As we age, it is of utmost importance to stay active and healthy. Our bodies change when we get older and it is essential that the elderly and aging are able to move about and get the exercise they need to stay healthy. It is imperative that older adults have a proper diet and exercise as much as they can. Studies have shown that exercising can improve circulation, strengthen the heart and bones and help prevent various forms of cancer.
The Importance of Exercise for Older Adults
Older adults should get proper exercise and stay active in order to maintain their physical health and function. Exercise can help to prevent or delay certain illnesses such as cancer and heart disease. Walking, running, swimming and strength training for at least thirty minutes every day can help older adults keep up their muscle strength. It can also help to ensure their physical independence and ability to handle daily tasks on their own. Increased energy levels and elevated moods are some other benefits.
- Reverse Aging – How proper exercise can help to reverse some of the signs of aging.
- Older Women and Exercise – This article explains the importance of exercise for older women.
- Benefits of Exercise – A video guide with added information that can show the many benefits of exercising for older adults.
Aside from exercise, a proper diet is also essential for a healthy life. This applies to children, middle-aged people and older adults as well. As the human body ages, the dietary needs may change. High-fiber diets are important for older adults as well as increasing calcium to achieve sufficient levels particularly for women. Diets low in fat and sugar can help to decrease the risk of diabetes or heart disease and keep cholesterol levels low. See a nutritionist or talk to your doctor for some healthy eating guidelines.
- Tips for Healthy Eating– Some easy to follow tips on eating healthy as an older adult.
- Senior Nutrition – Details what senior adults should know about getting the proper nutrition.
- Nutrition and Aging – Facts about the body’s needs for nutrition as we age.
- Nutrition for Older Adults – A helpful site with information about the body’s needs for nutrition and healthy eating.
- Healthy Eating for Older Adults– Some quick and simple tips for healthy eating in older adults.
Tips to Make Exercising Fun
Many people often complain that they do not exercise because it is boring. The best way to work around this problem is to try and find a buddy to exercise with you. Organize a neighborhood walking group or just find a friend who might like to take daily walks with you. You may also join your local senior center or YMCA nearby and take lessons in swimming or participate in group exercises such as aerobics. An exercise program on tape or video can also help make your workout session entertaining and efficient in the process. You could also opt to buy in home exercise equipment making things convenient where you can watch television while you work out. Allowing yourself to come up with ways to add variety to your daily exercise routine is definitely encouraged so your workouts remain fresh and exciting.
- Variety and Fitness – This article discusses how adding variety into your routine can make fitness more fun.
- Choosing the Right Exercise – Information provided allows you to find out more about different types of exercises to see which ones fit your style.
- What Older Adults Want – This page explains what most older adults are looking for in an exercise program.
- Walking Club – Some advice for those who want to walk for exercise and tips for your walking club.
- Games for Groups – An excellent resource of fun exercise and fitness games that can be played as a group with friends or at your local YMCA or senior center.
At Home Exercises
Exercise does not have to be done only at the confines of the gym or in your neighborhood. There are endless ways you can stay physically fit at the convenience of your home. Exercise videos geared towards older adults can be purchased and viewed on your home media system. Some simple forms of exercise like stretching can be done daily at home, whenever you wish. There are numerous things you can do at home to stay active like gardening or doing other chores to help keep your body moving and worked out.
- 10 at Home Exercises – Here is a list of 10 simple exercises you can perform at home without any equipment.
- Building Muscle and Bone at Home – Facts about building up muscle and bone, all while staying at home.
- Chair Exercises-This helpful brochure lays out some chair exercises that older adults can do at home.
- Exercise and Seniors – Informative website with some at-home exercises for seniors.
- Abdominal Exercises – This site discusses some abdominal exercises that older adults can do at home.
Where to Exercise
There are many different places older adults can do their exercise. Often, changing your environment can help make things much less routine and add a bit of excitement to your daily regimen. Public pools are a great place to do water aerobics or swim some laps. Your local park is a great place to take a nice walk with friends. Many localities have fitness classes designed especially for older adults, so look into these as well. No matter where you choose to exercise, it’s important that you try to do this at least three times per week for about half an hour each time. Writing down a few great and engaging places where you could go exercise is definitely a worthwhile exercise in itself. Going out there to those places and getting your needed body and mental conditioning is all the more beneficial to your personal well-being.
- Health Benefits of Trails & Parks – This page explains the many health benefits of spending time at local parks and trails.
- Seniors Only Fitness Centers – An article about how seniors-only fitness centers are becoming more popular.
- Public Swimming Pools– Public pools are an excellent place to get great exercise.
- Older Adult Fitness Classes – This website gives one example of how many organizations across the US offer seniors-only fitness classes.
- Walking Trail Finder – Use this guide to help you find a good walking trail in your area.
Staying active and eating right can help people live longer and healthier lives. By exercising with a friend or attending a fitness class, many older adults find it’s much easier to stick to a plan. Simple exercises that can be performed at home can also help keep muscles and bones strong. Older adults should remember the importance of exercise in its many forms and make sure to have it as part of their daily routine.
Written by Michelle Owen and last updated Jan 5, 2017
Republished with permission Pacific Medical Training