It’s a long-known truth that exercising in old age keeps you young and fresh. You wouldn’t want to be a puny OAP, do you? Imagine having the body of a 30-year-old plus the mind and experience of a 75-year-old. Seems backward and impossible right?
Well, that’s what this article will help you achieve. You will be calling your friends to get in on this trick soon.
You can be elderly and not thought of as weak. You can be elderly and still pack a punch. Wouldn’t you want to be elderly and yet have your grooves on?
What do you stand to gain?
Exercising in old age greatly reduces the impact of illnesses and diseases, helps with improved immune and digestive functioning. It also lowers the risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease, and certain types of cancer.
Exercising helps reduce stress levels by releasing endorphin hormones, promoting healthy sleep, and improving overall wellness and fitness. A well-rested body is a game-changer in old age, isn’t it? Being active helps you maintain an optimal energy level; you are always up for a game when need be.
Falling is a frequent occurrence in old age and can result in bigger issues than in younger ones. Exercising has shown excellent results in increasing balance and flexibility in adults and significantly cutting the risk of falling. The National Council of Aging has placed this risk reduction at a whopping 25%!
Independence and self-reliability is an essential priority in old age. Seniors need to be able to maintain independence in walking, using the restroom, feeding, bathing, and dressing. Exercising is one of the best ways to satisfy this need in older people.
It is known that a sound body means a good mind, at least in most cases. Exercising regularly in old age has shown to improve brain function, keeping the mind active and alert. Games such as crosswords, chess, and monopoly are easy ways to stay sharp and sane. Looking dull has never been cool.
The benefits of exercising in old age are quite numerous, and we hope that you keep them in mind even as you get moving. Remember, it is easy to stay sedentary and weak, but it is better to keep healthy and fun.
Can you do them all?
Well, while it will cool to be a grandpa lifting weights, it is not advised. It is essential to remain active, but you must not exert yourself.
Exercises that are aimed at losing weight and building muscle bulk in a hurry are best suited for young people. Such activities may spell disaster for seniors who are prone to joint pain, bad posture, and weak muscles.
Exercise regimens like high-intensity interval training; high impact exercises such as bench presses, deadlift, leg presses, abdominal crunches, rock climbing, squats with dumbbells, are not advised in seniors who intend to maintain optimal health status.
Overexertion in exercise can lead to injuries in older people, which will take a longer period in them than it will in younger people. Regular overexertion in exercise has been linked to a higher risk of developing coronary artery complications and heart damage. This is no reason to scare away from activities, though, you only have to regulate it.
What are the best exercises for you?
Here are seven exercises you can engage in as an elderly.
Brisk walking is an aerobic exercise that has direct effects on respiration, blood pressure and distribution, and muscular efficiency. Walking at a moderate pace and intensity will improve aerobic fitness and endurance. An average of 30 minutes of brisk walking and about 7100 steps per day is sufficient for seniors who are engaged in exercising.
Walking has also shown remarkable results on osteoporosis and osteoarthritis. This is because it directly eases the load on joints and prevents stiffness.
Older people who have issues with strength and balance can benefit maximally from cycling. Asides from providing enhancement on cardiovascular health, it also provides a low impact form of aerobic activity. Cycling has been shown to reduce the aging process in the muscles and improve the immune system.
Swimming is suitable as a form of exercising in old age because it cuts down the risk of injury. Swimming is also a form of low impact aerobic exercise. Many people regard swimming as one of the best forms of exercise because it works on all the muscle groups of the body.
Swimming is also fun. Swimming, when done in groups, is fun and relaxing. Older people enjoy the company of other older people, swimming in groups can benefit both their bodies and their minds.
A good exercise, especially for strengthening and increasing flexibility in the knees. Squatting benefits core muscles, back, and leg muscles. It also enables movement in the hip region.
Seniors who will engage in squats should be careful not to overexert themselves. Squats with weight lifting and dumbbells should be avoided as it exposes older people to injuries.
Tai chi is a gentle exercise and is suitable for every group of seniors. It offers the benefits of improving flexibility and balance. Tai chi is recommended for seniors who are looking to prevent falls.
Tai chi also directly benefits arthritic patients, easing pain and stiffness. It is also beneficial for mental health, improving calmness, and reducing stress hormones.
Calisthenics exercises provide functional strength needed to improve posture, increase bone density, and build an even muscle tone. It also provides a way to control the effects of degenerative diseases and conditions.
We saved the best for the last. Stretch.
Muscles and joints weaken, and there is a reduction in the range of motion as we age, all of which can take a toll on the body. Stretching maintains flexibility, eases pain, and improves balance.
Ensure that you stretch before and after every exercise session.
Remember, it’s never too late to start exercising no matter your age. National Institute on Aging says, “exercise is almost always good for people of any age.” You only have to understand what form of exercising in old age you are best suited for. We know you want to be the cool senior in the block. So, get up today and start moving those bones.