It’s imperative to take care of your health as you grow older. Things like going for regular check-ups with your physician, specialist, and even dentist are essential if you want to enjoy life in your golden years.
A healthy lifestyle allows you to live life fully. This includes eating healthily and exercising regularly. And as you add on years (and pounds!) to your life, you need to make certain changes to your diet and exercise more.
Why Do Older Adults Need to Exercise?
Exercise does more than just keep one in great shape. There’s more to it than just having an incredible physique. It offers plenty of other health benefits.
The most obvious health benefit of exercise is it improves our bodies physically. On top of giving us a better physique, it also strengthens our bones and muscles. It also enhances our flexibility and prevents us from tiring out easily as it builds our endurance. Regular exercise also improves our sense of balance and spatial awareness, minimizing the risk of accidents from falling and tripping.
Mental Health Benefits
On top of the physical health benefits, exercise also does wonders for our mental health. It reduces anxiety and depression and dramatically improves a person’s mood. It helps build one’s confidence and gives a person an inner glow that nothing else can ever give.
What Should Older Adults Do If They Don’t Like Working Out?
Despite the obvious and not-so-obvious benefits of exercising, the sad reality is not everyone will buy them enough to want to put on their tracksuits and trainers. For a lot of folks, the words exercise and workout are synonymous with pain, torture, and discomfort. And a whole lot of us don’t like going out of our comfort zones—especially older folks.
So what does one do to encourage older adults to get out of the comfort of their La-Z Boys and start working out?
There are a few ways that older adults can still get their daily dose of exercise without really going to the extreme. Here are a few things they can do that can help them enjoy exercising:
- Make new friends at yoga or tai chi class
- Go on a nature hike
- Go window shopping in the mall
- Walk across the course when playing golf instead of taking the cart
- Watch TV or play some music while on the treadmill
- Walk the dog or play fetch with it
- Go for regular walks around the block or ride a bike
How to Create a Safe Exercise Program for Older Adults?
When coming up with a healthy and safe exercise plan for older adults, you need to incorporate the essential fitness building blocks below:
One of the realities of aging is that our stamina and endurance deteriorate as the years go by. We envy younger people for their seemingly limitless energy and wonder where ours went. That is a fact of life that we have to accept and deal with. One way of building stamina and maintaining it is by regularly doing cardiovascular exercises to help build stronger lungs and lessen the fatigue factor when we’re doing physically demanding activities.
The older we get, the weaker our muscles become, especially if we don’t work them out regularly. Incorporating strength and power training exercises can help prevent muscle and bone mass loss and significantly improve our balance. Strength and power training can help us remain independent for a longer time and allow us to do regular chores such as lifting and moving objects with greater ease.
As we get older, it is not only our strength and stamina that give way but our balance as well. Older folks have significant tendencies to lose their balance and fall. One of the best ways to prevent accidents caused by loss of balance is to work on balance exercises such as tai chi, yoga, or a few posture improvement exercises. Incorporating these exercises into your regular workouts will not only help make your balance better but improve your posture and walking quality, too.
As we age, our body’s range of motion starts to get more and more limited with each passing year. This deterioration makes it a struggle to do even the most mundane things like tying your shoelaces or taking a bath. Flexibility exercises help our muscles stay limber and improve our range of motion.
No matter how old you are, it’s never too late to start working out and living a healthier life. If you value your loved ones, you will do them the favor of being in your best and healthiest form.