There are countless myths about exercise for seniors. Some of the most common ones include the following:
- Exercise isn't safe for seniors – they may fall and break a hip
- I am so sick so I shouldn't exercise
- Exercise may give seniors heart attacks
- It's too late for a senior to exercise (if they haven't done it before)
- Exercise hurts the joints
and so many others….
The truth is, these are only excuses that seniors use when they don't want to get in shape. A great portion of looking and feeling younger (maybe the biggest) comes from exercising and moving your body. It's true that exercise may be a problem for some seniors so you should always check with your Doctor to make sure the type of exercise is good for you personally.
However, if you are a healthy individual, there is no risk at all when it comes to exercise – and no experience needed. The point of exercise is to move the muscles, make you more flexible and put you in total control of your body. There are hundreds of different types of exercise regimes out there, a lot of them will pose no risk at all to older people. All Doctors say exercise is very important for keeping your body young and fit.
Main Types Of Exercises And Their Benefits
There are many studies that prove the benefits of exercise and physical activity for people of all ages. There are four main types of exercise, and doing them all increases the benefits to how well your body functions.
- Endurance or aerobic activities which increases your breathing and heart rate (jogging, walking, swimming, dancing and biking)
- Strength exercises that make your muscles stronger (kettlebells, barbells and using resistance bands etc.)
- Balance exercises that help you prevent falls (balance balls etc.)
- Flexibility exercises that stretch your muscles and help your body stay limber (yoga, gymnastics etc.)
If you have avoided exercise for most of your life, it is now time to start. You are never going to slow the aging process both internally and externally without some form of movement. The best way is to start slowly and work up to a level that will improve your help.
For people who have never exercised regularly, walking is one of the best exercises you can do. Make sure you have a good pace that will increase your heart rate until you are lightly puffing.
We travel a lot and we found when we are away from home with no car we do so much more walking and often with a day pack loaded with our purchases from the local supermarket. This is great exercise and costs nothing, in fact it saves you money.
When live near an excellent light rail line that can take us to 95% of the places we need to go, so we decided the sell our car. If we need to go somewhere by car we simply call an Uber. Not only has it improved our health with all the extra walking but saved us a fortune on the cost of owning a car that was just sitting in the garage.
Often getting extra exercise is just a matter of thinking how you spend your life now and how you can incorporate extra exercise. One of the best ways is to walk up escalators or moving walkways in shopping centres and airports etc. We all used to have to walk up stairs and now people mindlessly stand on travelators and moving walkways getting unhealthier and unhealthier.
Fitness For Older Adults
There are lots of gyms and exercise groups around if you like something more organized. A lot of local communities have programs specifically for seniors and depending on what the weather is like they hold they out in the open in parks or on beaches etc. These groups are fantastic because they can tailor the program to your age: you can get some fresh air (always great for your health), make some friends and maybe even get some Vitamin D from the sun’s rays.
These days there are also lots of online programs that you can use without leaving the comfort of your own home. You want to choose a program that specifically works on improving your metabolism as this helps you burn fat so much faster than just straight cardio exercise regimes. Here is a list of possible programs you could try that are great for seniors as they help to improve your metabolism and you can work at your own pace.
Here Are A Couple Of Sites That Provide Excellent Exercise Workouts That You Could Try:
Metabolic Renewal Designed Specifically For Women (also includes an eating program to improve your metabolism)
Remember, exercise is recommended by all doctors for everyone. If done regularly, it can help you control your blood pressure, body weight and cholesterol levels. It also reduces your risk of hardening of the arteries, possible heart attacks and strokes (contrary to what the myths section says above, right?).
On top of this, exercise strengthens your muscles, tendons, ligaments and bones and makes you more flexible, all while reducing the risk for possible injuries and keeping your body strong and limber. If your body is strong and flexible you are far less likely to suffer from osteoporosis and therefore less likely to end up with a hip fracture.
So, fitness for older adults is great. Whether you have been physically active or not. The goal is to build your endurance, strength, balance and flexibility. Once you start adapting, you should change exercises and trigger every part of the body.
An Active Lifestyle Becomes More Important Than Ever As You Grow Older
As you grow older, an active lifestyle becomes a priority to your health. Simply put, getting moving can help to boost your energy, maintain your independence, protect your heart or manage the symptoms of illnesses or pain as well as your weight.
Plus, if you are too ashamed to stand on the scales, there is only one way to change this, make getting some exercise a new habit, you’ll be surprised how it changes your life.
It's true that starting or maintaining a regular exercise program can be a daunting task at any age. It definitely doesn't get any easier as you get older. Even though it might seem more difficult because of health problems, aches and pains, or even concerns about possible injuries, the goal is to start slowly and gradually build your endurance, strength, balance and flexibility.
According to a recent Swedish study, physical activity is the number one contributor to a long and healthy life. This basically means that exercise can add extra years to your life – even if you don't start until your senior years. Most importantly, it can give your life quality and make you look and feel a lot younger.
Remember the best time to start is RIGHT NOW!