Part of the weakness and lack of endurance experienced by older adults is due more to being inactive than to being old.
When you’re young, you never believe that you’ll grow old. But age sneaks up on you when you’re not looking, when you’re raising a family, working, traveling, and loving life. Then one day, you notice that you’re tired. You get down on the floor and have to use the furniture to get up.
According to the Surgeon General, part of the weakness and lack of endurance experienced by older adults is due more to being inactive than to being old. You need to know how to stay active during your senior years.
The Top 5 Ways to Stay Fit and Active During Your Senior Years
1. A Pet
- Pets, especially dogs, need to be walked daily. They enjoy those walks with you, and having a four-legged companion on a hike is fun for you, too.
- Animals love to play, especially, and like people, they need to be active in their senior years.
- Sharing your life with a pet brings love and joy.
- People who own pets are less likely to suffer depression, more likely to be active, and have an improved quality of life.
2. Daily Exercise Program
Make exercise a habit. Some gyms have senior discounts.
- This does not have to be strenuous. Working out for 10 or 15 minutes 2 to 3 times a day will improve strength and endurance.
- Using a pair of 2 or 3-pound weights can be done sitting down.
- Sit to stand exercise while at the computer or reading improves the leg muscles.
- Make exercise a habit. Some gyms have senior discounts. Go 3 or 4 times a week at the same time and make new friends as well.
- For people who have trouble walking or exercising, swimming is a great substitute.
- Swimming is easier on the joints while still giving you a good workout.
- Even if you can’t swim, walking in water is an excellent exercise, especially for the back.
- Join a water exercise class. Have fun.
There is some evidence that the practice of yoga improves balance in the elderly.
- Yoga is a combination of exercises, mainly posturing, with breathing exercises and meditation. The body movements are slow and gentle and particularly suited to the elderly.
- Studies have shown that yoga programs improve gait function in seniors.
- There is some evidence that the practice of yoga improves balance in the elderly and, therefore, may have positive effects in preventing hip fractures.
- Dancing can help you stay active during your senior years. It may be too much for some people. But for those who can, dancing is a way to have fun and exercise at the same time.
- Some dance classes are just for seniors. The instructors start slow and easy.
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