Best Exercises for Seniors (Part III)

Walking positively impacts your health.

Walking

Even if you can’t find a way to do a structured workout, you likely have time to put one foot in front of the other to get you where you want to go. It is recommended most folks do 10,000 steps a day, even on days they don’t exercise. The research found that people who heightened their activity levels up to 10,000 steps per day were 47% less likely to die in the following 10 years contrasted to those who remained sedentary.

For some seniors with a chronic condition, 10,000 might not be the correct number. But the fact remains: Walking is a free, great workout that can have a huge impact on your health.

Cycling

Another low-impact way of exercising, cycling is perfect for those who want to heighten their leg strength but can’t participate in other high-impact sports due to joint issues. Research shows that cycling also helps enhance cardiovascular health, metabolic health, and cognitive performance in adults over 70.

If you have cycling trails close to your home, consider doing regular bike rides with family or friends. Indoor cycling is another good option for those without access to trails or when the weather is bad. Also, with a stationary bike, you don’t have to worry about falling or needing to wear safety gear.

Strength and Aerobic Classes

If you attend a SilverSneakers class, you already understand that group exercise isn’t just a great way to break a sweat. You’ll also have lots of fun and find new friends along the way, both of which are really important when it comes to regular exercise. In fact, studies note that the social aspect of group exercise raises activity levels in older adults over the long run.

There is no end to the different group exercises out there, from boot camp to Zumba. 

 

Best Exercises for Seniors (Part II)

Yoga has many benefits for the body, soul, and mind.

Yoga

With a holistic approach to fitness, yoga aids in building muscle strength, aerobic fitness, core stability, and total-body mobility. Studies show these are all vital for seniors.  

And though yoga is gentle and low-impact on your body’s joints, it’s still weight-bearing, signifying that you have to support your body’s weight with each posture. That’s crucial to strengthening not just your muscles, but your bones too.

Pilates

Similar to yoga, Pilates is recognized for being a low-impact strength program. However, its focus on core stability makes it excellent for older adults. One study in the European Review of Aging and Physical Activity concluded that Pilates participation enhances balance in older adults.

Many gyms provide Pilates classes designed for first-timers, which is particularly important for those interested in classes that depend on the “reformer,” an exercise machine that uses bars, springs, and straps for resistance.

Bodyweight Training

One out of every three seniors experiences serious muscle loss. In the meantime, when it comes to combating age-related abdominal fat, key for overall health, studies show that strength training is more time-effective than cardiovascular exercise.

Luckily, you don’t have to bench press a lot of weight to keep your muscles healthy and stop fat gain throughout the years. In fact, for many older adults, it’s way safer to begin small. Easy bodyweight exercises like wall pushups, chair squats, single-leg stands, and stair climbing will do a good job of keeping your body strong and able to manage everyday activities.

Resistance Band Workouts

Your gym undoubtedly has an assortment of resistance bands ready for use, but these beginner-friendly, affordable exercise tools are great for at-home workouts too.

Also, bands can aid you to challenge your muscles in ways you may not be able to with equipment-free training. For example, when it comes to strengthening your back and bettering your posture, rows and other pulling motions are crucial. But, it’s difficult to do if you don’t have any exercise equipment around.