SAFE WAYS TO EXERCISE AS A SENIOR
AND SOME OF THE BEST EXERCISES TO DO
As a child, staying physically active seems to be an easy task accomplished almost by accident.
Unfortunately for some, the older we get the more staying active becomes to feel more like a chore more.
While exercise is important at any age, it becomes ever-so crucial as we become seniors. Helping to prevent heart diseases, diabetes, forms of cancer and arthritis, staying physically active has great benefits.
Through gradual improvements in balance, strength, and endurance, seniors can continue having great active lives and age with confidence as part of Ontario’s fastest growing age group (65+) according to the Government of Ontario.
Here are some ways in which seniors can exercise safely:
Building of Muscle with Squats
Muscle building can take a lot of time but the perks and gains that come with it are highly valuable for a senior’s well-being.
It’s recommended to start with small and basic strength activities:
- Lower body strength can be improved through squatting in front of a sturdy, strong chair.
- Make sure your hands are ahead of you and be certain your knees are not extended beyond toes as you squat to almost a sitting position.
- Do this accordingly in between taking a rest of five minutes in every five trials.
This helps to burn down calories in adults, reduce blood pressure/level of cholesterol, sustain movement of joints, promote a healthy heart and level of activity.
You can start by doing 5-minute sessions a few days per week in order to improve your heart rate.
Along with the above, try completing 30-minutes of aerobic activity on as many days as you can. Recommended endurance activities include playing tennis, swimming and taking brisk walks.
Gain upper body strength
Using light weights or elastic training bands help to build up muscles and upper body strength.
For example, holding weights at shoulder level while sitting or standing on the floor can go a long way in upper body gains.
Other recommended exercises include holding weights at shoulder level with the palms pointing forward, hold the weight at your sides, palm inwardly and raising the arms to the side.
Practice Push-Ups and Sit-ups
One of the most conventional ways to work on muscles still remains the sit-ups and push-ups.
For seniors who may find it difficult doing the conventional push-up and/or sit-up, try attempting a variation called the wall push-up.
- While standing, face a wall and lean forward, laying your palms firmly against the wall.
- You then lower your arms and slowly bring up your upper body in the direction of the wall.
- Briefly hold on until you push your body back up and make your arms straight again.
Do a comfortable set of either 10 press-ups, sit-ups or wall press-ups, take a rest, and repeat the process.
If unsure, refer to this video for some assistance.
Be creative, and have fun
Exercising improves more than body parts as it can improve your emotional and mental health by cultivating a very active life.
At any age, going through productive exercise activities can help improve your lifespan.
Do what make you happy and repeat it frequently. Join a group so you can use the opportunity to exercise and social with other people at the same time.
Listen to your favorite music while you rest in the garden. Call your friends and do an aerobic activity together or associate with a club but most of all have fun!