The following is a guest post, written by Stacey Cavalari for Access Rx.
Seniors today are living longer and healthier lives. Being a senior is a privilege that should be cherished, and one way to ensure good health is to keep the body active through exercise. Regular exercise is also very important, as more Baby-Boomers are overweight or even suffer from obesity, which can cause a host of other health-related problems. Seniors are combating this trend and staying fit by participating in yoga classes, going skiing, riding bikes and even roller skating. A body that moves is also less likely to suffer from falls and fractures.
Exercises for Seniors
Seniors can take advantage of the many exercise programs available, as long as their physician agrees that there are no medical conditions preventing them from doing so.
Pilates and Yoga – these gentle stretching exercises are great for seniors, especially if they suffer from arthritis or have aching backs. The poses stretch the body from the mid-section called the core. Yoga or Pilates will strengthen the body so that it supports itself better, as well as keeping the muscles limber for better balance. The stretching is gentle and relaxing, yet the body gets a complete workout. These forms of exercise also calm the mind and promote mental clarity.
Cycling – riding a bicycle is gentle on the knees. Incumbent bicycles support the upper body, especially the back. Light hand weights can be used to work the upper body while cycling and working the legs. Some people like to read a book while on an incumbent bicycle.
Zumba – for an exhilarating, fun workout try taking a zumba class. It is a mixture of Latin fusion dancing and hip-hop and gets the entire body moving. Plus, it is really fun to let loose and move the body like it moved at age 18. Zumba is for all ages, and even the rhythm-challenged person is on the dance floor having fun. Don’t worry about learning the steps, just get out there and dance.
Aerobics – even seniors can take an aerobics class, as long as they know their limits. Keeping both feet on the floor at all times, marching in place instead of jogging, and not bending the legs more than 90 degrees is a way to modify the exercise class. A person taking the class should remember that they don’t have to do what everyone else does. Instructors are trained to show the senior how to modify steps for low impact.
Walking – go to just about any mall early in the morning and there will be people walking around. Not only is walking great exercise that can be done for the cost of a pair of walking shoes, mall walking is a great way to meet like-minded people. Mall walking groups meet several times a week to get their exercise and meet new friends.
These exercises are low impact and very effective at keeping extra weight in-check and keeping your body moving. If you can’t decide which exercise suits you best, you can always try a few of them and switch from one to another to change things up and maximize your workouts.