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Best Exercises for Seniors

It is an inevitable, unfortunate fact that our bodies slowly decline as we age. Bones lose density, muscles shrink, balance falters, and weight management becomes more and more difficult. Although you will never again be a boundless child with endless energy and enthusiasm, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t exercise. In fact, exercise is a crucial part of health at any age, and even small changes can yield significant results. So today, we’re looking at some of the best exercises for seniors, from strength and balance exercises to stretching and endurance . . .

Best Exercises for Seniors

Walking. Walking and hiking (and jogging, if you’re up for it) are a great way to build endurance, promote independence, and improve your mood. Plus, if you keep your rate up, walking also counts as cardio and can help you lose weight and strengthen your heart.

Swimming. Seniors with aching joints often love to swim for exercise because it reduces the stress and strain placed on the body’s joints during a workout. Plus, it’s fun! Jumping in the pool for some laps, water aerobics, or water sports is a very beneficial and low-impact way to get moving.

Dancing. Tired of workouts that feel like workouts? Try dancing! Grab some friends, put on some of your favorite tunes, and let the music move you. Or, why not start each day with a little dance to put a smile on your face? Rhythm and fancy moves aren’t important so long as you have enthusiasm.

Cycling. Cycling is another low-impact exercise worth exploring. You could ride a bike at the gym, but if you have the chance, try cycling around your neighborhood or a park. You could even bicycle to a supermarket or your local library to run errands! However, we recommend that you avoid cycling on busy streets, and remember to always wear a helmet.

Strength Training. Whether you want to lift free weights, perform movements with an elastic band for resistance, or do single exercises like squats, lunges, and crunches, strength training is a great way to keep your muscles strong. Start slow and perform modified versions of strength training moves to prevent injuries. For example, hold onto the back of a chair as you squat or perform push-ups against a wall.

Gardening. In addition to a green thumb, gardening can lead to strengthened muscles and less stress. If the extended squatting and kneeling hurts your knees, consider using a knee pad or a gardening stool. This exercise will benefit your yard as well as your body.

Pilates, Yoga, or Tai Chi. Not only can pilates, yoga, and Tai Chi strengthen your body and relax your mind, but they can also improve your balance and flexibility. If you’re new to these exercises, consider joining a class or renting a DVD so that you can learn the basic moves.

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Living in a retirement community, you’ll find that it’s easy to accomplish all of your healthy eating and exercise goals. Residents can join exercise classes, stroll around the facility, attend group outings, and even get exercise tips for seniors from the medical staff on site. Each of the eight Hearthside Senior Living Place retirement facilities has a Health and Wellness program headed by a nurse. To learn more about the program and our commitment to healthy senior living, contact Hearthside Senior Living Place today.

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