Maintaining an exercise routine can be tough, no matter the circumstances. But if you’re an older adult, you might find yourself skipping the gym more than usual. You may feel unmotivated or discouraged, especially if you’re dealing with age-related health problems or aches and pains. Fortunately, there are plenty of fun ways to exercise and a variety of options for all mobility levels.
Fun Ways to Exercise
Before we get into fun ways for seniors to exercise, let’s discuss the benefits of exercise for older adults. You’ve probably already heard that regular physical activity is good for you, helping to prevent common diseases including heart disease and diabetes. But exercise also has fantastic cognitive benefits, producing endorphins that reduce stress and may lead to feelings of happiness and contentment. Exercise also improves sleep and boosts your immune function, and studies suggest it might even reduce the risk of dementia in older adults. When it comes to staying healthy in your golden years, regular exercise can’t be beat. But if you’re having trouble motivating yourself to go to the gym or head out for a jog, we have good news: There are plenty of fun ways to exercise outside of traditional fitness regimens.
No sense of rhythm? No problem. Dancing comes with a number of excellent health benefits, whether you’re a trained salsa aficionado or a hopeless sufferer of Two Left Feet Syndrome. One study found that dancing improves strength and muscle function in older adults in addition to increasing balance and flexibility. Dancing also has cognitive benefits – in one study, older adults who participated in a six-week dance program enjoyed faster overall reaction times and improved motor performance. The best part? You can do the Funky Chicken or the tango – the benefits are the same across all types of dance.
Explore a New Hobby
Exercise can be anything that gets you moving – and what’s more fun and active than exploring a new hobby? If you’re looking for a new way to spend your weekends, consider an active hobby like gardening or even birdwatching. While you can garden from the comfort of your own backyard, there are several online meet-up resources that connect hobbyists across the nation – making it easy to meet other gardeners or birdwatchers. These are just two examples of hobbies that get you moving in the sunshine – which, if you ask us, is the best way to move. You might also consider joining a walking club, geocaching, golfing, or cycling.
Find Your Center
Interested in trying an exercise regimen that’s as invigorating as it is calming? Explore a gentle martial art like Tai Chi or Qi Gong. Both Tai Chi and Qi Gong offer highly versatile martial arts-inspired movements that increase balance and strength for practitioners of all mobility and fitness levels. You can also check out yoga classes near you for a wide variety of health benefits, including a reduced risk of heart disease. Plus, many yoga poses can be done from a chair or wheelchair if you have limited mobility. If you’re not sure where to start, check with your local senior center or YMCA to find classes near you.
Exercise has countless benefits, but it can be hard to get yourself moving. Fortunately, there are plenty of fun ways to exercise – and none of them involve pumping iron at the gym. With a little ingenuity, you can get out of your comfort zone and be more active than ever as you get older.
Are you looking for an assisted living community in Tennessee? Check out Hearthside Senior Living in Collierville and Bartlett. Our warm and inviting communities makes it easy for seniors to embrace a healthy lifestyle, with home-cooked and restaurant-style meals, exercise classes, and a nurse devoted to residents’ health and wellness. To learn more about our amenities and services, please contact us online.