Senior Exercise to Stay Healthy

One thing is for certain: the more we move physically, the healthier we are. Research has borne out that exercise is the best way for us to stay fit as we age, even up into our advanced years. So what does staying healthy and fit look like for those who are in the 60+ range? The good news is that it can look like anything you want it to. There are no limits on what kind of exercise is effective because it’s ALL effective. Read on for some simple tips to staying healthy you age.

The simplest way to think about exercise as you get older is to avoid long stretches of sitting. Sitting has become almost as deadly as smoking, so whatever gets you out of your chair counts. Personal activity devices such as Apple watches and Fit Bits are great to use because you can set alarms to remind you to get up and move every hour or two. This automates the process and makes it one less thing you have to “plan” to do. (And remember that at any age it’s wise to consult your physician before starting any exercise program.)

More than anything else, find an activity you enjoy doing. The best way to make exercise a regular part of your life is to find something that is fun and sustainable. Whether it’s senior water aerobics or tai chi, there are many gentle but effective forms of exercise that are great for older adults. If you happen to be an exercise junkie and partake in marathons, rock climbing, or iron man competitions, good for you! Keep doing it. If you are an averagely fit older adult, any kind of exercise is better than none. This means that walking your dog, swimming, yoga, or dancing can all count as exercise. The benefit of doing something you enjoy means that you are more likely to stick with it – and this is the most important aspect of exercise at any age.

Do Sweat It

The optimal type of exercise is the kind that makes you sweat and slightly out of breath. This is all that’s required of any exercise as you age. You don’t have to worry about bench-pressing 200 pounds or running 20 miles (unless you just want to). Any kind of activity should meet these goals. Even the kinder, more gentle exercises such as yoga or tai chi can be a good workout. Using your own body weight for isometric holds and stretches such as in yoga or Pilates can work up a decent sweat.

If you don’t want to leave your house, you can still exercise at home. If you prefer to exercise by yourself in the comfort of your own home, be sure to research and invest in a life alert system in case of a fall or health crisis such as a heart attack or stroke. This is the best way to get help as soon as possible if you need it. Don’t let your age or health status keep you from exercising and staying healthy. You can check out the medical alert system reviews to find the right one for you and your lifestyle. Some of the more common activities that can be done without leaving the house include:

  • Exercise videos on YouTube – any kind of exercise you want, including yoga, tai chi, chair aerobics, senior stretching exercises, etc. Even balance exercises and workouts using resistance bands can be found on YouTube, which are especially good for older adults.
  • Walking/biking in place – if you have a stationary bike or treadmill, then search for “virtual scenery” and enjoy any kind of countryside or foreign lands as you exercise. Treadmill TV on YouTube is just one channel that provides a myriad of beautiful visual experiences for your workout time.
  • Strength training – these kinds of exercises can be done anywhere, anytime. You can use hand weights, canned food, and even your own body weight to build and maintain muscle tone. Again, we are just looking for a way to sweat and get slightly out of breath, that’s all.

Some other great options for exercise include swimming, jogging, power walking (often done at local malls), dancing, raking leaves, house cleaning (if done vigorously), old-school exercises such as jumping jacks, jumping rope, or lunges, and anything else that gets your body moving. The government’s website recommends that you shoot for about 2.5 hours of aerobic activity per week, as well as 2 days a week of strength training – this is the guideline for healthy adults of all ages.

So staying healthy and fit at any age is totally doable when using these few simple strategies. Pick out one or two new forms of exercise to try and see how much better you feel after stretching your body, breaking a sweat – and getting out of your chair!


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