There are many top fitness ideas for seniors to try. The most important things to remember is to do something you enjoy and do it frequently.
The Benefits of Exercise
Regardless of your age or current fitness level, any form of exercise will increase your wellbeing.
The benefits of exercise vary for individuals, but many report the following:
- Lowered blood pressure
- Reduced cholesterol
- Less inflammation in joints and throughout the body
- Increased flexibility
- More pep
- Improved mood
In many situations, seniors look at exercise as a social activity. This chance to meet up with friends and work up a little sweat while sharing laughs adds to a person's overall health.
This interesting article from MedicineNet outlines how to get started, how to gauge how much exercise you need, and what you can expect from the effort. Before starting any exercise program, it's recommended that you first consult your health practitioner.
Top Fitness Ideas for Seniors
Here are some of the most popular fitness ideas for seniors to try.
Soothing water is terrific for joints, reducing the impact that running or walking might cause. It also helps tone your muscles. Many senior centers and gyms offer water aerobics, with sessions set to energetic music. Or consider taking a few lessons to improve your lap swimming ability.
With regular practice, yoga offers many benefits, a few of which include increased flexibility, improved circulation, and a better range of motion and strength, which makes everyday tasks easier. Read LoveToKnow Seniors' article with senior yoga instructor John Schlorholtz to learn more.
3. Tai Chi
Tai Chi is often referred to as "meditation in motion". The slow, deliberate movements are helpful for reducing blood pressure, increasing circulation, and establishing a more peaceful state of mind. There have been many studies about the effects of tai chi, and we talk about them in this article.
Biking is a great sport for seniors. It can be a vigorous cardio workout along trails through the woods, or a pleasant ride through the park with grandchildren. Many seniors also like to bike around town for errands instead of taking the car. There are many bicycle options, but to make sure you have the right fit, visit a bike shop so the experts can evaluate your riding goals, and match you to a bike that is comfortable.
5. Strength Training
Strength training is extremely beneficial for seniors because it helps to retain muscle mass that we naturally lose as we age. Everyday tasks such as carrying groceries or raking the yard are a snap with a little muscle behind them. Many gyms offer up to three complimentary strength training sessions to help new attendees understand equipment.
This old standby is one of the easiest exercises to do, since you basically walk out the front door and give it a go. But if regular walking doesn't appeal to you, change it up a little. Nordic Walking uses poles to engage more of your body for a greater workout. It's easier on the joints, too. Also try joining a treadmill club at a gym or senior center or mall walking club, and meet for a healthy breakfast afterward for some lively conversation.
More Fitness Ideas
We've highlighted just a few of the top fitness ideas for seniors to try. However, make the most of your individual interests to help you stay more active. Here are more articles you might enjoy.
- National Senior Games Interview - This inspiring interview features seniors of all ages retaining their competitive spirits and pushing their bodies to achieve higher fitness goals.
- Lifelong Fitness Alliance - This organization encourages seniors to maintain fitness and work within their communities to host events.
- Senior Exercise Activities: Granny Basketball - These girls "got game", and take it to the court to raise money for charities.