Making the time to do regular exercise is important no matter what age you are. Physical activity doesn’t have to be too rigorous – just consistent and regular in order to provide you with health benefits. Staying active as we age gracefully isn’t just about keeping muscles healthy but is a way to help maintain our independence and improve our overall health and mindset.
Engaging in physical activity not only improves our daily mobility and strength, but it can also play an important role in boosting your mood which is good for social interaction. A healthy lifestyle and physical activity assists in reducing the risk of developing some chronic health conditions, such as diabetes. Whatever the circumstances may be, it is advised to seek medical advice before commencing any exercise regime so that it can be tailored to your specific needs.
There are many various types of physical activity options available for older adults to participate in improving strength, flexibility and provide a positive and healthy lifestyle. From aerobics to yoga, or even Tai Chi! Such varieties are great for strength training and more, it’s never too late to start moving and learn something new!
Warm up exercises
No matter your age group, warming up your body along with your muscles prior to any type of physical activity is of vital importance to avoid the risk of injury during your workout. Warm up exercises also assist with the recovery process after you have finished working out!
As we touched-on before, there are many low-impact warm up exercises that the elderly can do, depending on the desired workout that is to commence and the limitations your body may have.
Always your GP or specialist and engage with a qualified exercise professional prior to any physical exercise routine.
Balance exercises for older adults
Balance exercises is a form of physical activity that is enjoyed by everyone at any age. Balance and resistance training for people 65+ years old has been shown to be beneficial in not only maintaining but also improving postural control and mobility. This form of exercise will help minimise falls, especially for older adults who continue to live at home alone.
When starting any exercise program, it is always advisable to start slow. All activities should start at a level that is manageable, then built on over the course of time through regular aerobic activity sessions that suit the individual needs. This prevents any injuries while also maintaining good form with every move.
There are many fun ways to incorporate balance exercises. These activities might already be part of your everyday routine already such as, gardening and cleaning. Other balance exercises that have a positive benefit to you may also include:
- Fitness classes that teach yoga and/or Tai Chi
- Side leg raises whilst you’re waiting for the kettle to boil
- Heel raises that are shoulder-width apart
Resistance exercises for older adults
Resistance training provides many health benefits such as the development of muscle mass, an increase overall body strength, loss of excess weight and managing visceral fat that can be related to Type 2 Diabetes.
There are many simple exercises that can be performed without the need of a gym, including:
- Sit and stand with a chair
- Wall press/Push-ups against the wall
- Bicep curls with water bottles
- Bent-over rows while sitting on a chair
- Calf raises
- Standing hip abductions
- Frontal raises
- Use of resistance bands
Exercise and fitness program for aged care residents
Simple everyday tasks such as using stairs, reaching for things, spending time gardening and shopping as we age, can be aided by keeping active through regular exercise. By doing this you’re exercising without even realising it!
Exercise for older adults can vary depending on their individual circumstances. From individual exercise programs, one-on-one personal training sessions, group activities, and so on. This is why it’s so important to consult with professionals prior to starting any new physical activity programs.
By participating in physical activity that is not only fun but will allow you to continue living a healthy lifestyle.