death in people aged 65 years and older. Also, in another study, it was found that regular exercise has a positive effect on brain function. According to the findings, regular physical activity can keep your brain going, reducing your risk of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and other problems.
You can boost your energy levels and mood
Exercise can give you the fuel that you need to get through the day. From the time you wake up, your body will feel ready to take on the tasks and challenges of the day, and you will not get tired or exhausted so easily. In addition, being physically active can improve your mood and get rid of negative feelings, such as anxiety and depression. It can also help you manage your stress levels, keeping your mind clear and relaxed.
Recommended exercises for seniors
There are many simple exercises that seniors can do at home without the risk of slipping, falling, and other injuries. Below are some examples:
Single limb stance
You will need a solid, stable chair to do this one. To begin, start behind the chair and hold on to its back. Slowly lift your right foot up, keeping your left foot steadily planted on the floor. Remain in that position for as long as you can. Switch feet.
After a number of repetitions, try to stand with one foot raised without holding on to the back of the chair. Hold that position for as long as you can, and then switch.
Back leg raises
Stand behind a solid, stable chair. Hold on to its back, and then slowly raise your right leg straight back. Make sure that your knees are straight and your toes are pointed out. Keep your left leg planted on the floor. Remain in that position for three seconds, and then bring your right leg gently back down. Switch feet and repeat.
Side leg raise
Stand behind a solid, stable chair. Hold on to its back and slowly raise your right leg to the side. Make sure that your left leg is firmly planted on the ground and your back is straight. Stay in that position for about three seconds, and then slowly bring your right leg back down to starting position. Switch feet and repeat.
Marching in place
To start, stand straight with your feet together. Slowly raise your right knee as high as you can. Lower it, and then lift your left knee as high as you can too. Alternate between your right and left legs. Try to do about 20 repetitions on your first few sessions, and gradually increase over time.
Find a wall that does not have any decorations, paintings, and other things that can fall and hurt you. Stand about an arm’s length in front of it. Lean forward a bit and extend your arms with your palms out. Let your palms touch the wall and stay in that position for about three seconds. Make sure that your feet are steadily planted on the floor. Carefully push your body back so that your arms are fully extended and straight. Repeat at least 20 times.
Important exercise tips
Before starting any exercise regimen, it is best to talk to your doctor about it. You may have a condition that can worsen if you engage in anything physically strenuous.
Also, do not forget to drink water before, during, and after exercising. It is important that you are hydrated to avoid cramps, soreness, and dehydration, which can cause dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and other symptoms.
Finally, do not overexert yourself. It is perfectly okay to start slow, especially if you are not used to exercising. Pushing yourself too much can lead to injuries and other problems.