Everyone should exercise, but there is no one-size-fits-all exercise program. The best strategy is to choose workouts that are appropriate for your age, fitness level, and health situation. When it comes to exercise recommendations for seniors, the goal is to stay active while protecting yourself from injury.
Exercise Recommendations for Seniors
Exercise offers both physical and emotional benefits. While the idea of launching a new exercise routine can be exciting, we urge you to review these exercise recommendations for seniors so that you can be both active and safe.
Get Professional Advice
You’re interested in exercising to improve your health, right? Many older adults are living with chronic conditions and activity limitations. If you fall in this group, ask your doctor for advice regarding what activities would be a good fit for someone with your unique health situation before starting a new fitness program. Physical therapists and fitness professionals can also be great resources.
Start Low and Slow
According to the World Health Organization, adults age 65 and older should aim for 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week if they are able to do so. However, if you’ve been largely sedentary, start low and slow. Begin with short periods of a low-intensity activity like walking or swimming. Over time, you will probably discover that you can gradually increase your physical activity. While many older adults enjoy moderate exercise, it’s generally best to avoid high-intensity exercises because they carry an increased risk of injury.
Make Fitness Fun
If your exercise routine is fun, you are more likely to stick with it. Wear comfortable clothing and shoes, and choose activities that are appropriate, enjoyable, and available throughout the year. If you enjoy socializing, consider finding an exercise buddy, choosing a group activity, or attending a fitness class. Combining your exercise routine with social time just might help you stick with it.
Consider the Environment
When making decisions regarding how to fit more fitness into your schedule, it also helps to consider the environment where you’ll be exercising. For example, seniors who enjoy walking should choose routes that feature smooth surfaces in safe areas with ample light and minimal traffic. Many seniors elect to walk in shopping malls because they offer safe environments, ever-changing sights, and the opportunity to socialize with like-minded exercisers.
Mix It Up
Performing the same activity repeatedly will likely become boring for both you and your body. Instead of constantly doing the same thing during your workout, mix it up a little. Choose different activities that challenge your body in different ways. Shake things up by devoting a few days each week to activities that focus on your cardiovascular health and a few days to activities that encourage muscle strengthening. We also encourage you to incorporate some balance training into your workout routine to prevent dangerous falls.
Be Mindful of Your Body
Although regular exercise can help seniors feel more youthful, vital, and energetic, older adults should always be mindful of their bodies when exercising. This doesn’t mean sitting on the sidelines or missing out on the fun. Just listen to your body. For example, muscular elasticity and adaption tend to slow with age, so stretch slowly and allow more time for warming up and cooling down. In addition, a person’s sense of thirst decreases with age, so seniors should make it a point to drink water every 15 minutes when exercising to ensure that they stay hydrated.
Exercise can lead to improved functional health, cardiorespiratory fitness, bone health, and muscle strength. It can also decrease your risk of depression and cognitive decline. When performed safely, it truly is a powerful tool for seniors who want to protect their health. Just remember to embrace our exercise recommendations for seniors, so that you can protect your health while you improve your fitness.
Are you looking for an assisted living community in Tennessee? If so, be sure to check out Hearthside Senior Living Place, located in Bartlett, Tennessee. We would be happy to schedule a tour for you so that you can explore the community, meet some of the residents, and ask any questions you might have. For more information, please call 901-854-6590. We look forward to meeting you!