We’ve already talked about the importance of exercise for senior citizens. But as you get older, it can be challenging to find exercise you enjoy that isn’t too hard on your body. Running delivers impacts to your joints with a force three to four times your body weight; group sports become much more dangerous the older you get; and many machines at the gym are ill-designed to protect the bodies of older citizens.
Fear not. There are plenty of great ways to get exercise as a senior citizen! Staying active later in life is important, and if you or your loved one is an elderly citizen of Indiana, our elder care services are here to help.
Your Healing Touch provides expert in-home care across the Indianapolis metro area. Our highly qualified staff is passionate about providing senior citizens of all independence levels with the highest quality of life possible, including finding fulfilling ways to stay active and healthy! Below, our in-home care team highlights some of our favorite ways to get seniors out and moving:
For a gentle way to improve your strength and cardiovascular health, take a dip at the local pool! Swimming is easy on the body since your weight is partially suspended underwater, which makes it a great option for senior citizens who suffer from arthritis or osteoporosis.
You can take up a stroke and swim laps or sign up for a water exercise class like water aerobics. Either way, swimming is a fun and easy way to avoid a sedentary lifestyle and keep your body healthy and happy.
Exercise can look as simple as getting out and taking a stroll. Walking is much better for your joints than running is, and it can be done just about everywhere! You don’t necessarily have to schedule time to walk, either; simply make choices throughout your day that will get a couple extra steps in. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park a little farther away from the grocery store. Take the scenic route while you walk your dog.
Walking may seem like a small task, but its health benefits, especially for elders, are mighty. Make sure to keep moving!
Yoga is an excellent comprehensive workout. It helps build muscle strength, maintain aerobic health, and improve balance, core stability, mobility, and flexibility, all while being gentle on your body’s joints. You don’t have to go wild. Even following the most basic routine will keep your bones and muscles strong by practicing weight-bearing poses. It’s a good idea to enroll in an introductory class to teach you the basics and learn how to practice safely for you.
You can tailor yoga to your body’s needs. That pose not working or putting too much strain on a certain limb or joint? Drop it. Find the poses that work for you and then practice them over and over. You’ll be a seasoned yogi in no time, and your body will thank you for it.
4. Weight Training
Many older adults experience severe muscle loss and age-related abdominal fat gain. Taking up a simple weight training routine can help you combat both!
Unfortunately, many weight machines at the gym can do more harm to an aging body than good. For example, leg-press machines may seem like a relatively gentle strength workout, but they rarely offer proper lumbar support, so they are not advised for those prone to back injuries, including senior citizens.
Instead, learn how to do a few simple bodyweight-training exercises and then practice them several times a week. Wall pushups, stair climbing, and chair squats are excellent options. Start small, work your way up, and always listen to your body’s feedback. Keep your muscles healthy and strong!
Cycling is another of our favorite low-impact sports. Cycling improves balance, cardiovascular health, cognitive performance, and overall metabolic health in senior citizens. Not to mention how strong it can make your legs without any force impact to your joints or bones!
If you’re in an area with local biking paths, feel free to grab your friends or family and hit the trails! Just make sure to wear your helmet and definitely bring company along if you’re worried about falls. A stationary bike provides an easy indoor alternative in inclement weather or in case you’re located somewhere that lacks safe biking paths. You can also sign up for cycling classes if you feel like adding a little more formal instruction and/or socializing to your cycling exercise!
No matter the exercise you choose, you can stay accountable with one of our qualified in-home care aides. Your Healing Touch provides in-home senior care services across Indiana. We are passionate about helping patients achieve the best possible quality of life in their own home, no matter their independence level, and we can offer trained medical assistance and support with day-to-day tasks including getting regular exercise.
If you or a loved one are in need of professional elder care services, contact us today. We’re ready to help.